First of all, I need to give a HUGE shoutout to Bob Flora at Jigsaw Explorer. When I was writing my post about doing collaborative jigsaw puzzles online, I e-mailed Jigsaw Explorer to see if there was any way to disable the “preview” button so people would not be able to see what the completed puzzle looked like until they solved it. (If you read my original post, you saw my story about trying to use a jigsaw puzzle as a clue in a digital breakout (escape) room, thinking my high schoolers would need to solve the puzzle to get the clue, when one of the clever kids figured out all they had to do was hit the preview button.)
Bob Flora responded that they did not have such a feature at the time, but might add something some time next year. I thought that was the end of the story – but Mr. Flora did not. In an e-mail that has secured my customer loyalty for life, he informed me today that they have added a simple checkbox to the creation page so you can now hide the preview in your puzzles! This feature also disables the ability of players to change the number of puzzle pieces – so they can’t cheat by lowering the number of pieces to make it easier to solve.
Here was my procedure to check out this new feature: I created a simple question on a Google slide and downloaded it as a JPG. Then I uploaded it to IMGUR, and right-clicked to get the image address. That’s what you see in the top line. I left the number of puzzle pieces at the default, and put a checkmark in “Mystery Puzzle.” (Click on any of the question marks if you need help.) Then I clicked on the Create button, and got both short and long links to the puzzle, as well as the embed code if I wanted to add it to a website. And – don’t forget – you can then visit the link, click on the 3 lines on the top left, and choose, “Modify this puzzle.” This allows you to create a game link so multiple people can work on the puzzle at the same time online!
So, for all of you who want to add a bit of fun to your class, or want to design a full digital escape challenge for your students, add Jigsaw Explorer to your resources for creating fun clues. Here is my post with other clue creation ideas. This video shows you how to make a simple Digital Breakout using Google Forms. Here are some digital breakouts I’ve created in the past.
Of course, if you really want some student buy-in, have them create the puzzles!
Thank you, Mr. Flora, for not only adding this great feature, but taking the time to communicate with me!