Is it appropriate for a college student to blog and twitter about a class she’s taking?
The professor conducting the class in question at New York University says no.
Not surprisingly, Quigley was not happy with the story and was upset that Taylor had not sought permission to write her first-person report about the class, and told Taylor it was an invasion of privacy to other students in the class. By Taylor’s account, Quigley had a one-on-one meeting with Taylor to discuss the article, and Quigley made it clear that Taylor was not to blog, Twitter or write about the class again. That was upsetting to Taylor, who had been planning a follow-up report for MediaShift that would include Quigley’s viewpoint and interviews with faculty.
Ironically enough, the course is called “Reporting Gen Y” and is in NYU’s School of Journalism.
Mark Glaser, who writes the MediaShift blog (part of the Public Broadcasting System web site) decided to dig deeper into the professor’s concerns and the school’s policies dealing with this issue.
He quickly found that the school has no policy because they leave such things up to each teacher and the legal aspects of blogging from inside the classroom are not much clearer.
The whole story is a very interesting example of the conflict between the trend to make the operation of institutions like schools more transparent and the desire on the part of many teachers and administrators to keep them closed.
So, if you’re a teacher, would you want a student to be reporting on what goes on inside your classroom?
The question is relevant even if you teach in K12 and not college, because the issue is coming to your school very soon, if it hasn’t arrived already.
Probably one more reason why educators should be proactive and write their own public reports on their classroom practice as a balance to what students will be posting.