It’s back-to-school time, and what’s a better way to welcome your students back to school and get to know them better than to start your year off with a few, fun icebreaker activities? Instead of having students partake in the old getting-to-know you activities, bring your classroom to the 21st century with a few digital get-to-know-you mixers that your tech-savvy students will love. Here are a few of these back-to-school activities you have to try.
Back-to-School Video Introductions
Long gone are the awkward classroom introductions where shy students have to stand up in front of their peers and introduce themselves. Today’s students have the ability to utilize technology to create short videos in which they can introduce themselves and talk about what they did over the summer. Apps like Animoto and Vimeo make it easy for students to create a short video clip to share. Green Screen is another great app where students can place themselves right in the destination or vacation spot that they traveled to over summer break. With just a click of a button, students can create a short video of where they visited, or would have liked to visit over vacation.
Avatars are a new digital way that teachers can help break the ice during classroom introductions. Websites like Doppelme and Voki are fun tools that students can use to create an avatar (character) that represents themselves. The avatar can introduce the student to the class and share something personal about the student, or the students can try and guess the personality behind the avatar. Students will love creating and sharing these fun characters of themselves with their peers.
QR codes have gained quite the popularity in today’s classrooms. These tiny, colored or black-and-white boxes (some corporate logos now are working QR codes) that many companies use as marketing tools have become a new trend within the classroom. They act as a shortcut to a web link when they are scanned from a smartphone. They can be used in the classroom as a way to introduce students by attaching them to a self-portrait or photograph. Students simply create a webpage about themselves, then use the free site Kaywa to attach a QR code to their picture. Then all students have to do is scan the code, and they are led to a webpage that each student created. Students will love scanning codes to learn more about their new classmates.
These digital ice breaker activities are a great way for your students to connect with their peers in a non-traditional way through the use of technology. When students feel connected to one another, it will create a classroom culture where students feel comfortable sharing and working with their peers. The closer students get to one another, the closer you’ll be to creating a solid classroom community that feels more like a home.