Friday, 2 December 2016

My 21st Century Literacy Course Academic Journey

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.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

How much will Ottawa change 10 years from now?

21st Century Literacy
Google Forms Survey Report
How much will Ottawa change 10 years from now?

Station2_slide.jpg

Introduction

In my survey, I asked and examined all of my respondents on their knowledge of Ottawa’s upcoming changes. Throughout my survey I asked questions of their existing knowledge of this topic then further questioned their opinions on the changes. With the data I collected on my form/spreadsheet, I found many similar responses with only a few different differing.

Questions

I asked many opinionated questions such as: “In your own words describe how you think Ottawa will change in the future years and if it is for the better.” Also with that, I asked a knowledge based question such as: “Which one of these future Ottawa construction projects do you know about?” I tried to forward my questions to more opinion based questions due to the fact that some might see the change in Ottawa as insignificant but many would differ. I could see that some really didn’t know much about this topic, possibly because they were from outside of Ottawa.
Results
As my first question, I asked: “In your own words describe how you think Ottawa will change in the future years and if it is for the better. ” Many felt that Ottawa has it’s responsibility to develop in technology especially as the capital. One of the responses that really intrigued me from this question was: “As the capital of Canada, I think Ottawa has to play a major role in investing in new technologies to improve the city. Honestly I am not sure if this will affect ottawa for the better or not.”

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.01.50 AM.pngThe second division of responses that really showcased their thoughts on Ottawa’s changes was when I asked how substantial the change would be. Surprisingly, 100% of them agreed on number 3 on the scale which is that there would be moderate change. Not too many differences, but just enough to notice that ottawa is developing.

Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.01.39 AM.pngOne major thing that Ottawa is hyping up quite a bit is the 2017 celebrations. This includes sporting events, new construction projects, and many celebrations. When asked about these things on my survey, the majority felt that these things were for the better of Ottawa and the remaining few weren’t sure.

Final Responses:
Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 11.04.21 AM.png
Conclusion
Overall I really related to many of the answers that I received. I drew a conclusion that the majority of people are really looking forward to the changes and think that they are for the better. One comment said “I believe that Ottawa will change for the better. It will change from a city to a community.” This is one thing that I think Ottawa is trying to do with all their upcoming events and projects. I feel that Ottawa is really developing for the better and truly representing Ottawa, the capital of Canada.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tragically Hip Essay

Gord Downie Cemented His Legacy for Centuries?


Unforgotten legacies are made by people such Gord Downie who place an extensive mark on the world. Gord Downie will go down as the man that led The Tragically Hip, the man who inspired others, the man who was involved in environmental movements, and someone who impacted many lives. Downie’s legacy has gone from music, to inspiration, to even bringing awareness to this rare cancer of Glioblastoma Multiforme. Even in his difficult situation, he still managed to be brave and strong enough and to perform for his final tour with The Tragically Hip.


Gord Downie is a living inspiration to many. He’s able to inspire others through his performances, lyrics, and speeches. Future generations will view Gord Downie a kind hearted leader. When he isn’t writing songs or performing he would spend his time being involved with environmental movements, usually issues involving water rights. As a board member of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, he assisted a cause to prevent a cement company from igniting tires for fuel. Adding on to that, Gord has, throughout his life, been part of a music club called the Swim Drink Music Club, a club to bring artists and environmentalists together.


Gord Downie will leave us a legacy of strength, bravery, and kindness. Throughout his lifetime he has accomplished so much with The Tragically Hip and alone. Him and his “brothers” (The Tragically Hip) have won 14 juno awards and have been nominated many times as well. Even under his current circumstances, he’s still creating change through his movement to bring awareness to this rare cancer he’s battling, called Glioblastoma multiforme. Gord Downie has even started a fundraiser to help research for brain cancer and other disorders. Right up to the end he’s helping for the good of the world to hopefully find a game-changing breakthrough for treatments of neurological disorders, including cancer.


“I go for it; I sing, I dance, I listen to this great band, I do what music urges.” -Gord Downie. This quote is a representation of Gord Downie’s passion for singing, dancing and the general arts. He works hard with the band and does his best to positively impact the world of music. Downie’s persona while performing onstage often involves talking in tongues and blending in bits of poetry. Downie has said that he never holds back and always commits when it comes to music and performing. He has clearly demonstrated that he doesn’t hold back during his final concert in Kingston when he bursted in tears singing Grace, too.
Gord Downie will leave behind a vast legacy of assisting and inspiring others. He has even impacted our class where we are studying and researching his music. This proves that if you live a life of inspiring others and impacting others right up to the very end, you will be remembered for centuries and leave behind a legacy that will forever be remembered, not just by canadians, but by many others around the world.


