For those of you that read my post regarding Quizlet and RISDs implementation of it this post will give you a wry smile-or not; you might get annoyed considering the stakes. Considering I have several kids that are actively being damaged by RISDs continuing, active, deliberate, sneaky behavior I'm on the annoyed side.
This was a couple of weeks ago and they obviously have learned from being ensconced in academia. They have outsmarted me! Obviously seeing me for the dullard I am they stopped using Quizlet, the app that served up ads to my daughter and now they use Live Worksheet a web page that serves up ads to my daughter. And because they had me pegged as such a rube I guess they thought I wouldn't know and wouldn't question their clever sleight of hand. Gotta hand it to my betters.
So, today my wife logged on to my daughter's French class via Google Classroom and lo and behold-no Quizlet! That's great but my daughter's watching an ad for a video game instead of paying attention to French-hmmm So, how's that?
Live Worksheets is another 'Free' product that's not actually 'Free' it's only 'Free' if every student that uses it submits to the individual privacy policies of 198 advertising partners that place cookies on their ChromeBooks.
What's on these 198 individual and separate privacy polices? That's a great question--go here to learn for yourself if you dare. First thing I can tell you is that I've been working in IT in schools for over 20 years and it is INFINITELY DIFFICULT to figure out EXACTLY what kind of data they are gathering, how long they are keeping it, when they are gathering it, when they stop gathering it, how you can stop them from gathering it etc. INFINITELY DIFFICULT. They will tell you 9 ways to Sunday what they do not gather before they tell you what they do gather. And they won't tell you what they'll display to you or your kids either so on the whole the exercise will be somewhat dispiriting. I mean, if they were proud of what they were doing they'd tell you directly and clearly, right?
Who's the most straight forward? The Europeans because their laws are much more detailed than ours and while data may flow from individuals here in the United States it doesn't belong to individuals in the United States-it belongs to corporations.
There are performative opt out clauses here that do nothing but give cover to corporations because in this instance parents don't even KNOW about the use of the product. Don't even KNOW their kid is being used to fund RISDs desire to save a buck and fake education. When attention is attenuated with ads attention isn't being used on education. RISD knows that. They are using the students that parents unwarily send to them on a daily basis and degrading these student's ability to learn. They are hurting these students. These products aren't 'free' the cost is our student's attention and RISD doesn't seem to care.
I get it-I have no clue what I'm talking about-these ads are no problem-kids are exposed to ads all the time why not during the school day as well. Schools have tight budgets this is a way to provide more products to students.
Look, all of these arguments simply overlook that chipping away at our kid's ability to pay attention is wrong. It's wrong to on one hand ask a child to focus and then simultaneously make it more difficult. It's diabolical. And when they're in their 504s and all of the dewey eyed fake concern is trotted out with the wise chin stroking and somber suggestions of medication absolutely no one will mention 'free' software.