Reflecting on Digital Storytelling – COM0014, post 7

Some of the things that stuck out for me in the course lessons and content:

Lesson 1

Tin Can analogy, great that you can broadest but remember that someone is listening can speak into their can too.

Lesson 2

I found myself thinking about old college friends after thinking about things like “Don’t bury the lead” etc.

Lesson 3

The focus was on identifying your audience. I found this chapter a little frustrating as it was very light on detail.

Lesson 4

I had not spent any time thinking about audiences in terms of B2C, B2B or B2G. I appreciate the insight into these terms and how they communicate.

Lessen 5

I feel like I have heard the term personal branding way too many times. Maybe it just needs a new name?

Lesson 6

I like the 5 steps to finding a story.

Read it. I would add go out and get a speech synthesis tool and get your computer to read your content. Funny how when you spend so much time and effort on writing that everything seems so good when it is finally done right?

Ever read your stuff a week later and wonder what you just wrote? Use a tool like Natural Reader from and you may surprise yourself and catch some of your weirdness before your readers do.

Lesson 7

Lesson 7 made me laugh, made me think of Stuart Smalley from SNL

  1. You’re already interesting.
  2. Everyone has something interesting to say. Especially you.
  3. You’re already relevant, because you’re one of a kind. Your uniqueness is what sets you, and your business, and the stories you will tell, apart from everyone else.

Digital Story Telling

Story telling is important because it engages people in an emotional and personal way. That is what we want and what we need. I am interested in sharing my observations about so many things. What surprised me is that people are listening and some are even sharing with me! J

Where I see AT going in the future (My wish for AT) – COM0014 Post 6

The Future of Assistive Technology for me

There are 2 things I would love to see happen for Assistive Technologies and Technologists

  1. That universal design and accessibility are integrated into all elements of our society so that the need for what I do disappears – of course that would mean I need to find another line of work.
  2. Assistive Technologist shift role into Learning Technologist. Many of the most useful and most popular tools in Assistive Technology can help all learners – this would also solve the problem I am faced with if number 1 on my list comes to pass.

My role as an AT at Algonquin College is to help students find tools that overcome their functional limitations (problem they are having accomplishing their goals or accessing anything at Algonquin because of a disability).

Assistive Technology according to Wikipedia

My first wish

I call this my freedom 51 wish (I will be 51). Why 51. In Ontario according to AODA we are going to be accessible by 2025 (When I turn 51). Interestingly enough (to me anyway) 2024 is my early retirement date. Which would give me one year extra to either retrain for a new job or make some retirement plansJ. I am not sure that I can retire, I feel like I would be bored but maybe I can get some advice and inspiration from anyone reading this that is retired?

A bit about AODA and why it could mean a job change or retirement for me

AODA – How can I help – video

Learning Technology for All

A big component of Assistive Technology is technology that helps access and succeed in education. A lot of the tools I use and teach can be used by anyone for a lot of different reasons.

Tolls that help with

  • Note Taking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Time Management
  • Planning and Organization

Some of the reasons they help are because they can make some things*:

  • Faster
  • Easier
  • Give independence
  • Increase Access (AODA may help resolve a lot of issues in this area)

* The above benefits of AT only apply if the user has an equal or better experience or end result than the way they attempted things without AT.

Doesn’t every student want tools that help them succeed in the above areas?

Who am I – COM0014, Post 5

The age old question of existence.

Okay not quite so deep for this post but still a tough one, feels like bragging and I feel like it is not polite to brag (not sure why? It just is).

What makes me so special? I help people succeed. My job gives me the opportunity to help the students I work with achieve their goals.

Awesome (no, no I am awesome, awesome that I am given such a positive opportunity).

As an Assistive Technologist I help students at Algonquin College achieve success regardless of their abilities. The main role of an AT at Algonquin is to assess a student’s functional limitations caused by the impact of a disability on a student’s course of study and their access to the college.

I have been working at Algonquin for almost 15 years and as a person with a disability I have relied on Assistive Technology for 25 years. I have a lot of experience not only in exploring and teaching AT but using it to overcome my own functional limitations.

I pride myself in being student focused, I do work in Student Support Services after all. Being an alumni and current student brings a level of insight and empathy that only comes with experiencing some of the same things as the students I work with.

I enjoy meeting new people, getting to know their stories, working with them towards success. Most days I work with the same 5 or 6 tools (the best tools work for a lot of different reasons) and I remember with pride a remark from my manager at how enthusiastic I am every time I show the same tools. It’s easy to be enthusiastic when you love what you do.

