Of course, one big problem with the "radical center," etc. is that "moderate" tends to mean "whatever I believe." Another problem in terms of politics is that right now we have a lot of radicals on the right and a very fragmented left, so if you just pick a mid-point, you end up with something quite far to the right by historical standards. So now the "moderate" positions are things like accepting the premise that it is ok for the executive branch to ask corporations to break the law, reasonable for corporations to do so, and that those corporations deserve retroactive immunity for their illegal acts. Or that "moderates" accept that waterboarding is a reasonable middle ground on the question of torture
But, focusing in Doug's post on a "radical center" on ed-tech issues, let's just skim over the particular issues he mentions:
- reading methodologies - This has become weirdly aligned along a left/right axis in the US, but the right is way more rabid about it. How many Democrats who aren't elementary school teachers sit around talking about whole language and phonics? Not very many. How many Republicans are up in arms about it? A lot.
- filtering - The problem with the filtering debate is that it doesn't involve the people who are doing the filtering, nor does it seem to usually encompass the full range of legal issues that the people doing the filtering believe themselves to be addressing, nor does anyone seem to know how substantive those issues actually are.
- DRM - I'd say the centrist position is that DRM is a bad deal for schools. How does a school benefit from buying DRM-ed content? It doesn't. What will happen if they simply refuse to buy it? Look at the music business. They're giving up on DRM and giving consumers what they've wanted all along. It's not complicated, and it isn't a radical position.
- Open Source - Open source is not controversial or radical in the technology industry as a whole. It is a widely accepted, successful and often profitable model. Of course, you can take it to a radical extreme and demand that people only use open source software, but who is doing that other than Richard Stallman (who would, of course, phrase it a little differently) and a handful of geeks? There is not a single person with any power or influence in US education who makes that argument.
- copyright/copyleft - What's the current US copyright practice? Every creative expression by everyone is automatically copyrighted virtually in perpetuity. That's radical. Copyleft and Creative Commons licensing are built on the copyright system. They aren't in opposition to it, but they are an alternative available to creators. I think that's a moderate position. Who is against copyright entirely? More assertive fair use, perhaps. More sanity about things like photographing public spaces, sure. I'm personally in favor of restoring the "founders' copyright" as US law. I find it to be a very moderate position.
- constructivism - This one is enough of a definitional nightmare to just leave alone.
- e-books - This must be a librarian thing. I don't understand.
- fixed schedules - Another librarian thing? Certainly schedules are a point of contention in any school, but I'm not sure what the arguments about their "fixed-ness" are.
- Mac/PC/Linux - Ah, yes. Every veteran ed tech consultant's nightmare, having this religious war flaring up full strength again. Look, it is Microsoft that is the monopolist, Windows is the OS that doesn't play nice with others. Who has the weakest case for the next decade? Windows. If there is a rationale for remaining dependent on Windows going forward, I'd like to hear it. The moderate position is all of the above.
- OLPC - OLPC is so multi-faceted it is hard to pin down what one would address about it in this context.
- fear-mongering - There is not a moderate response to fear mongering! If you are "fear mongering" you are by definition wrong and should not be indulged.