Should students be allowed to blog about what goes on in the classroom?

Duh... of course they should.  It's about time!

Alana Taylor, who hopefully will be joining me on a panel at the next SXSW if it gets approved, recently blogged about a class she was taking at NYU with Prof. Mary Quigley as part of a project for the PBS MediaShift blog.  (The comments on that post are interesting...)  Her post wasn't exactly flattering to her professor, which prompted her to ban Alana from blogging or Twittering about the class again--and then backtrack on that, obviously realizing that she taught at NYU, which is supposed to be on the side of protecting, not snuffing out, freedom of speech.

The ironic part of this story was that the class was about Generation Y and new media.  While the professor taught about blogging, it seems she never actually expected the students in the class to go out and blog themselves.  The professor's reaction was remenicent of an old school mainstream media company--attack the consumer first, stand behind the letter of the law, and then back off to a more reasonable position.  This professor told Alana that she had violated privacy rights by blogging about the classroom activities.

Check out the full story here.

Personally, I can't even imagine telling a student they couldn't blog, tweet, or videotape any of my lectures.  Why?  If I feel confident in what I'm teaching, I should be excited about the idea of opening up my content to the world for feedback, idea generation, critique, etc.  I'd certainly be excited that my students would be using new media tools and working on PBS projects.

If I were Prof. Quigley, I'd work with Alana to figure out how to use all these social media tools to really make the most out of the class.  How about reaching out to other students outside of the classroom through blogs and video, or creating a class wiki and blog whereby lots of people could participate with their own knowledge and feedback.  Perhaps Prof. Quigley would get it if she started blogging and Twittering herself.

Thoughts?   Any teachers want to defend the idea of the closed classroom?