Pandemic #QRBreakIN


Are you ready to change the game?

Let’s face it: during their time away from school, our students will play HOURS of Fortnite, Mario Kart and Minecraft — often failing hundreds of times in their quest to reach the next level of play. But when they hit a single wrong answer in our online classrooms, instantly they shut down and give up. So what if teachers could capture the same excitement you’d expect from a “living video game” to liven up our approach to online lesson planning?

While far too many take-home assignments are merely an easily copied, “one-size-fits-none” box-checking exercise in rote memorization or blind compliance, #QRBreakIN is tailor-made for 21st century student engagement through modular learning and asynchronous teaching. Think of an Escape Room in reverse (or a caffeinated update on old-school “centers”): rather than “breaking out” by solving clues as a team, you’re “breaking IN” to brand new content in bite-sized chunks, gaining confidence and “leveling up” your abilities to conquer increasingly difficult challenges as you go. Both in the classroom and at home, #QRBreakIN works because it borrows engagement strategies from all the things that make video games so addictive in order to make students genuinely excited to learn more.

This resource is custom designed with distance learning in mind to help teachers learn the ropes of eight student-centered teaching practices, offering 2+ hours of self-guided student learning activities all bundled together in a single “Bring the Fight to the Pandemic” theme.


  • Edpuzzle
    Students view a video with questions embedded throughout. Teachers can use pre-made Edpuzzle assignments or create their own using any existing YouTube video (or original upload) to add engagement and check-for-understanding questions.
  • Escape Room
    Students complete a multi-page Google Form, providing the correct answers to questions scattered throughout in order to progress through to the end. Right answers take you forwards! But incorrect answers will send you back to the start.
  • Flipgrid
    Students submit short video responses to a password protected “grid” where only the teacher and fellow classmates can view them and reply. This free tool is a fantastic way to replicate some degree of “face to face” discussion asynchronously.
  • Quizizz
    Students complete a multiple choice quiz online in an effort to achieve a perfect score. Designed like a coin-operated arcade game (free!), teachers can assign any of the thousands of existing Quizizz or create their own.
  • Sketchnote
    Students respond to a prompt question by offering illustrations with annotated details. Grades are not given according to a student’s artistic ability, rather – scores are assigned based solely on the level of detail that each illustration includes.
  • Student Sound Off!
    Students are challenged to respond to a typical discussion prompt, and invited to share their reactions privately with their teacher via email or submission to class discussion forum / survey. This allows teachers the chance to “go deep” with individual questions.
  • Webquest
    Students use articles provided by the teacher to “teach themselves” about key content while taking notes as they go. Once submitted, teachers have the ability to check these findings for clarity – and may ask students to submit follow-ups if questions remain.
  • YouTube
    Students view videos on YouTube and are asked to take notes about the most important findings as they go. Once submitted, teachers have the ability to check these lists for clarity – and may ask students to submit follow-ups if questions remain.

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