One of the things that has drawn me to the particular collection of educators whom I follow on Twitter is that they have a passion for helping students learn better. Over the last couple of years, I have heard and participated in a lot of conversations about so-​called “21st century” learning, education, teaching, etc. There seem to be a lot of assumptions about what this means.

We have the Parternship for 21st Century Skills, of course, but this seems to be only one dimension of what many talk about when they mention 21st century education.

I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my head around it, so to get some help from my colleagues and compile all of the various thoughts and ideas about the concept into one place, I’ve put together a Google document called “Compare & Contrast 20th/​21st Century Education”. OK, not a spectacular title, I admit. But I thought that if we could generate a list of how modern education can, should, or does differ from the “old way” of doing things, maybe that would help me get a better handle on it. And if it helps some other people in the process, so much the better.

To take it to another level, Kim Printz (@paperwerksart on Twitter) asked me this tonight:

@geraldaungst i’m loving the conversation. but where does this go? who would this document go to, for example? our system is STUCK!Sun Aug 01 02:04:49 via web

So I’ve added a section at the bottom of the document to share ideas about what to do with this list. Where should it go? How can we use it to impact schools and students? Come join both parts of the conversation, and add your thoughts to the list. Then take the list and share it with someone: a colleague, a parent, a principal. In the end, what matters most is not how we define 21st century education, but how we apply it to help students learn.