10 Reasons to Try Digital Escape Rooms

It’s first period on a Monday morning. Your middle school students drag themselves into class like zombies. They have no idea you have a secret. They’re about to embark on a digital escape room adventure!

After greeting everyone, you tell them that their objective is to learn the four different ways a reader can define unfamiliar words in context. Still zombies. 

When you tell them that they will learn and apply four ways to define unfamiliar words by playing a digital escape room game, your zombies are suddenly transformed into living, breathing kids!

They cheer so loudly that the principal walks into the room. The kids proceed to tell her that you are the BEST teacher in the universe. They start making grand predictions about how successful they will be at learning context clues. Your principal is so impressed that she enters you in the Most Magnificent Teacher in the Universe competition, and you win a gagillion-dollar grand prize.

Is this a fantasy?  

Well, maybe I got carried away a bit. But I’m not exaggerating when I say that escape rooms can bring the joy of discovery to any unit or topic. 

Escape Room Mania

I’ve written about my fervent belief in the benefits of escape rooms here and here, but it isn’t always possible to use printed breakout rooms in remote, hybrid, or tech-driven learning classes. Fortunately, digital escape rooms offer similar benefits but require little to no prep time for the teacher.

I’ll start with the reasons you will like digital escape room activities, and then I’ll explain how your students will benefit.

Why Should I Try a Digital Escape Room?

1. There is little to NO prep work involved. 

All that you should do is check that your school’s web filters will allow students to access Google Sites. Then give students the link.

 2. They’re perfect for introducing a new topic and generating engagement.

Middle school students can be tough customers. Starting a new unit with a digital escape room will help kids buy into the unit.

3. They’re a fun way to review and reinforce skills.

How many times have you given students review sheets before a test, only to find that many kids didn’t even bother to do them? This happened to me after reading a class novel, and I was so frustrated! But when I turned that review into a digital escape room every single student participated!


4. Your students will benefit in a multitude of ways!

These benefits will take place right before your eyes! Or your screen! 

How Will My Students Benefit from a Digital Escape Room? 

Students Will Develop

5. Confidence and independence

If students can leave your classroom having learned one skill, what would you want it to be? You probably want them to be independent learners, confident in their abilities. Escape rooms foster that because kids have to figure things out for themselves through trial and error. Every single success they experience in the adventure is a confidence builder. 

6. Creative, out-of-the-box thinking skills

One of the most important outcomes is that students practice thinking creatively. The puzzles, ciphers, and riddles require lateral thinking skills. Students will have to take an innovative approach when “escaping.” They have to think about the problems differently in order to succeed. 

7. The ability to rebound from failure and try a different approach

Now I’m going to go all sad on you now by saying what we adults know to be true. This “game” called life is essentially about failure. Every single time we fail, we have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and try again. Escape rooms provide a gentle way to teach kids that success is not a given, it is earned by repeatedly trying new things. 

 8. Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving abilities

The digital world makes it so easy for our students to go online and find answers to every question. Students have to learn that possessing information is just a short-term goal. Also necessary is the ability to determine the value, merits, and reliability of that information.

9. Team building and communication abilities, if they are working in groups

How many times have your students begged you to be able to work in groups? They love to work and strategize together, and escape rooms offer the perfect opportunity for them to practice this valued skill set. Paper escape rooms make collaboration simple; however, with a little creativity, collaboration is also possible with a digital breakout.

10. Curiosity about the topic, skill, or technology involved

I often find that students take a digital activity to the next level by expanding on one of the activities. On their own, they might look up additional information on a topic. Or they might show an interest in one of the apps or technologies and use it to create their own activity. There are no limits to the creativity our students possess. Digital escape rooms can introduce kids to a whole new world. 

The bottom line is that if you want your students to be excited and enthusiastic about learning, digital escape rooms might be the catalyst that you and your students need. Check out a variety of escapes right here!

Just one thing. Promise me that if you do end up winning the Most Magnificent Teacher in the Universe contest, you’ll send me a picture of your gagillion-dollar check. 

Stay delicious!