Can Social Media for Learning Co-Exist with Command and Control Work Environments?
A Much Needed Break

Web 2.0 Wednesday: Create a Web 2.0 "Icebreaker" Activity


Starting in September, I'll be working as lead instructor for the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington's Future Executive Directors' Fellowship program. We'll meet once a month for some intensive face-to-face sessions, but we'll be facilitating our learning in between classes through a special Ning network we've set up. This has me thinking about online icebreakers, so I thought that would make a great Web 2.0 Wednesday activity for the week.  Here it is:

Come up with an online icebreaker that uses one or more Web 2.0 tools.

I'm thinking, for example, that I could have people upload a picture to the Ning network that they think best represents them. This is also something that could be uploaded to a group in Flickr.

Or I could have the group write a blog post about themselves (also through Ning), but if you weren't using Ning, you could have people post an intro to your blog through comments or through Posterous. You could also have people respond to one of these icebreaker questions. In my case, I could do this through a Ning forum, but it could also be done through a blog or wiki. 

Icebreakers are something we can use for a class, as I'll be doing, but also to build community through our blogs. I could see, for example, adapting one or more of the online icebreaker activities here as periodic blog posts or as memes.

Lots of ways to use icebreakers, so let's see what you come up with. Feel free to leave a link to your activity here in comments.  Also remember to save it to Delicious with "web2.0wednesday" tag so it will show up in our feed.

A couple of additional updates. . . .

Winner of the Web 2.0 Wednesday Logo Contest
As you can see, it looks like reader Dan Callahan won the Web 2.0 Wednesday logo contest. Congratulations, Dan, and thanks to everyone who contributed a logo to the contest!

More on Polls from Sue Waters
Last week's activity invited you to play around with polls. Sue Waters did a couple of great follow-up posts you may want to check out, including this one on why and how bloggers use polls and this one on dealing with polls in RSS feeds.


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Kia ora Michele!

At last, I've managed to catch a Web2.0Wednesday assignment! I've been missing a few, for one reason or three!

Great logo! I see it has various different forms. I chose the mirror form as I thought it looked cool.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

Michele, one of my favourite icebreakers is music. When I am conducting a workshop I will often find an excuse to sing at the beginning of the workshop and invite the participants to join me. I cannot sing at all but who cares? Primary school teachers in particular love it.

One could perhaps invite the participants to sing a bar or two from a favourite song or to publish a blog post about the first record or CD that they bought with their own money and why. Music makes the world go around.

Cheers, John

How about getting students to create their Year book photo as an ice breaker?

You can use

I've posted some other teaching tips on how to use this resource on my blog at:

Hope you enjoy them.


Nik Peachey

@Nik Great to see you around! You always have creative ideas. I'll surely take a look at it.

Here's my contribution to this great idea:

Dear Michelle,

Heard about this icebreaker idea via Carla Arena and here I am. I thought using could be a really nice ice-breaker.

With a webcam, sts would choose an image and then record an introductory message about themselves. It´s very simple to use.


Ha! I love it. I started a Web 2.0 Weds. blog series in December when I first launched, and its lost its steam a lil as I started being all about web 2.0, and wanted to stay true to the blog's mission: highlighting social marketing - the field for behavior and social change.

Still covering the 2.0 space though....great post!

I have used the icebreaker used by the Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations held online last year in November. In it they asked participants to take a picture and post it on a discussion board which answered the question: Where are you now?

You could do the same thing with video clips, audio clips, or a flicker presentation (using a series of pictures that participants will add to) which gives an indication of where they are as they participate.

What I found interesting was the differences in seasons, climates, workspaces, even what people were willing to share (some showing themselves a leisure as they listened to presentations, while others were in offices, while others had a group photo in which many people were participating through one portal).

I have actually used this in my distance learning course, and it was one of their favorite activities as it allowed them to go back to "see" the person even after classes began.

@Virginia. I loved the idea of "Where are you now?" I'll try this one!

Well, I wrote a post yesterday, but had to write another one today on icebreakers4kids because of an interesting comment I got. Very interesting ideas here!

I like Virginia's idea a lot, so my suggestion would to riff on that a bit by having them put that information onto a shared Google Map instead of a discussion board.

Also, I'm number one! I'm number one! I'd like to thank my Mom, who always believed in me, and my students, for listening to me even when I make no sense, and Michele for creating these challenges! And, of course, the academy for voting for me!

Hi Michele, just dropped by to say 'thank you' for all the support you have given me in the last year - yes, I have been blogging for a whole year so have been wishing myself a happy blogging birthday - couldn't have done it without you, especially in the early days:

Great post! As always, thank you for the great ideas!

Thank you everyone for your great ideas! As always you guys thrill me with your creativity!

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