Should You Live Blog/Twitter A College Class?
from the questions-of-a-new-age dept
It’s quite common these days for people to “live blog” or “live Twitter” different conferences or events they’re attending, filling in others what’s happening in near real time. However, what happens when someone does that in a college class? Already, there are some professors struggling with the fact that students use the internet during class, but they’re not at all happy about the idea that they might not just be using the internet to surf around — but to report to others what’s happening inside the classroom. The issue is discussed in detail by Mark Glaser in his latest MediaShift column after an NYU professor told her students to stop blogging or Twittering things about her class.
The controversy apparently began when a student in the class actually wrote a guest “embedded” column for MediaShift a few weeks ago, complaining that NYU’s journalism school wasn’t up-to-date on teaching students about social media and the new tools of journalism. The professor in the class she talked about wasn’t particularly happy about the article, which was then discussed in the class itself (very meta). According to students in the class (and the author of the original piece), the professor made it clear that they were no longer to blog, text or Twitter about the class, or to quote the professor without permission. Considering the class itself is called ?Reporting Gen Y,” that seemed like an odd restriction.
The professor differs on what she told the students, saying that she only meant they couldn’t blog or Twitter during the class, but were free to afterwards. However, she stood by the comment that she shouldn’t be quoted without permission. Glaser investigates the legality of this, and how it fits with NYU’s journalism standards. That said, it is a little odd that it’s perfectly fine to quote or blog about conferences or other events, but once you’re in the classroom, a cloak of silence is expected. To some extent, this sounds like it may just be a generational issue. Perhaps it’s the actual Gen Y’ers who should be teaching the class on Reporting Gen Y.