What is the number one skill required to discover the truth? An opinion …

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you noticed in the last few years how difficult it seems to know what the real truth is? ‘Real truth about what?’ you ask. My answer is ‘about anything!’ But that’s not really true, it’s not about just anything. It’s true that my recycling got picked up this morning – because I saw it happening. Do you believe me? You don’t know me … (However the fact that my recycling got picked up this morning doesn’t register very high on the importance scale.)

But what if something DOES register higher on the important scale in my life? And I DON’T see it happen? How am I (or people) expected to figure out what’s true then?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I’ve had to change the way I evaluate information coming in. I don’t really like the fact that I’ve had to do this – but it’s in my own (and my family’s) best interest for me to do this. And I’ve made a point to try and teach my children to do the same.

I used to be more trusting of the news & media. I believed that those people/companies were actively working hard to provide balanced, insightful & truthful information to the public. And I believe in many cases that the employees / writers / journalists etc. still are or are trying to. But when the media companies appear to have become huge cartel type business structures that generate billions of dollars and push people around, that becomes a different story. Unfortunately their employees/ writers/ journalists etc. are essentially caught in the middle (and need to make money – like everyone else).

Then you go browsing around to try and get different opinions. And wow – that makes things worse! Depending on what search engine you use, completely opposing viewpoints show up from sources you previously felt you could rely on! Or maybe no other opinions show up – so it would seem that everyone is saying the exact same thing. Like what? Since when does everyone say the exact same thing? lol … what then??

So what is the number one skill (in my opinion)? Critical thinking.

Critical thinking is an important skill to have and to continue to hone through out your life. What is critical thinking? As Grace Fleming quotes in this article: “it can best be summed up as thinking and judging for yourself.” And I also like these traits of critical thinkers as outlined on this Lumen Learning web site page.

There are many areas where I have begun approaching issues in this manner – much more than I ever did before. Areas such as:

  • media / news
  • health care
  • government / politicians
  • search engines / search results
  • banks

I know, I know … you’re thinking I’m a total conspiracy theorist! lol … and maybe I am to a degree. Yeah yeah whatever … I’ve lived a little while and there are many, many people out there who don’t have other peoples best interests in mind.

What do you think? What is the number one skill required to know and learn the truth?

Please remember – these are my opinions only.

Social media posts:

Examples of two promotional social media posts for my blog post. (The image below the two posts is a positive image of someone being successful – because I want people to know this is a skill you can acquire and be successful with.)

  1. Facebook

Do you know the number one skill required to discover the truth? Learning how to discover and know the truth is a skill everyone can have … including you! Learn more at: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/95278

2. Twitter

The truth … one of the hardest things to determine. Learn the number one skill required to discover the truth! https://bit.ly/35XoJi3

Works Cited:

Fleming, Grace. “Introduction to Critical Thinking.” ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/introduction-to-critical-thinking-1857079.

Lumen Learning, lumenlearning.com, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/publicspeaking/chapter/chapter-6-logic-and-the-role-of-arguments/, Accessed 18 September 2020.

COM0014 – Blog #1 – Disney World at Christmas Time

IMG_1770It’s been a year and a half since I went on a real vacation that didn’t involve visiting extended family and the stresses included on such trips. I had always wanted to spend the holidays at the most magical place on earth (Walt Disney World, Florida), and decided that is exactly what I would do for Christmas 2015. Late in July 2015, I found out about a promotion for a free meal plan for trips booked during specific dates, needless to say I jumped at the chance and booked my trip at Coronado Springs Resort, a moderate hotel at the park.

I spent weeks researching different events at the park that take place around the holidays, reading countless blogs from people who had made the trip themselves. These were the most useful:

Dreaming of A Disney Christmas… in July

5 Things to Do at Disney World in December

All About the Holiday Season At Disney World

I could tell you about my entire trip, but that would take far too long so I will focus on the experiences that stood out the most throughout my 10 days at the parks.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is an experience that was in it’s last year in 2015. A large section of Hollywood Studios park is done up in Christmas lights which are in turn choreographed to music. It was an amazing thing to see in person and I couldn’t help but do stand there in awe, staring at the lights dancing before my eyes. I am so thankful that I was able to see it before they closed it down. Click here to watch a video of the show on YouTube. Did you get the change to witness this amazing sight? What were your thoughts?

Be Our Guest Restaurant

IMG_1796When I visited Magic Kingdom, the newest section to the park had just opened and this included Be Our Guest, a restaurant themed on the Beauty and the Beast movie. The main dining hall is a real life ball room with pendant chandeliers and large windows over looking the French country side. The atmosphere was something I couldn’t put into words and the IMG_1823food was amazing. As per Lumière’s recommendation I did try the grey stuff and it was delicious.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade

I had been to the parks a few times before but always in the spring. Seeing the Christmas parade was a magical experience for me and my family, as we would watch it every year on TV, but seeing the marching toy soldiers and dancing gingerbread men in person – not to mention Mickey dressed up in his Christmas attire -was a unique and one of a kind moment that I wouldn’t pass up for the world.

