With a series of small beeps from a spiky globe 50 years ago today, the world shrank--and humanity's view of Earth and the cosmos expanded. Education, too, was forever changed--from an initial push to improve math, science, and technology education (echoes of which can be heard again today), to the ability of schools to reach students across the globe.

Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was launched by the Soviets and circled the globe Oct. 4, 1957. The Space Age was born. And what followed were changes to everyday life that people now take for granted.

How we teach in many classrooms, what

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