3 tools to increase student engagement

February 9, 2022


“ClassDojo doesn’t like you I am afraid”. This would be my response to students who are selected for the third time with a random name generator. To increase student engagement, it is important to randomly give turns. Allow me to share some tools that help increase student engagement.

Estimated time to read this article: 3 minutes

One of the main ingredients of a good CLIL lesson, in my opinion, is student engagement.

You want students to participate and actively use the language in your lesson.

One way to do this is my randomly selecting students for questions or tasks. But as a teacher, you never really choose random students.

I like using software for this, as this is not only more random, it can also mean the same students gets selected a couple of times in a row.

Especially when selecting students for, for example, a homework check, this can prove to be quite valuable.

It simply means students are not ‘safe’ when their homework has just been checked. Be honest, would you check the same student’s work three times in a row?

Here are three name generators that work like a charm and I have seen being used in various lessons.

1. Wheel of names

This is, well, a wheel of names. Nothing more to add. You as a teacher can copy-paste the names in there and give a spin to the wheel. The animation is quick and students are randomly selected.

You can save the list of students by creating a free account.

The applause animation and sound can easily be turned off I you like, that takes a bit more time and I personally don’t need to celebrate every student’s turn.

Website: https://wheelofnames.com/

2. Classroomscreen

This free website offers a lot for your (online) lessons, including a random name generator, but also timers, work symbols and a sound level recorder.

I really like the way this website is set up. It is like a digital schoolboard that can easily be edited for various purposes.

The paid version allows for 50 name lists (instead of 3) and is not very expensive, but one could argue the added functionalities are also available on other websites for free.

Website: https://classroomscreen.com/

3. ClassDojo

My personal favourite and a piece of software I have used for years in my lessons.

With ClassDojo you do not just randomly select students, you can also reward them with points.

This way you can reward points for homework, paying attention or speaking English in class. You can change anything here.

It saves you from having to micromanage all of that data and allows for a nice overview at the end of a period of time to see how your class scored.

And the best thing: it increasese both motivation and student engagement.

The software is primarily targeting primary students, as students are represented by monster-like avatars.

But in my experience even 16-year-old students don’t mind and actually go through the trouble of redesigning their monsters…

All of the mentioned options are available for free, so there really is no reason not to use this, I think.

Website: https://www.classdojo.com/


What do you think, do any of these options work for your lesson?

Let me know if you have any more ideas below!

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