Classroom Improvements: Including a Random Group Generator

Putting students into groups can sometimes be a tricky endeavor for even the best of teachers. How can you tell which students will work best together? What do you do when one of the groups doesn’t seem to have any chemistry? What if you’re playing favorites with students who naturally seem to gravitate toward one another? It’s important that students are allowed to interact with one another and possibly forge new social interactions that they wouldn’t normally explore outside of their standard groups. 

The National Parent Teacher Association tackles subjects like this every year, helping teachers know the latest technologies that might help them with a common problem such as pairing students into groups. Teachers don’t just have to rely on this organization for tips, though. There is a flood of new technology that is meant to give teachers a better idea of how to encourage interaction in the classroom.

Group projects that require extensive classroom discussion often benefit from programs found at sites like ClassDojo. For the above example of group projects, they have a program like Group Maker (see this). This program helps students select students at random to participate in groups. What exactly does this solve?

Well, first of all it helps teachers let students know that they’re in charge and that the groups will be selected randomly. This discourages things like manipulation of the teacher to put only people who are already friends into groups. By allowing the teacher to select groups at random, students no longer have any power to influence who is or is not in groups. That’s one goal down.

The second thing this does is help teachers encourage interaction among students who might not normally interact. Some students would work very well together if they were placed in groups with one another, but if a teacher picks out the groups on their own, they might not put these certain students together. Also, variety is the spice of life as they say, and by selecting groups at random, students are able to be put into groups with many other different students over the course of the school year, thus allowing them to get maximum interaction with all students.

This is but one example of the types of programs that are making life easier for teachers in this modern era. Technology and education are natural companions. Technology helps educators provide better learning experiences for students, and educators themselves help to give feedback and improve the quality of the programs that help make for better learning. It’s important for teachers to have these programs and it’s important for students as well. With a random group generator, everything becomes a much more simple process for everyone. This type of effortless selection of group projects benefits everyone in the classroom and it’s one of the many reasons that teachers are now using these group generators to give students more chance to interact with different kinds of peers.

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