My 21st Century Literacy Course Academic Journey
I, Donald Truong, am a Cedar Ridge student who has taken a one of a kind course called the 21st Century Literacy Course. This is a unique course that incorporates two courses, Business and English, into one, in order to build on my existing literacy skills. Throughout these 13 weeks, I have learnt and used many different skills such as writing, reading, oral communication, media studies, and design software. (You can see all of my work throughout this course here: http://donaldtportfolio.blogspot.ca/)
Reflecting back on what I did this course, I think as a person, my creativity, organization, and disciplined mindset has helped me power through all of my assignments and projects efficiently and precisely. I think as a student my strengths were my writing and reading skills. I have been able to work on my presentation skills for my ethics project and summatives, since I was always lacking in my oral communication during my presentations.
Each one of our 13 weeks during our course had a specific theme such as; Getting on the Same Page, Leadership, Technology/Poetry, Project Management, Individualization, Curiosity, Organization, Design, Respect, Perspective/Point of View, Adaptation, Responsibility, Self Regulation, and Initiative. These themes helped us students focus our skillsets to one specific theme for that week and to hopefully improve them. Having these themes helped me practice certain skills and helped me improve as a learner since I was able to practice certain themes that I was lacking in such as individualism, adaptation, and perspective. I was often working with a certain two classmates of mine which often led to similar work. That week I tried working with other classmates and working alone which led to find my own style and unique voice and work. Adaptation is another theme that I found was really important. A couple times we had a change of plans which allowed me to adapt to these changes and find extra time to finish my other work. Finally, I worked on my perspective. This often tied in when we were learning about the presidential election. We often see media portray someone a certain way and it can shift your perspective. This is why I had to learn and see different perspectives to further my understanding and even come up with my own conclusion.
We participated in a Global Read Aloud Slow Chat about All American Boys as one of our units. This was a controversial book which tells a story of police brutality from the perspectives of two high school students which one of them, Rashad, a african-american teenager was savagely beaten by a local policeman who wrongly suspects him for shoplifting and assaulting a white woman. Quinn, a young white teenager, sees this brutal beating and originally pretends he didn’t. This unit really taught me a lot. We mainly communicated this unit through media. We would write tweets to publish in order to share our views and perspectives with other students around the world participating in this Global Read Aloud. We would also have discussions in between to share our thoughts and this specifically helped me reflect on what we just read. This easily corresponds with the theme of perspective and point of view since your perspective on the entire book can be different from mine and there is no distinct antagonist so it just really depends on your point of view.
Although we didn’t dedicate a full unit to presenting, we did work on our presentation skills throughout the course from our Poem Analysis, our Ethics Project, our King Lear Scene Study, and our Business Summative/Presentation. I think this correlated best with individualism due to the fact that many of our presentations were as individuals. I think I really improved as a oral communicator since I wasn’t very confident about my communication skills during my first two presentations. However I believe that after the King Lear Scene Study, I was able to turn it around especially during my summative presentation.
I am very thankful that I was able to participate in this magnificent course and for all the information and skills I was able to obtain from it. I have not only improved my weaknesses (oral communication), but I was also able to learn new things that I have never even learnt before such as critical thinking. I have always just hit the knowledge, comprehension, and application categories, even though I can further my learning my trying to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate. Overall this is a very unique course that I will be glad to take again any day in the future.