Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

sadie-barker

21st Century Learners

This is a hot phrase in education right now and there’s a lot of reference to “teaching 21st century learners” in the new common core standards being released this year. I could not adequately explain what this means to educators, but I’ve been thinking about the phrase myself a lot lately. We face this challenge every day as parents, and so do educators, whether they know what to call it or not.

Technology has drastically changed the way people communicate and relate to one another and even the way that they think.  Our children’s generation is being defined by it every single day and it’s an amazing process to watch, so very different from what we experienced at their same ages.

Several years ago, we were checking things off of my older son’s back-to-school supply list and I came across the word “flashdrive.”  I had never used one before and I had some questions before we made a purchase. I didn’t know, for example, whether they were Mac/PC specific.  My third grader did, obviously, and he was just as confused by my lack of understanding as I was at how he’d acquired his knowledge and experience.

Finally, in frustration, he said, “Why don’t you just buy me the same one you had to buy for third grade?”

No other question has been asked of me that made me feel quite as old as that one because the answer was, of course, that I hadn’t even had a computer in my household when I had been in third grade, let alone a need for a flashdrive.

When I tried to explain this, he was dumbfounded at the thought.  “How did you get online?” he finally fumbled.

“There was no line,” was my curt reply and we abruptly left Target empty-handed, my mind humming with the new reality that had just been brought so clearly into view.

As parents, we don’t have much of a need to inspire 21st century learning; it happens on its own whether we like it or not!

What does the phrase “21st century learner” mean to you in the context of your family?

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4 Comments on “21st Century Learners”

  • Louise Dixon October 10th, 2011 6:25 pm

    This reminds me of an encounter I had when my firstborn started algebra and I unearthed my slide rule to add to the pile of school supplies. Life is entertaining.

  • Sadie Barker October 11th, 2011 8:11 pm

    It sure is! I wonder how archaic my boys’ flashdrives will look to my grandkids…

  • Webmaster Ninja Pants | middleville May 31st, 2012 5:21 pm

    [...] once in a while, I have a major moment. When a flashdrive first showed up on the school supply list, for example, I wasn’t sure which one to buy. [...]

  • Kids@CanIHaveMyOwnAccountYet.com | JustKiddin September 24th, 2012 6:01 pm

    [...] they use to store, revise, and then submit all of their assignments and projects. Those cumbersome flashdrives that Ellis and his buddies used in fifth grade? So [...]

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