Thursday, December 3, 2009

Andrea's social media transgressions: Cloud computing

When we last left Andrea, our ideal university social media educator, she was attracting attention from her university's Office of Legal Affairs. She'd violated a whole host of policies in her efforts to do her job in a more effective way. Her main transgression is her student centric approach to learning. She believes that learning is a social process, and as a person charged with facilitating that learning she goes to the learners rather than expecting them to come to her.

To go to the students requires that she use cloud services. She uses Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, GMail, GChat, Wave, YouTube, Slideshare, Facebook, foursquare (I'm in the Student Union grabbing some coffee if you'd like to stop by and chat)... This is all most excellent. She is accessible. This is what makes her the ideal social media educator. Except that none of this is allowed by her university.

What policy has she violated? She is not allowed to use any of these third-party cloud services in the execution of her job:
...a potential user of a cloud service provider must check with the office of the CIO to see if a contract with that service already exists, as executing a click‐thru effectively implies a contract, in violation of University policy.
Of course, Andrea had no idea that she'd violated a university policy, and this is just the start of things. She's violated several more as well.

(to be continued...)


Bud Gibson said...

Well, you're hitting on what I think is the biggest drawback to the university as institution is its attempts to regulate the mode of interaction. As a faculty, I think your one solution is simply to break the rules while simultaneously developing a negotiating position that makes it impossible to fire you.

In other words, Andrea's only realistic solution is to be a little ballsy.

Kevin Gamble said...

I agree. I'm going to save some of my summary comments for the last post in the series. Ignoring is the only option someone has though. We get into all of those issues of reputation management, and no faculty member can afford to ignore those issues.