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What a 21st Century Education Means to You

The White House posed a question on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as part of the “Education in Focus” feature on Check out some interesting responses to the question: What Does a 21st Century education mean to you?

Earlier this week the White House posed a question on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as part of the “Education in Focus” feature on We asked “What Does a 21st Century education mean to you?”and you had some really interesting answers.

Here’s a sample of what our fans, followers and group members had to say:

From our Facebook fans:

Facebook user Kate Knott Stotler

Kate Knott Stotler Twenty first century education moves us out of the industrial-era, one-size-fits-all education model and acknowledges that all students are different, learn in different ways and at different speeds. Twenty first century education is focused on creating relevance to the real world into which students will enter. It teaches students how to think, not what to think. It establishes a two-way conversation between teachers and students. It draws on community resources to enhance the learning process. It employs technologies that students will use beyond the classroom. It encourages students to ask questions which continue their learning instead of settling for answers that stop it.

Facebook user Ellie Doble Slaven

Ellie Doble Slaven I think a 21st century education means that you give the students the tools needed to ALWAYS continue learning. They should have the fundamentals down pat, reading, writing and arithmetic. Education should be a life long pursuit and if you have a strong foundation, you can continue building all your life. And, if we hope to succeed as a country, we should give that opportunity to all, not just to those that can afford a quality education.

Facebook user Chris Hrobak

Chris Hrobak 21st century education means realizing that even 4th grade science classes translates into increased American competitiveness. Investing properly in education will bring some of the highest returns anyone, anywhere, could ever hope for.

Facebook user Courtney R. Unruh-Flores

Courtney R. Unruh-Flores A 21st Century education means that we look forward and create new ideas using new technologies rather than teaching the same way we have been teaching for the last 100 years. It means more than replacing the chalkboard with an interactive white board; it will take an entire shift of focus away from the 3 R's of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic and put that focus on a more holistic approach that educates the whole child and also makes sense in light of our global economy and world.

Facebook user Wyatt Nyman

Wyatt Nyman It means being able to afford college. I am a Junior in High school, and a student who is worried about tuition. I want to make something of myself, and i know in order to do that, i need to have a higher level education. The only thing that is holding me back now is being able to pay for it. I really liked the idea of community service in exchange for a free(or even cheaper) college education. If something like that is possible, it would be greatly appreciated by not only myself, but thousands of other high performing students who are inhibited by their financial restraints due to this recession. The two things that would be most beneficial to me are healthcare reform (not only in insurance agencies, but also in the hospitals as well), and an affordable education to be able to compete in the business world.

From our Twitter followers:

Twitter user KelleyCalvert

KelleyCalvert: @whitehouse a 21st century education equips the mind with an enormous capacity to adapt, create, and engage the world compassionately.

Twitter user ChadKafka

chadkafka:@whitehouse 21stCenturyEd=students having skills, tools, & knowledge to be competitive in global economy. Create-Communicate-Collaborate.

Twitter user JennNelson

jenn_nelson:@whitehouse 21st Century Education: individualized, continuous, adaptable, multi-sensory, active, current, applied, rigorous, self-motivated

Twitter user BarbInNebraska

BarbInNebraska:@whitehouse as a teacher, I want my students to easily be able to create, collaborate, and communicate their ideas using technology.


From LinkedIn:

Jodi Diderrich: Aside from the usual subjects and the need to further expand our techology, math, and science programs, we need to be teaching our students about creating balance. Both in life and in business, many of our citizens just don't understand that they are not only capable of creating balance, but must do so in order to live well. It is the balance of personal life with job life, of eating with activity, of giving with taking that creates a healthy human being. In the same way, it is the balance of risk taking with building a financial cushion in business affairs that prevents one difficulty from destroying a person's financial security. Being moral, honest, and fair would be so much easier to do if people felt they'd been given the tools in their youth to survive the hard times and to enjoy the times of abundance with an eye on both the present and the future.

Thanks for participating -- keep reading the blog and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for upcoming questions.

(Updated to include the second sentence of @chadkafka's tweet that was inadvertently omitted.)