CHROME (Coordinated Humanitarian Resource Office for a Modern Earth) is a 100-year-old organization focused on maintaining global progress through behind-the-scenes funding and support of those at the forefront of medical, social, and educational advancement. CHROME was created after WWI by progressive scientists, inventors and mathematicians who wanted to see the technological advancements which came about because of the Great War continue to improve life instead of destroy it.
While primarily a philanthropic organization, it does have a secret military branch. CHROME operatives have been secretly battling against another evil and mysterious organization since the beginning. The evil organization is known as OBSIDIAN whose worldview is focused on bringing the world back to the Dark Ages. It plans to accomplish this goal by ending modern communication and thus eliminating all human advancement. The organization has an unknown leadership structure and no members have ever been taken alive. Apparently they communicate through old world means and through codes hidden in today's technology. Legend has it that there are 12 OBSIDIAN locations spread around the world.
OBSIDIAN is a centuries-old secret group born out of a combination of existentialism, transcendentalism, individualism, naturalism, and anarchy. They argue that humanity will only be pure of spirit by disconnecting from society, returning to nature and becoming self-reliant. It is based on the teachings of people like Nietzsche, Thoreau, Emerson, Kirkegaard, Kant, Wilde, Rousseau, Burke, and others.
In the past century, however, it has lost the focus on the betterment of individuals and has taken on a destructive focus. Most recently, Ted Kaczynski (also known as the Unabomber) laid out his version of OBSIDIAN's worldview in his manifesto titled Industrial Society and its Future. He has never admitted to being a part of the secret organization, but circumstantial evidence definitely points to him as possibly being their only known operative.
OBSIDIAN plans to bring the world back to the Dark Ages, turning the earth into the black rock it was centuries ago. It believes that human advancement through communication and collaboration with today's technology is causing more harm than good, and that humanity can only be truly saved by disconnecting from society and being self-reliant.
CHROME is devoted to stopping this organization through any means necessary.
YOUR MISSION is to complete objectives at each of the OBSIDIAN locations and work towards locating the central headquarters and bringing an end to the evil organization.
Playing the Game
The objective of the game is to identify the location of the OBSIDIAN headquarters and unveil the leader, ending the organization's stranglehold on progress and human advancement.
There are 12 Units to complete in the Level 1 Google Certification Training. After completing the Unit Review for each unit, you will be given a mission to complete. This mission will require you to use the skills and information gained from that particular Google Certification unit. These missions are to prepare you for the scenarios you will see on the Google Certification Exam at the end of the training.
As you work your way through the units and the missions, you will earn XP or "experience points". The more points you earn, the better your chances are of discovering the location and unveiling the leader of OBSIDIAN.
How to Play:
Missions (100 XP each):
Complete a Unit in the Google Certification training. Once you've completed the unit, come back to the CHROME Agent Hub to start the mission that corresponds with the Google Unit you just completed.
The mission will include objectives for you to achieve in order to complete the activity. These objectives will require you to use the Google tools that you learned about in the corresponding unit. The mission will also include links to any resources or information you might need.
Note: There is no mission tied to Unit 13 of the Google Certification.
RECON (60 XP possible per mission):
At the end of each mission, you will have the option to complete any or all of three RECON objectives. These secondary objectives will incorporate other useful tech applications (mostly non-Google) that we think teachers should know about. These objectives will require you to explore these tools and share your experiences with us. Each RECON objective will be worth 10, 20 or 30 XP.
As you earn XP throughout the process, you will be able to level up from Intern to possibly Director. As you reach each level, you will be given a clue that will help you discover the true identity of the leader of OBSIDIAN.
0 - 399 XP
400 - 799 XP
800 - 1199 XP
1200 - 1499 XP
1500 - 1920 XP
How to Unlock the Identity of leader of OBSIDIAN:
The identity of the leader of OBSIDIAN is contained within a Digital Breakout. There are four clues that you will receive as you level up from Intern. Each clue will complete one of the digital locks contained on the Who Is OBSIDIAN? page within the CHROME Agent Hub. For more information on how Digital Breakouts work, take a look at THIS WEBSITE and to try some other sample Digital Breakouts, go to THIS PAGE.
"In order to break the barriers and bad habits we have in our schools and truly transform education, we have to stop playing the game of school and pave the way for new ideas and new ways to learn."
In today's educational system, teachers tend to continue using the same strategies and techniques that have been in use for decades simply because they are comfortable and time-tested. These strategies have their merits, no doubt, but with any pursuit, change must happen to avoid becoming outdated and ineffective.
When we ran our first Google Certification training in the spring of 2017, we found ourselves falling into the same teaching patterns that we are working to change. Our sessions were structured as lectures with us up front and the participants obediently following along. Then we took a test.
Sounds fun, right?
There are so many new and interesting teaching strategies popping up these days, and there is so much expected of teachers, that we often don't have the time to explore new and innovative ways to inspire our kids to learn. One of these new strategies is called Gamification and it's the one we chose to exemplify in our new version of the #TRIADvances Google Certification Level 1 training.
Why games? The answer is simple. All I have to say is Madden Football or Candy Crush, and you know what I'm talking about. What if game night happened every day at school? The implications are clear from the get go, but turning theory in to practice requires some creativity. Thankfully, there are some clear guidelines to help get the ball rolling (pun intended).
There are many different versions of gamified learning, and they all have validity, but according to Learning=Theories.com to be truly gamified, the system must include elements of games that are more than just points and competition. It must also include these elements, among others:
Scaffolded learning with challenges that increase in difficulty
We used some of these ideas when we created the #TRIADvances badge program, and we continued to develop it when we added the competition element in the fall of 2017. But with this new version of the Level 1 Google Certification training, we have incorporated as many of these elements as we could.
To learn about the game we've created for this round of Google Cert, visit this page.
As you can tell, it's more than just playing a Jeopardy-type game once a week. It's a complete structure for the curriculum. While this will take time to create and manage, the overall benefits of adding game elements to the classroom cannot be ignored.
From the Experts
Michael Matera is a sixth grade social studies teacher who wrote the book Explore Like a Pirate and has pioneered the concept of gamified classrooms for every teacher. With his book, he shares his wealth of knowledge and experience through Twitter, YouTube and his blog ExploreLikeaPirate.com. For some simple tips on getting started with gamification, check out this video playlist he created that discusses each of the important elements of a gamified classroom. The video below is his introduction to getting started with gamification.
Adam Powley, a high school social studies teacher in South Carolina is one of the leaders of this movement and provides some great insight into how his classroom works in this video podcast. He also blogs frequently about gamification and how he uses it on his website Game Inspired Design. His classroom is centered around the concept of a post-apocalyptic world where history has been lost and the students have to work to recreate the country's past.