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don't make eye contact - a way of the past?

Remember the nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach when you knew the teacher was about to call on someone to answer a question that you didn't know the answer too??? You know the drill - don't make eye contact, look thoughtful but not too thoughtful...I have some vivid memories of those feelings from my days at Wauconda High School.

Now some teachers are considering using handheld computers that randomly select the names of students to be called on. A U of Florida study showed that this was effective in increasing student participation and preparation for class. The technique was studied in high school math classes and was initially created as a response to the fact that some teachers tend to call on boys more often than girls. Read the University of Florida News story here.

Time will tell whether schools feel this is a worthwhile investment, but I'm glad it wasn't around when I was in school!


  1. Although I am all for giving teachers gimmicky gadgets to play with, there is a low tech psuedo-random method for picking students that an education professor showed me.
    First, pick a small number (like an integer from 3 to 10) at the beginning of class. Then, count down the rollsheet that number and when you finish call on that student. Next time, start at that student's name and count down the sheet again. When at the bottom of the list, rollover your counting to the top. Cost = $0.


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