SJSU Staff Member Forbidden To Talk With Students On His Podcast

Steve Sloan, Interactive Technology Consultant at San Jose State University, has been podcasting since November 2004 and blogging since at least October 2003. Steve writes about how Emerging Technology can, will, and should affect our traditional models of education. Steve is on the Cluetrain.

Steve’s Edupodder podcast has featured interviews with Photojournalism Prof. Dennis Dunleavy, Journalism Prof. Stephen Greene, and recently, Steve recorded a podcast with three students, myself included.

Apparently, Steve’s boss didn’t get his Cluetrain ticket punched, because Steve just posted the following message on his blogs, which I’m going to reprint in full:

I have been told (by my boss) that I can’t talk to students on my podcasts.
I am aghast.
I remember the great conversations I had with Robert Scoble when he was a student. We talked about technology and education and those conversations changed my life, my job and the role of computing in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at SJSU.
If in those early days we could have had a global conversation about how the world of education is changing, I can’t imagine not being able to include him just because he was a student. We have great students today that have important things to say who may be the next Scobles, and I have been told (by my boss) that I can’t talk to students on my podcasts, even if I do it on my own time using my own equipment and my own ISP.
I was thinking it might be good to get some students together to do a podcast about that. Oh yes, and we might want to talk about the First Amendment.

A reminder: Robert Scoble worked for Steve when he was an SJSU student.

I find it completely, 100% ridiculous that any bureaucratically-minded folks at this University would censor what their staff members write in their free time, or what they record, or share with the world. If Steve and I were at a picnic or bike ride together and he shot some video of the event and later posted it online, would the University forbid that? This is archaic stuff – no one has asked my opinion, or the opinion of any of the other students who Steve has talked with on his podcast, as far as I know. All I can imagine is some sort of legal fear is making Steve’s boss not want to answer for him. I’ll look into it further and post what I find here.

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