Smartphone Zoom Icebreaker

Icebreakers have been used by facilitators and corporate trainers for years. They are fun and useful to getting a team or group engaged at the beginning of a workshop or to combat fatigue after lunch.  Since we are all armed with smartphones these days I began to think about how to integrate technology into an icebreaker. Below is the setup for Smartphone Zoom.

Time:  Roughly 30 minutes (Depends on the size of the group)

Group Size: 5 or more participants

Materials:  Camera enabled smartphone for each participant, email, LCD projector, laptop with email, slideshow or presentation software, and blank sheets of paper.

Goal:  To be the participant who can correctly guess the most zoomed in images.

Procedures:  With their smartphone cameras each participant will be asked to take two photos of an object of their choosing. The first image will be a super-zoomed image and the second image will be of the object at full scale.  The two photos will be submitted via email to the facilitator for inclusion in the guessing game.  See the example below of the two images.

Stapler Close
Stapler Far

Step 1:  Provide the overview to the participants.  Give them 5 minutes to go and take their two photos.  Ask

them to be discrete such that other participants don't see what they are doing. They are welcome to leave the room and photograph anything within proximity of the meeting room.

Step 2:  Participants will send the facilitator two emails.  Email #1 will have the subject line "Zoomed Image" and have the zoomed photo attached.  Email #2 will have the subject line "Full Scale Image" and have the unzoomed image attached.

Step 3:  The facilitator will compile all of the Zoomed Images into a slide show presentation with the slides numbered 1-# of participants.  The facilitator will create a second slide show presentation of all of the Full Scale Images making certain to place them in the same order as the zoomed image slide show.

Step 4:  Each participant will need to create a scoring sheet.  They will number a piece of paper 1-# of participants leaving room to the right of the number for them to write their guess for each image.

Step 5:  The facilitator will begin the Zoomed Image slideshow on the LCD projector and ask the participants to write down their guess for the first photo. Participants will write down their guesses for each zoomed photo being careful not to share their guesses with their peers. Of course each participant will get at least one correct because their own photo will be in the presentation.

Step 6: To score the game, have each participant swap their scoring sheet with the person next to them.  The facilitator should then go through the Full Scale Image presentation showing what each of the photos looks like at Full Scale.  The participant with the most correct answers wins a prize. 

I am sure there are many other variations on this game that can be played, but it is a quick and easy way to get an group engaged, have some fun and leverage those smartphones.