Cole Wehrle's blog

Truth Baiting

Russians living in Ukraine

Earlier this semester I wrote a post which ruminated on the pedagogic possibilities of Google Docs. I’ve been experimenting with the platform for about a year now and have found the possibilities vast but the actual activities mostly chaotic. Of course, classrooms need a little chaos, and it’s often an environment worth courting. (For more on that first experience, you can check out my earlier post here).

Serious Games

Picture from the first edition of Dorra's Intrigue

Last year I wrote a blog entry on games in the classroom.  The general guist of the piece went something like this: teaching practices, especially the implementation of classroom games, seems to have stalled since the fast and loose days of Hangman and other such earth shattering innovations.  This is all especially odd because games, as a field of thought, are undergoing something of a renaissance right now—and I’m not just talking about narrative advances and new, more immersive interfaces.

Collaboration and Chaos

Text reading collaboration in chaos in a GoogleDoc

As long as I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in one of the DWRL class rooms I’ve flirted with the idea of using Google Docs in a classroom setting.  In-class writing assignments are certainly nothing new, but Google Docs made it possible to transform what was a space for quiet reflection into one that demanded open collaboration.

Thank You, Mr. Putin

Andy Warhol-style grid of four Putins

When I talk to fellow teachers about students in Rhetoric 306, the complaint is curiously uniform:  students struggle with limiting their engagement with a source to the level of rhetoric. Though the distinction between a particular argument and the subject of that argument can seem perfectly clear to teachers in the field, it’s a divide that continues to puzzle students, sometimes deep into a semester.

Social Writing: Done with the One-on-One

Image of journalists in the Radio-Canada/CBC newsroom in Montreal, Canada

It’s been a few months since we had Criterion co-founder and innovator extraordinaire, Bob Stein, on campus, and since his visit I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the things he had the say. For those of you who missed it, Stein was showcasing a few new projects related to the future of the book, centered on the idea of social reading (you can hear Zeugma’s great interview with him here.

Incentives, Focus, and Games

Black and white game pieces on a wooden board

Most teachers who allow laptops in the classroom regret their choice shortly afterwards.  Though students are always initially thankful and attentive, soon their eyes begin to wander to the screen.  At first they play little games.  Maybe they can have both MSWord and Wikipedia open at the same time, but maybe teacher will notice all that clicking and dragging so the reorganization goes unfinished and their browser sits blank, right next to whatever notes they are trying to compose.  It’s not long before they start wondering if you will notice them.&nbs


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All materials posted to this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We invite you to use and remix these materials, but please give credit where credit is due. In addition, we encourage you to comment on your experiments with and adaptations of these plans so that others may benefit from your experiences.


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