The 8-Bit Instructor: Digital Escape Rooms with Karly Moura (EP038)

Download the episode here.

Episode 38

In this week’s episode, Karly Moura joins me to talk about creating your own digital escape room activities for class. Plus, some news and updates from Google and the Department of Education.

News & Updates

  • Google Maps in quick access side panel
    • See place details such as location, opening hours, and user reviews. 
    • Make sure you’re adding the correct location to a Calendar event. 
    • Get travel times and directions to plan ahead your trip to an upcoming event location. You can add trips to your Calendar to help arrive on time by knowing when to leave. Predicted traffic and transit at the future time of the event is used for a better estimate of travel time. 
    • Rapid release – April 19; Scheduled release – May 3
  • Helpful Chromebook updates
    • More options for search with the everything button (weather, calculations, etc.)
    • New Diagnostics app can help troubleshoot battery, CPU, memory problems
    • Scan app allows you to scan images from a printer/scanner and easily edit
    • Chromebook Live Captions feature
  • Google Meet
    • Video feeds
      • Hover over your video feed for options between a tile in the grid or a floating picture. You can also resize, reposition, and hide it to concentrate on the call.
      • Your self-view appears in the bottom right of the grid to put more video feeds at eye-level as you look into the camera.
    • Viewing and presenting experience
      • See what you are presenting while in Google Meet.
      • Unpin the content you or others share to see more and larger video feeds.
      • Participant names are always visible regardless of meeting size.
    • Bottom bar
      • Meeting dial-in codes, attachments, the participants list, chat, and other activities are at the bottom right to create more vertical space for seeing people and content.
        • Controls are consolidated in one place with descriptions available upon hover.
      • Leave call button is moved away from the microphone and camera buttons to prevent accidental call hang-ups.
      • Bottom bar is always visible, while not covering cover captions and bottom video feeds.
    • Other visual updates include
      • When someone speaks, their tile is outlined in blue.
      • Mute indicators are subdued to reduce visual distraction.
      • When there are more participants than can be shown on the grid, a tile is added so you always remember who’s on the call.
    • Rapid release – May 3; Scheduled Release – May 17
Department of Education
  • USDA Issues Pandemic Flexibilities for Schools and Day Care Facilities through June 2022 to Support Safe Reopening and Healthy, Nutritious Meals
    • flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021
    • Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022
    • “Students’ success in the classroom goes hand in hand with their ability to access basic needs like healthy and nutritious meals,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “It’s critical that our efforts to reopen schools quickly and safely include programs that provide access to free, healthy meals for our most vulnerable students, particularly those whose communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This program will ensure more students, regardless of their educational setting, can access free, healthy meals as more schools reopen their doors for in-person learning.”

Treasure Chest: Failing vs. Failure

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”

Gena Showalter
  • Failing = present progressive tense (is failing)
    • Denotes an ongoing action in the present
    • Someone is currently failing.
    • In other words, it’s not a permanent thing
  • Failure = noun (person, place, thing)
    • Someone is a failure
    • State of being (more permanence)
  • Failing means we’re trying and learning; failure means we’ve given up

Boss Battle: Digital Escape Rooms with Karly Moura

Karly Moura is a teacher on special assignment (TOSA) and Computer Science teacher at Sun Terrace Elementary STEM Magnet School in the Mount Diablo USD in Concord, California. Karly is also part of the Ditch That Textbook team, enjoying her role as social media and content manager.

In this week’s episode, Karly joins me to discuss digital escape: what they are, why they’re useful in class, and how to put them together.

Follow Karly on Twitter: @KarlyMoura

Check out Karly’s resource page for all kinds of great stuff.

Want to learn even more about digital escape rooms? Check out Karly’s course on digital escape rooms. Only $19!

Crew Members’ Board (#8BitCrew)

QOTW: How can you use a digital escape room in your classroom?

Use #8BitCrew on Twitter, tag me @comicsocks, or post longer stories in the comments section here.

Get connected

Check out my Google Classroom Udemy course.


Music by David Fesliyan (

  • Intro/Outro: “Retro Platforming”
  • Boss Battle: “Boss Battle Rock”
  • Crew Member’s Board: “Pirate Dance”
  • Wrap up: “Game Over” by Patrick de Arteaga

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products or services. I may receive commissions or bonuses from your actions on such links.

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