C21: A Blended Approach to Literacy Instruction
While digital artifacts in the form of videos, graphics, and interactive games and simulations are increasingly replacing text as the media through which we understand our world, communicate with others, and learn. The reality is that all digital artifact often begin as written text that are revised and adapted as text until the content of the digital artifact is clearly defined. As a result, the important of students having the ability to read and write in textual form has not diminished as the importance of students’ learning to “write” via digital artifacts. This talk will explore how the design of the c21 curriculum model integration the traditional and new forms of written literacy to improve students/ narrative and expository writing.
Overview of c21 Model
The C21 curriculum consists of three interlocking modules(see below) that combine to create one integrated course. C21 is designed to develop students’ abilities to communicate narrative, informational and argumentative stories across multiple modes (visual, aural, oral, cinematic and interactive).
Reading as Thinking Module: The C21 course uses both grade-level appropriate (according to Common Core defined lexile scoring) anchor text and mentor text. Anchor texts, primarily novels, are used to introduce themes/issues and plant seeds, which will inform and provide a context for written and digital artifacts. Mentor texts, primarily informational and argumentative, model the types of writing students are expected to create, focusing on the form, function and purpose of writing.
Modes of Communication Module: The Modes of Communication (MoC) modules consist of Media Arts units built to develop student ability to create video, podcasting, graphic design and photographic artifacts.
Structure of Story Module: The Structure of Story (SoS) modules consist of units built to enable students to write across genres for authentic audiences. Students learn that the structures used to tell a textual story extends to other modes of communication including video, photography, visual, oral and sound. Students are challenged to iterate on their writing products, with feedback and interaction throughout the process .
Each module plays a distinct role in creating the skills and knowledge necessary for students to create the artifacts needed for the other modules. For example, during the Reading As Thinking module, students are challenged to analyze text through discussion, explore complex themes drawn from text and subsequently capture their thinking through notes, graphic organizers and responding to textual prompts. This thinking as represented by artifacts, is in turn the foundation for the creation of genre-specific written artifacts in the Structure of Story module that serve as the content source for the creation of digital artifacts in the Modes of Communication component.
A central tenant of the C21 model is the necessity of providing constant opportunities for students to showcase their work to classmates, peers, teachers, and the wider community depending on the quality of the work. c21 provides multiple levels and opportunities to perform: Each submission can receive one of three classifications: published in citywide eZine, published on school wide c21 blog, and non-publishable. The c21 curriculum provides multiple performing opportunities that vary the audience and the expectations for participation. The iRemix social network services as a constant performance space where students are able to post their work and see the work of other students currently and previously engaged in C21. Working meeting pre-specified levels of qualities are showcased in the DYN Presents…C21 electronic magazine, DYN Presents is a quarterly C21 eZine, where students express themselves through persuasive, narrative, and informational in the form of textual and digital artifacts that are improved through an editorial process staffed with professional writers and mediated through the iRemix social networking platform.
A cornerstone of the DYN model is the use of practicing media artists as mentors for youth. DYN believes that this model allows students to better envision how the skills they are learning are transferable to the real world through the instructors use of their own teaching and professional portfolio to demonstrate techniques and showcase exemplars to students.