A shortcut for randomly calling on students

I’m sharing this shortcut in case it’s helpful for other teachers. It randomly presents names of students to call on, working through the entire list without repeating.

Call on random student

It took me a couple of days to figure this one out. The key turned out to be shuffling the list itself, rather than randomly selecting a student, then removing the selected student from the list of those available to be called on.


Thanks for sharing! I did something like this once, too. Mine was Keyboard Maestro-based and didn’t have your no-repeats fanciness though.

This might be a neat tip, though: I was using a Logitech Spotlight remote. You can customize what the buttons do. So, I set one of the buttons to keystroke some ridiculous combination and assigned that to trigger the KM macro. This let me lecture away from the desk, but I could trigger the random-student macro at any time, so students had to stay on their toes.

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Great tip, thanks!

I tend to wander the room with an iPad Air projected to an old (3rd gen) Apple TV. I use Notability as a whiteboard. As long as I’m in presentation mode, students will only see Notability. :+1:

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That is a cool set up. Are these institution-owned Apple TVs or do you bring one in yourself?

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It’s institution-owned.

My college doesn’t actually provide them, but several years ago our then CIO had gotten a bunch for a department that was experimenting. I was in a meeting with him one day when I mentioned how much I hated being tethered to the podium. Since he had an extra, he gave it to me. :+1:

Many of our classrooms now have a Crestron AirMedia setup. Not all of them are in working order, though, and even for those that are — well, let’s just say that the only words I have for the AirMedia iOS/iPadOS app are words I was raised not to use.

I’m much happier with the ATV.

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