A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.


Podcasting is fun. You should try it. I did, and I like it. My name is Kyle, and I’m a podcaster. (“Hi, Kyle.” Go ahead and say it out loud.)

Welcome to the first episode of Plugs, Play, Pedagogy! I’m writing this post to introduce you to the show, to let you know how to listen to it, and to give you some info on the first episode. That sounds like a lot, but you can handle it. You’re great.

Here’s the short version: Plugs, Play, Pedagogy is a playful show, released monthly, that explores the art and craft of teaching rhetoric and writing, with a special focus on digital and multimodal pedagogies. I’ll interview teachers, survey recent scholarship, wrestle with thorny problems, and praise successful programs and individuals.

Though I’m the creator/producer/voice/dreamer behind the show, I can only manage it because of my association with Writing Commons and KairosCast. Think of them as the organizations I turn to for help, ideas, and mad-awesome distribution power.

That spirit of collaboration matters a lot a lot to me; I want to include as many ideas and voices as possible here. That means you should think of me and this show if 1) you did something awesome (or tragically un-awesome) in any of your classes, 2) if you can point me to someone else who did, 3) if you have a particular part of pedagogical theory/praxis that you think ought to be talked about more, 4) if you love a recent article or book that you think ought to be praised out loud, 5) anything else.

One episode in, I’ve already asked like everyone I know to submit clips, ideas, and interviews--and one day, I’ll come for you. If you want in on the fun, contact me! I’m at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at @kstedman on Twitter.

How to Listen

You have a few options:

Episode 1: Setting Up Class

The first 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 andFrankenstein.
  • 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 athttp://heycactus.weebly.com. 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.