When I encounter a challenge that is new I find it exciting and I am not afraid to admit to someone that this is something new and that we will have to work through it together. I love a challenges and I am creative about solving them.

Some of the qualities that make me great at what I do:

  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm

Dove, B2C social success – missed opp – COM0014 post 4

I was not sure how to get started on this post.

Find a B2C that is using Social Media to reach it’s audience.

My wife is a savvy shopper and and one of those Crazy Couponers so I thought she would have some ideas?

I asked her if she had seen or noticed anything that caught her eye from a company trying to reach its customers?

She said “Dove”. No pause. Wow!

Okay, good enough for me. What is it that got my Wife’s attention?


I went to their Facebook page to find out.



There was the bold headline

Shouldn’t every age feel beautiful?

and almost 24 million likes!


My wife told me about Doves Sketches on youTube.

Doves Real Beauty Sketches

I was definitely impacted by this video and I was not even the target audience. I can’t remember the last time an ad made me stop, think, feel emotional?

Did you feel the impact, hear the message?


I wish I could get a sketch artist and some people together and do this for my wife, myself, everyone I know.

So what was different?

The message, not really, I think I have seen this idea before.

The delivery, yes, not a 30 second ad, not a pretty graphic, mini documentary of sorts about how women see themselves as compared to others.

The real difference

Dove is not explicitly pushing its products, they are not saying buy this soap, or that creme or lotion. yeah they branded their stuff but I do not feel like they are trying to sell me anything (which they are not directly – I don’t feel like their target demo).


Yeah but

Great delivery, great angle, great message, however…

I did notice that the focus is on women. This is a good thing but when I look in my bathroom I notice at least 2 Dove products for men. I did not buy them but I am sure their influence and my wife’s opinion of the company is why they are sitting on the edge of my tub. But, I might have bought them? More likely to now, but if I had been targeted I may have had them sooner and may have purchased more Dove products, for me, my little guy and of course my wife.

Dove stuff I own

Nice big manly blue Dove bottles

  1. 1 of all in 1 Shampoo
  2. Exfoliating body wash (the gritty stuff – I am not really educated on beauty product).

So what about Men Dove? What about me?

What does a Star Wars fan look like – COM0014-post3-demographics

Darth Vader

They seem to be everywhere. With 343,000,000+ web search results, 33,000,000 news results, uncountable image results and more than 378,000,000 video results (more than straight web search results – this is important for Psychographics) on Google, it is fair to say there are a lot of Star Wars fans and they represent almost every demographic range. Eleven 3 year olds like Star Wars – just ask my son. (Although, that could be my fault.)


Aliens and human of Star Wars Diversity, Humans and Aliens alike

The fans are as varied as the denizens themselves!

Demographics are the quantifiable statistics of a given population. Demographics are also used to identify the study of quantifiable subsets within a given population which characterize that population at a specific point in time.

Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.[1] Because this area of research focuses on interests, attitudes, and opinions, psychographic factors are…

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Jay’s Permanent Staycation

For anyone who has bought a home, new or older you know how much continuous work is involved. For those that have not bought a home and those that have but there home was new you may not know that when you buy an older home that every screw on the poverty is loose, everything on the property needs adjusting, I mean everything.

Staycation – guess I did not get a whole lot of the leisure part but some people consider hands on stuff and building leisure?

Do you like AEROSMITH? Permanent Vacation

When I bought my new home I knew there were going to be lots of little things that needed work and even a few bigger things so I had a bit of an idea of what I am getting myself into, a bit…

One of the things I knew about was an old shed attached to the back of the house on my north east corner. The roof was leaking and the wood was rotting out. This would have been a nice shed if it were not for the whole in the roof (nice boot print right under the phone line that connects to the house – suspicious?).

I booked off a week at the beginning of August knowing that I would have to tear this shed down, cart it away and then build another one.

I had a few questions to consider?

  • How long could it take to tear down a 150 square foot shed anyway?
  • What tools do I need, isn’t a hammer and a crowbar enough?
  • How many people do I need to tear it down?
  • What do I do with all of the crap after it is torn down?
  • What kind of shed should I build to replace the old one?
  • How much is all of this going to cost?
A black and yellow 12 inch prybar

12 inch Prybar

Just to put some of you out of your misery and save you time in case you are just reading this out of politeness because you are taking the COM0014 course at Algonquin.

