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What Do Old Polar Bears and Great Teachers Have in Common? They Know How to Break the Ice!


Polar bears break the ice to survive. Teachers break the ice to thrive. Join this interactive, high-energy webinar and explore ways to use icebreakers and topic starters to socialize, stimulate, motivate, and prime your students for success. Participants will leave with practical strategies they can immediately implement to move students from passive observers to active participants in their education.



Click here to watch this video in full screen.


Attached to this post (right side of the page) are both the slides and a Q&A for this presentation.




Presenter: Shawn Orr, Director of the Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence, Professional Instructor Communication Studies, Ashland College


Shawn Orr has worked in higher education for over 25 years as a Business and General Education professor, Department Chairperson, academic advisor, Dean of Faculty and Director of College Success courses. She’s taught more than 20 different courses in the business, management, composition, humanities and communication areas. 


Shawn was the 2011 North Central Educators Association Educator of the Year and has been actively involved in working with accreditation, assessment, online learning, curriculum design and curriculum redesign in higher education. She has prepared, developed and delivered over 200 workshops, webinars, presentations, training seminars and keynote addresses across the country on student success, advising, online and hybrid learning, portfolio development, retention strategies, service learning, technology, generational teaching and learning, flipped classrooms, apps to engage students, active teaching and learning strategies, experiential learning and 21st century skill development.


New Member

How do I get proof of attendance for PD credit with my institution?




Hey Steve,

i add Cengage webinars, meetings, etc to my college outlook calendar and color code anything that has to do with prof dev and submit  to our college HR site. Will that work?



You also have the confirmation from Cengage you can send to your college.



I LOVE your innovation and creativity with IceBreakers!  We use FitBits and RSS feeds at the start of each Intro to Computing class to Break into the material for the week in a 'gentler' way since some of my students are a bit fearful of big computers believe it or not?!?!

Valued Contributor

Ice breakers are great - I use them not only in classes but also in long meetings (typically with students). They not only help you refocus and reenergize, but are fun and help de-stress. Thanks for sharing Shawn's presentation.


I liked several of the ideas.  I really liked rewrapping the candy and talking about student expectations.  Many students come into my class with preconceived notions of the material.


I've picked up a few ideas I can use. I especially like the topical icebreakers, there is little time my courses for purely social ones. 

Frequent Commenter

I liked the many ideas for social, educational and topical ice breakers.  I've participated in these in various settings but now will try to implement them myself.  Thank you.


Love using ice breakers (when they work!) but must admit that that I find ice breakers really hard to do unless it's a relatively small group.... still looking for ideas.....!