3 Ways to Use a Random Name Picker in Your Classroom

Sara Wanasek

Sara Wanasek

3 Ways to Use a Random Name Picker in Your Classroom

Do you hear crickets in your classroom when you ask your students a question? This hesitation to share is seen in the classroom more often than we would like. To help you solve this issue and engage with your students, you can use ClassPoint’s in-built PowerPoint random name picker.

Using a name picker in PowerPoint allows you to randomly and easily choose a student to answer your questions without having to leave your presentation or spend time creating your own spinning wheel in PowerPoint. Plus, you won’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or picking unfairly when using a random name picker. Students will be on their toes never knowing whose name will appear behind the box which adds excitement to the class too! Once names have been selected, you can also use this feature to help you keep track of who has participated and who hasn’t.

Of course, there are many different ways to use a random name picker in your virtual or physical classroom, but below we highlight 3 of the most common ways to keep your students talking and engaged in your lesson.

Example #1: Choose a Random Student

Random Name Picker spinning wheel in PowerPoint

So, let’s say you have asked your students to tell you about their definition of camouflage. Instead of waiting for hands to be raised, use the name picker feature to randomly choose a student to tell your their definition.

On the ClassPoint toolbar, click on the name picker icon. When it opens, you will see a wheel with the names of your students that are joined your class, or saved in your class list. Click the wheel to spin and reveal the selected name!

Learn more about how to set up and use the random picker with this tutorial. 

This can be used at any point in your presentation. Once the name picker screen is closed, you can move through your slides and open the name picker back up. When opened, it will still keep the previously selected names outside of the wheel. This way, all your students have a chance to participate.

Example #2: Separate Students Into Groups

You can also use the random name picker to help you split your students into groups or breakout rooms. When it is done randomly, students that might not often work together often have the chance to collaborate. For this example, we will use the Card View instead of the spinning wheel.

If you have used the name picker earlier in your presentation, add all the names back in the list and shuffle them by clicking the Restart button.

You can group your students based on columns, rows, or any other way that suits you. Once you have the number of groups and a number of students in each group decided, reveal some of the emoji cards and write down the groups of students, or just have students get in their groups right away.

Example #3: Assign Tasks to Students

This way can be done all on its own if you have classroom tasks or in conjunction with Example #2. Use the random name picker to pick a random student for a task or use it to assign multiple students tasks.

For example, if you have split your students into groups by column, you can assign tasks by row. Each student in Row 1 could be the timekeeper for their group to make sure they finish the task on time, Row 2 could be a note-taker, Row 3 could be a presenter.

Have you used a random name picker in your classroom? We would love to hear what your students think & the different ways that you all have found to bring it to life in your classroom!

For more information on the random name picker, watch the tutorial video & read our guide on getting started with ClassPoint.

Sara Wanasek

About Sara Wanasek

Sara Wanasek is a PowerPoint expert with a deep understanding of education technology tools. She has been writing for ClassPoint for over 3 years, sharing her knowledge and insights in educational technology and PowerPoint to teachers. Her passion extends beyond writing, as she also shares innovative ideas and practical presentation tips on ClassPoint's YouTube channel. If you are looking for innovative ideas and practical tips to elevate your presentations as well as the latest trends in educational technology, be sure to check out it out for a wealth of insightful content.

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