Plugs, Play, Pedagogy

Plugs, Play, Pedagogy

Teaching writing and rhetoric in the 21st century

Setting Up Class

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Plugs, Play, Pedagogy

Episode 1: Setting Up Class

Produced and recorded by Kyle Stedman (; @kstedman), assistant professor of English at Rockford University, in cooperation with KairosCast and Writing Commons.

Today's episode is focused on how instructors set up for class, especially how they use digital tools and spaces.

First, we hear from four people from Old Dominion University telling stories of failures when setting up class:

  • Shelley Rodrigo (@rrodrigo) reminds us of the importance of using target=blank in her html code on Blackboard.
  • Sarah Spangler (@sarah_spangler) emphasizes the importance of user-experience testing with sites we make for students.
  • Megan Mize (@MerryQuinn) tells a story of a class that attempted to use Twitter to build community but that left students feeling disconnected.
  • Dan Richards (@dprichards) and I spoke for a while about his failed experiment to use Blackboard forums to build community.

Next, we hear from four instructors who share successes:

  • Samuel Stinson from Ohio University (@stinssd) reminds us of the importance of group ethos in both online and face-to-face spaces.
  • Jennifer Hewerdine from Southern Illinois University--Carbondale (@Hewerdine) emphasizes the importance of teaching digital genres that students are already familiar with.
  • Elizabeth Gianfrancisco from Myron B. Thompson Academy describes a switch from Moodle to Canvas, mentions Google Docs and Voice Thread, and praises a student activity involving MineCraft and Frankenstein.
  • Colin Charlton from the University of Texas PanAmerican (his blog & the journal he co-edits, CrossPol) is using iBooks and Wix sites in all kinds of creative ways.

Our theme music is by Cactus May at Ohio University; check out his work at You also heard two amazing tracks from OverClocked ReMix: AMT and Neblix, "Light Your Way" and Disco Dan, "Blue Lightning."

UPDATE: A transcript for this episode is now available, which includes links to all sound effects used.


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About this podcast

A playful, collaborative, monthly podcast on teaching writing and rhetoric in the 21st century

Hosted by Kyle Stedman, Rockford University

Also available on Stitcher ( and iTunes (

by Kyle Stedman


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