I honestly started thinking about this after I saw some attacks on two of my favorite ed tech companies Remind and Class Dojo. Basically, I don't remember where I saw it, but it revolved around a concern with student privacy and student data. Folks are concerned both of these companies sell student data, and frankly I think that is an extreme view. Both of these companies have it written in their policies that they don't sell student data. Even if they did (which they don't), you could set most of this up where the company actually gets very little student data. Dojo could be done without any student data, while the only thing Remind has is a phone number. Really, it also all comes down to the principal of "What are we really teaching our kids about online safety by preventing tools like these?" I would much rather my own children learn and grow through online avenues that are safe then ones that are not. It also means that if this is a huge concern we should be targeting Google first since they are the ones who add advertisement based on the places we visit,
Another example of our school extremes culture is the constantly shifting theory and resources of districts, states, and even the federal government. As a teacher, our professional learning has become find what you need on your own and try to make the newest theory or initiative fit in with it. With educators and schools constantly being attacked, it means the newest greatest theory or initiative is always just around the corner. For teachers, that means if we don't like the theory we can just wait it out, and it becomes just another hoop we jump through. Why can't schools stay with something and let it play out? Why can't we personalize learning and theories to a teachers strengths?
There are many other examples of this culture of extremes. Obviously, our testing culture for sure fits this category to. Really, if you trace it back to its roots it goes hand in hand with our political climate of extremes, and that leads into the biggest problem with American schools.....the constant legislative meddling..