Use of Technology is Done to Successfully Implement Icebreakers
Icebreakers are short questions or activities aimed at breaking the ice amongst a group of people gathered together in a learning environment. Icebreakers can be used in any kind of setting; however, they are very frequently applied in online classes to get the ball rolling and relax the overall online environment. All icebreakers, whether their material is relevant or irrelevant to the course material, aim to open up the students, make them smile and gives the encouragement to start with their course. Icebreakers are an important learning tool for online education where face-to-face interaction is lacking, hence these strategies bring the entire group together and develop a sense of belongingness amongst the participants.
The Different Types
There are different types of icebreakers that can be made use of in classes. These include playing simple games involving a small or a large group of students, giving the class a puzzle to solve, making up silly questions and encouraging the participants to answer them in the same manner, motivating the group to share their different experiences and making them talk without hesitation and the list goes on. No matter which type of icebreaker is used, its main purpose is to take the students out of their shells and motivate them in such a way that they perform to the optimum level.
What Technology to Use?
Since the online class differs considerably from the traditional one in many ways, especially with regards to the physical setting, hence the creative use of technology is done to successfully implement icebreakers. For example, websites can be used to connect all students to play a silly game, a microphone may be used and students be asked to introduce themselves to their class, techniques of sound recording may be used and all connected participants respond by recording their voices and answering questions etc. All these technologies and many more can be employed to not only break the ice but also create a very natural learning environment.
How to Use Them?
It is the sole discretion of the teachers as to how they make use of icebreakers. The idea is to choose a strategy that best suits your class setting and delivers its purpose. However, it is better to keep them creative, simple and fun.