Bibliography
By. "'It's Unbelievable': Gord Downie's Oncologist on the Hip Singer's Progress and How Going Public Could save Lives." CBC Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Nurun.com. "Downie's Legacy More than Music." The Kingston Whig-Standard. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
"Gord Downie." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Campbell, Will. "Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip: A Timeline of the Iconic Canadian Band." Global News Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip A Timeline of the Iconic Canadian Band. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
By. "26 Gord Downie Quotes That Will Inspire You." CBC Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Workopolis, Author. "Courage: Inspiring Words from Gord Downie - Workopolis." Workopolis. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

5 Reason Why I Love The Arts

The Arts

The arts are an outlet of expression for many, where they can perform, create, and display. There are many forms of art such as literary arts which include writing novels, short stories, poems etc. Another category would be performing arts which include music, dance, theatre etc. There are also visual arts which has a variety of drawing, painting, sculpting. Last but not least there are media marts which involve things like photography, filmmaking, graphic designing, video game designing etc.


1: Expressing Yourself
I love being able to express myself and for me, I do that through playing instruments such as the piano and drums. It’s quite obvious that you can express yourself through the arts much better than doing some math or science. A bonus to arts like acting and playing an instrument is that is when you’re angry, you can really, I mean really express it.


2: Creativity
The arts develops a willingness to explore and create things has haven’t existed before. I personally love taking pictures, videos, and graphic designing but all of this needs creativity. You won’t be able to create anything new if you can’t be creative and think outside the box. Coming up with a new idea every time you want to take a photo or every time you want to write a script is difficult, but if you use your creativity and be innovative, you will be able to find a new and improved ways of doing things.


3: Learning Benefits
Statistically, teens who study music and play instruments have a better development of speech and it trains them to focus their attention for sustained periods due to the fact of having to memorise and play lengthy pieces. When you struggle with a painting or singing or learning how to play a song, focus really kicks in and is vital in real life situations for studying and even doing a job well later in life. Throughout my time of doing arts like music and film, you really do fail a lot and at times you really get frustrated but that’s where you persevere. Filmmaking has taught me that if the shoot doesn’t go right, doesn't me you fail, it just means you learn from it and improve it the next time.


4: It’s Fun
When I make a video or a short film, it puts me in this world where nothing else matters, the story is going on, and I just create and have fun. Do you remember that feeling when you were little and spent all day daydreaming and imagining? For me that’s what filmmaking and the arts in general is. It takes you out of this world and anything can go your way. For example, the effects in Star Wars was really mind blowing when I was younger, but now as I’ve learnt how to do it, it really feels like an accomplishment and makes you want to make more films. This is a big reason why the arts also help you with motivation.


5: The Arts are Eternal
Creativity and self-expression have always been apart of humanity stemming from the earliest creative expressions of petroglyphs, cave paintings, and ancient sculptures. One of the first things kids do is draw, paint, and use their imaginations to play. The arts change and develop throughout the years but they will never stop being practiced or learnt.



This is why the arts are good for not just kids but for everyone to learn.







Photo: http://bergenschoolofthearts.com/after-school-fine-arts-club/
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPk56BR1Cmk

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Hilary's Evaluation

To Hilary:
I felt that you were overall able to express your ideas while being able to respectfully debate against Donald. You were actively listening during the debate but also able to contradict what Donald was saying at the right times as well.
Next time, you should keep actively listening but instead of putting on a comical face, you should try and keep a more serious but attentive face on. I’m not sure what your little shoulder shrug was supposed to mean but next time try to keep your nonverbal cues more professional. You spoke somewhat well but at times you did stumble with your words. Donald did give you a hard time due to the fact that he interrupted you 28 times in total throughout the debate.You did a great job to show speaking strategies and you were able to exhibit sensitivity to cultural differences especially when the topic of Iraq rose.


Summary:
I felt that Hilary’s debating strategies are quite similar to mine for example . I felt that if I were in her situation I would explode in anger because of all times Donald interrupted her. I learnt that you have to keep your cool even if someone is interrupting you.
Overall I think that Hilary was able to respond effectively to different topics that Donald brought up such as the private emails. She did a great job responding and conversing throughout the debate and with that she was able to stand up for her thoughts and debated quite well.


Friday, 30 September 2016

Business Letter

Donald Truong
275 Michael Cowpland Drive
Kanata, ON K2M 2C5


September 29, 2016


Dear future blog readers,


I, Donald Truong, am a Cedar Ridge High School student who has created a blog dedicated to all of my educational pieces from projects, to essays, and many other proud pieces of my effort. My blog will be the center of my digital portfolio where all my future blog readers will be able to follow and view my work from my 21st Century Literacy course.
In my 21st Century Literacy Course, I will and have been learning skills such as leadership, entrepreneurial thinking, designing a passion project, and many more skills. We have also learnt different things such as poetry and technology studies, and from that I have written a poem inspired my Gord Downie, analyzed a poem/song by The Tragically Hip, and created this, my blog.
Something I want to accomplish with this blog is to first, organize and store all my work in one place in order to share with the world. Second, to find an authentic audience to discover my work or to interact with other experts in those fields. Finally, to inspire and interact with different people from across the world.
It would be appreciated if you could visit my blog at http://donaldtportfolio.blogspot.ca/ .
I will be actively displaying my work and projects from my 21st Century Literacy course where I will be learning many new things. If you would like to contact me about anything or have any questions, you may mail me from the email linked above. I am excited to show you everything I will learn and create, I hope you that you would stop by my blog sometime.

