For the past several weeks, Slate and our readers have been working together to reimagine the school classroom for the 21st century. You've submitted scores of fascinating ideas for our crowdsourcing project, involving everything from outdoor classes to hexagonal rooms to better furniture. (Check them out here.) Now it's time for the next step: getting us all together in a room to trade ideas, brainstorm, and have some free drinks.
So I'm delighted to invite you to join us for a conversation at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8. Several really smart education thinkers—see below—will talk briefly about the challenges and opportunities in redesigning American classrooms. After that, we'll split up into groups and swaps ideas about fixing the classroom—ideas, and perhaps even actual plans, that we will publish and publicize on Slate. And then we'll break for food and cocktails, and you'll get a chance to meet fellow Slate readers, architects, educators, and students.
I hope to see you there. The full text of the invitation is below.
You're invited to join the conversation and help Slate design a better Classroom for the 21st century.
American students have spent enough time in uncomfortable, inflexible learning spaces. Slate is looking to reimagine the classroom for the 21st century, with the help of your great ideas.
While other institutions have adapted their physical spaces to reflect changes in the way they do business—think of museums—the classroom remains the same as it did a century ago: a rectangle filled with desks. New designs include a few nods to technology and the importance of sunlight, but true innovation is still hard to come by.
We're inviting you to join Slate and leading experts in the field for a conversation about what sorts of classrooms our students deserve—and a chance to share your own ideas. What might a 21st century classroom look like? What are the barriers to change? How can they be overcome?
David Plotz, Editor of Slate
Jim Shelton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education
David Ethan Greenberg, Founder of the Denver School of Science & Technology
Leanna Archambault, Assistant Professor at Arizona State University's College of Teacher Education & Leadership
Justin Cohen, President of the School Turnaround Strategy Group at Mass Insight