COM0014 Blog Post 1 – What I did on my vacation.

I tore down an old shed and built a new one.

I feel like the project happened in 3 main phases

  1. Tearing down the shed
  2. Getting rid of all the crap
  3. Building a new Shed

The process was a more intensive and even painful experience then I expected (literally))

A wooden splinter sticking in an index finger

Splinter in my finger

In respect of the size constraints of this post being limited from 300 to 500 words I regret to inform you that getting in to any details on each phase will have to be explored in future posts in other assignments.

Anyone else taking staycations?

Do you need a vacation from your staycation?

Word of warning

Tin sheds take 10 times longer than the suggested setup time. Looks good when done, working great.

Tin Shed made by Arrow

Arrow Tin Shed

Arrow Steel Storage Building

Karate Kid is Star Wars

COM0012 – Last Post

Darth Vader

There are a handful of movies that have made a big impact on me.

My favourite movies of all time!

Sure there are lots that I like a few that I love but none have made bigger impacts than

That’s right the Karate Kid – The old one with Ralph Macchio@ralphmacchio (not that new one with Jackie and that other guy – Jackie I can’t believe you were part of that <sigh>).

A friend of mine at work stopped me in the hall and asked me if Ralph and I had a falling out. This staff person and I used to muse over what

Ralph was up to and what he did for excitement so we looked him up on the web, followed him on twitter and all of those not quite internet stalking kinds of things you do…

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Ambient Awareness – What is your Social Media Super Power – COM0011 – Post 6

I can read your mind!

Ambient awareness is a term used by social scientists to describe a new form of peripheral social awareness. This awareness is propagated from relatively constant contact with one’s friends and colleagues via social networking platforms on the Internet. Some examples of social networking websites are Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blogger,, etc. The term essentially defines the sort of omnipresent knowledge one experiences by being a regular user of these media outlets that allow a constant connection with one’s social circle. From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

According to Clive Thompson of the New York Times, ambient awareness is “very much like being physically near someone and picking up on mood through the little things; body language, signs, stray comments…” Therefore, in effect two friends who regularly follow one another’s digital information can already be aware of each other’s lives without actually being physically present to have a conversation. Interview: Clive Thompson’s “Smarter than You Think” – The New Yorker

“It’s a sort of global water cooler, with all the good and bad that suggests.” Clive Thompson

That seems out there, like ESP or some kind of super power?

Have you noticed that you know way more about your friends and family then you used to? You have not seen someone in months but still know that they just got a haircut or that they are in a bad mood but you haven’t communicated with them directly in days?

Here is an interview with Clive Thompson one of the few but growing people saying that Social Media is good for us.

Smarter than we think

One of the things he mentions is that we need to know when to step away from our tools and networks and when to connect, something I have been ranting about with colleagues and family for a while, we need to get some healthy user habits and we need to start teaching them to others.

Clive says we can think more clearly if we step away from it all from time to time, what a novel idea <no really>.

So what do we do with our new found super powers?

As far as humanity, technology, social media, evolution etc. I think Professor X had it right.

Prof. Charles Francis Xavier (X Men, 2000): …it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.

Sorry for the bad AV quality, but you get the idea.

Social Media Conspiracy – COM0011 – Post 5

I may or may not believe in aliens but do not think they are using Twitter and Facebook to subvert Humanity or any other conspiracy type agenda but did get to thinking what some may consider to be some strange and weird thoughts after happening upon some articles relating to Social Media and Conspiracy Theories.

The Great Social Media Conspiracy

A post that discussing the idea of “compers” and how they are used to artificially inflate social media stats

The Google AdSense Conspiracy Theory

This post talks about an expose done on Google that claims that Google stopped payouts to publishers in the AdSense program.

NSA Surveillance Pales Compared to Social Media Data Collection

Darth Vader Supports NSA

This post suggests that what the NSA has done is not nearly as effective as what Social Media more specifically their Apps for your phone are doing. This article gave me something to think about.

Do you read the pop-us, license agreements and permissions requests thoroughly. I know I don’t but I certainly will from now on.

I don’t think that my personal life is much of a threat to world security but I think this post raises an interesting series of questions.

Why does my Facebook App need access to my camera and microphone?

My intent is not to scare people away from Social Media

Interesting to think that reading an unrelated article to my search about how Star Wars and Karate Kid are similar connected me to posts related to aliens, the MSA, Google, Compers and Apps that may be asking for too much data – Maybe it was aliens?