Sincerely,
Donald

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Poem Inspired by Gord Downie

Time Flies


I really hate thinking about how time flies
Back when we didn’t know what was wrong or right
Really makes you reflect on all those memories
When everything ended up in a fight


We’d just play around and share some snacks
There was never too much to agonize about
It was just have fun and make some friends
Things will be changing from here on out


I really miss the memories of building all those snowmen
Or even when we got to swim and had fun
So much laughter was shared at the park
But nothing could’ve beaten hide and go seek in the dark


Now we’ll just run into challenges day in and out
Fun is now just replaced with stress
No matter how difficult it is don’t you ever pout
You must keep hustling nevertheless


School starts to take over and we start to lose time
We miss all those moments which were filled with amusement
You start to wish all that time would just replay
But really it’s all just an illusion


Really consider how you’re using your time
Complete your tasks and you’ll find some downtime
Just use your time wisely and live with no regret
Just live life to the fullest and time will fly by like a jet



My poem was inspired by Gord Downie’s poem called Toboggan Hill. In this poem he talks about when he was young and all the fun things that he did such as “I'm thinking back to when we were young and eating donuts.” After reading this it brought up an idea or inspiration to write about how time flies and how we should cherish those times we had and to use our time wisely. In my opinion his poems have a very loose rhyming structure which made me use different rhyming patterns instead of the simple A,B,A,B.

Monday, 26 September 2016

I am a leader because…

What is a leader? Are they the bosses, the superior, the commander? I believe that a leader should be able to guide others as a group or as an individual. To be a successful leader you need to be able to communicate and cooperate. Now why am I a leader?  There are strong outspoken leaders out there who can speak loudly and convince, but I believe I am a more quiet leader who leads by example and by cooperating well with others. Quiet leaders like me listen, figure out the situation, then act. You don’t always have to lead during a group project or while working in groups. One way I usually lead is actually not in school but in public. When you smile at someone you’re leading by example. Just doing something like can show you that you can lead but also helps others in the process. Who wouldn’t like just to be smiled at?

I recently learnt that leaders need to take risks. Every leader that has succeeded has taken a risk. For example Elon Musk, a renowned engineer/inventor, took a big risk and poured most of his paypal capital into Space X and now Space X has a revenue of over 100 million dollars. Now what have I done as a risk to be a leader? In elementary school we used to always have to do group projects and I remembered that we had to learn about the ocean. That’s when we formed a group to learn about sharks and our group was just given an outline to do a poster project but I decided to take a risk and do something different and extra which was to make a diorama with a poster to describe everything going along with it. With the consent of my group, we did it and it resulted in us exceeding expectations and getting a good mark.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”-John C Maxwell. Now what does that mean? That quote represents exactly what I and all other quiet leaders do. I listen and figure out a solution or idea, then I “go the way” which also means I start to figure out the situation and act, then finally I show the way which also means to lead by example.

I believe that I am a leader as I am able to persevere, motivate, assist, and guide others. But having these skills not being able to use them is useless. Whenever there’s a need for someone to guide then that’s when a good leader should rise and help everyone. Everybody is a leader in one way or another but I believe that a successful leader must be able to inspire themselves and others before anything else.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

What Do I Want to Teach The World


I want to teach the world about how they can help stop climate change and to use renewable energy to combat this situation. Climate change has been a major complication that many countries have been dealing with, but what could regular teenagers like us do? I want to be able to teach the world that our earth is something we should be able to cherish and protect in any way possible.
Regardless if we are in high school, we can still contribute on a minor scale just by recycling our home’s newspapers, cardboard and whatever’s possible. You could also help by growing your own vegetables and fruits or to even plant your own tree. In addition to that, us teenagers could just to switch off the lights whenever they’re not in use and from there ask our parents to change the light bulbs to compact fluorescents or maybe even LEDs if possible. Even unplugging devices you aren’t using would help a lot, such as coffee makers with a digital clock. Doing these things could save you and your family electricity and money. But does that really contribute since electricity is generally based off of fossil fuels? This is where your parents can step in, especially if they are pro-environment. These solutions are more costly but if you and your parents can afford it, then I suggest to install a solar heated system for your hot water, or installing solar panels for your electricity, or to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle if they don’t already have one.
Actually, we should all teach the world including our family and friends, that if we all keep living the way we’re living and not implementing change then our future generations may not even have an Earth.
My main goal as I grow up is to run my own business but I as a side project I would love to help make an impact on the issue of climate change.