No Hands
Random Student Selector

What Is 'No Hands'?
'No Hands' random student selector is a small windows utility that randomly selects a Name from a class list. It is based on the idea that by randomly selecting pupils to answer questions, students feel more comfortable in answering teachers questions, and all students are more attentive as anyone in the class may be asked the next question.

In practice, students love this quick and fair way of student selection, and teachers can never be accused of favouritism or picking on a student too frequently.

'No Hands' is particularly suited to use with a smart-board as the application can be loaded with many class lists (consisting of a list of names and times when the class is taught) positioned and locked on the smart-board. Then whenever you need to select a pupil, run the application and a student for the current class will be selected. Click again and another student will be picked. You can optionally lock the utility to the screen so that the little darlings don't close it when your back is turned, and you can make it sit on-top of your other windows. There is also a manual override for the automatic class selection.

Screen shots of the appliction running in 'Normal' and 'Locked' mode;

'No Hands' is a proven solution to a common classroom problem found in both primary and secondary schools. The utility already has an ever expanding user base, and I know from my own experience, that it is a great teaching tool to have in any classroom. Hope you like :)

Where Can I Get 'No Hands' And How Much Does It Cost?
The 'No Hands' utility is available here and is currently free of charge. It is to be used completely at your own risk, and by downloading and running the utility you are accepting these terms of use. If you have a version that has expired, then come back here to get the most up to date version available.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there any more information?
A: More information about how to use and configure the utility may be found in the 'ReadMe.txt' file contained within the zipped download.

Q: What is the best way to run the utility?
A: It's best to save the 'No Hands' utility and your configuration file into a folder in your work area. Then create a link/shortcut to the utility, and place this on your Desktop so that it is readily available. (To create a shortcut, right click on the 'No Hands.exe' file, select 'Copy', then on your Desktop, right click, select 'Paste shortcut'.) If you want to run the utility from within a Power-Point presentation, Word Document or Smart Board Environment, first create a shortcut to the utility, then embed the shortcut into your document.

Q: The utility is great, but I need an iOS version?
A: There is currently no iOS version (or any other OS version) of the utility, nor are there any plans at the moment to produce one. If you are a MAC user then I am sure you are already well used to this trade-off situation, sorry.

Q: I have a question not covered by any of the info on this page?
A: The utility only does what it currently does. If you are having trouble getting it working then review the 'ReadMe.txt' file, or ask a helpful technician for some assistance. If you still have a problem then as a last resort you may email me with your question, however if I think your question is already covered in this page or the 'ReadMe.txt' file then I probably won't get back to you. If it's not already covered then I will add it to this page and email you back.

Q: I would like to suggest an improvement, what should I do?
A: Please feel free to suggest any improvements or provide feedback/comments of your experiences with the utility (by email). At some point I may update the utility and I already have many ideas as to how the utility can be improved, however this takes many man hours and time is something I don't have a great deal of at the moment!

Q: Some students seem to get selected more frequently than others, why isn't student selection completely random?
A: Well, that is exactly the point i.e. a random selection is exactly that - any Student can be the next student to be selected. Randomness does not mean that there won't be any repeats or patterns in the selection of students - see the cartoon here. This application is so effective for exactly this reason i.e. after a student has been selected, they cannot go back to sleep as they may be selected again, at random. The exception to this is that, in my own experience some students felt that the computer was picking on them, as a result of this, a 'no repeat' algorithm was implemented to ensure that at least two other students are selected before a student can be reselected. In this respect, student selection is no longer truly random!

Q: Can the utility make sure that once a student has been selected, that they will not be selected again until everybody else has had a go?
A: In short no, because students are selected at random. If a student knew that once they had been selected, they would not be selected again until everyone else had had a go, they might be tempted to just go to sleep in the corner. This 'lack' of functionality is therefore by design.

Q: Can I use my slideshow remote clicker or some other hardware to select another student?
A: Yes, once the utility is running, you can use any hardware that can be configured to generate a key press (actually a virtual-key press), to select another student. This can be a system wide key press, or just when the application has focus. There are a number of options that can be configured to suit your hardware and how you want to use it. See the configuration file (Key Hook section) for more information about how to use this facility.

Q: I think that this utility is fantastic and want to give you something really expensive as a token of my appreciation. Can I do this?
A: Yes you can! Alternatively if you would just like to drop me an email with some of your experiences when using this utility, then that would also be appreciated. I may get around to adding user experiences to this web page, and if I do, then please be assured that I will not publish any personal info, email addresses etc - just the gist of your experiences. - Hands - T J Hyde