theodp writes "While going about my day,' writes Slate's Linda Perlstein, 'I sometimes engage in a mental exercise I call the Laura Ingalls Test. What would Laura Ingalls, prairie girl, make of this freeway interchange? This Target? This cell phone? Some modern institutions would probably be unrecognizable at first glance to a visitor from the 19th century: a hospital, an Apple store, a yoga studio. But take Laura Ingalls to the nearest fifth-grade classroom, and she wouldn't hesitate to say, "Oh! A school!"' Very little about the American classroom has changed since Laura Ingalls sat in one more than a century ago, laments Perlstein, echoing a similar rant against old-school schooling by SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. Slate has launched a crowdsourcing project on the 21st-century classroom, asking readers to design a fifth-grade classroom that takes advantage of all that we have learned since Laura Ingalls' day about teaching, learning, and technology."
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