University’s Social-Media Policy Draws Cries of Censorship

I came across this article that discusses Sam Houston University’s Social Universe portal and its social media policy.  The article focuses on the perhaps heavy-handed policy requiring that everyone who has a campus-related social media account to provide the university with editing privileges.  It’s certainly an interesting question to ponder.  If you have an account that features the university name or banner, then is it unreasonable for that university to exercise some control over what is posted?  I don’t think it’s as simple a question of free speech.  I can’t comment on U.S. laws, but we certainly have very strong rights to freedom of expression in Canada; I think the problem is that some people equate freedom of speech with a lack of responsibility.  I may have the freedom to say what I want, but I must be prepared to accept the consequences of what I say.  In the case of accounts related to a University, would the University be liable for comments or posts that violate the law, e.g., in the cases of inciting hatred or violence, or defamation of character? If I am posting something as an employee of the University (as is the case, for example, for our School-related blog, Twitter, and Facebook feeds), then is it reasonable for the University to exercise the right to monitor and moderate content?

I am intrigued by the concept of this portal; I think it’s a very good way of bringing together the various social media outlets that the University employs.  It highlights also the increasing importance of having clearly-stated social media policies.

The 35 Most Amazing Libraries In The World

Many of these libraries are going on my bucket list; I’ve been fortunate to have visited some of them already, and the remainder are certainly worth a visit.  It’s good to see two Canadian libraries listed.  It’s possible that the new Central Library for the Halifax Public Library will make such a list in future; it’s certainly an impressive architectural design, and I can’t wait to visit it once it’s open:

OpenClass

Pearson and Google have announced a joint partnership to launch a fee learning management system. The article states that  OpenClass is “a free LMS that combines standard course-management tools with advanced social networking and community-building, and an open architecture that allows instructors to import whatever material they want, from e-books to YouTube videos. ”

The integration of OpenClass with Google apps intrigues me.  Rather than log in to a separate LMS, I could access OpenClass via my iGoogle account, in the same way that I can access my gmail, Google maps, Google docs, etc., via one interface.  The social networking aspects are important, too, since our existing LMS is limited in this regard. Some areas of concern, particularly in Nova Scotia, where we are bound my privacy legislation when it comes to information being stored on U.S. servers, is where class and student information will be stored.  It’s certainly something worth exploring, however, especially since students may find it more accessible and appealing.