What are some of your favourite experiences on Christmas vacations? Have you been to Disney World or any of the other Disney parks? Let me know in the comments below.

Living Past Being A Victim (COM0011)

Every single day there is a child somewhere out there in the world that is suffering from some form of abuse.  Some boy or girl who attends school with your child, is likely being abused at home either mentally, emotionally, physically and possibly even sexually.


There needs to be more done to stop these hideous crimes against children. Many of these children grow up never sharing their story, keeping things hidden for years.Living in shame of what has happened to them and suffering in silence. Never understanding that they have not done anything wrong and don’t deserve to be treated this way. That it’s truly not their fault.

There is an article in the National Post that has a headline that reads, One-third of Canadians have suffered child abuse, highest rates in the western provinces, study says.  Think about that for a minute, one-third of Canadians! That’s  a lot of people who have been abused. Possibly your friend, co-worker, next door neighbour, your doctor, a local radio celebrity, a news broadcaster, or even the grocery store clerk you see on a regular basis. However as many won’t ever tell their story, we generally tend to look past the cold harsh reality of abuse that happens every single day.

It’s rather ironic for me that it also states in the title that the highest rates are in the western provinces, as that is where my abuse began as well.  Sadly I am one of these statistics. However, I am here to say enough is enough. No longer will I keep quiet. No more will I hide in shame from the abuse I suffered not only as a child, but well into my adult years. I am here to take a stand, to be that voice for the millions of children and people, that suffer from abuse.

I want to share my horrific story. I want others to be more aware of what happens behind that closed-door each and every day, all over the world.  The fear, hurt and sense of loss that a child  goes through when they are abused is something that we can no longer allow to continue happening. We need to take a stand and reach out to these children (possibly now adults) to let them know, they are not alone!

In my story Living Past Being A Victim, you will have a better understanding of what it’s like to be in that abused child’s shoes………My Shoes!


Walk through each chapter as I describe what it was like to be me, to be the child that was severely abused. Understand the fear that comes with being that abused child.

The hurt, rejection and shame that comes with the many other psychological issues . Get a real understanding of the struggles that come with the life of a child that lived through every form of abuse all at once,  on a regular occurrence.

Go inside the mind of someone who has been there.  feel the roller coaster ride of emotions that go hand in hand in a child’s life while suffering from abuse.
Help others understand that they are not alone. Help them see that they don’t have to live the kind of abusive life pattern that I did. Get the message out there that there is a different world that they can live and be free of abuse.

Lets help others understand that living past being a victim,  is truly possible.


Danielle Gallant Simms


Facebook Promotion:

For anyone that truly knows me, I have never been one to hide the
fact that I was abused as a child. I have always tried to be open and
honest about my past as it is a big part of who I am today.

I have been fortunate to share my story in Living Past Being A Victim.
Now it’s time to let others know that abuse in any form needs to stop
here and now. Children and adults all over this world are being abused
at this very moment. Let’s give them the voice that they deserve. Help
end abuse. It doesn’t need to be this way for anyone.

Follow my journey as I get my voice out there one post at a time to
help end child abuse!



Twitter Promotion

Silence no more. Stop child abuse one Tweet at a time.



Things I didn’t know about emojis and emoticons


I’m a very visual person meaning images often have richer, more immediate meaning for me than text and because of this I find our ever-increasing use of emojis and emoticons fascinating. I did some digging on the topic and here is some background information about both and a few things I didn’t know.

Both emojis and emoticons are useful when we want a quick, efficient way to communication via social media whether it’s to replace a sentence (typically with emojis) or express our feelings (typically with emoticons).

The first emoji was created in the late 90s in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita.(1)







The resemblance to the English words “emotion” and “emoticon” is purely coincidental. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”). (2)

The original meaning of an emoji can acquire different meanings according to its cultural context. “For example, 💅 (nail polish) has been described as being used in English-language communities to signify “non-caring fabulousness” and anything from shutting haters down to a sense of accomplishment.” (3)  Just as the word pension has different meanings depending on the culture using it. 

Emojis center more around ideas while emoticons more around emotions, although some emojis are emotion based. While an emoticon denotes your emotional state, for example, an emoji can have a complete meaning and thought behind the picture. Having made this distinction, a lot of emoticons integrated into the list of emoji simply because of how incredibly popular the system for emotions had become for digital communication. Emoticons can express emotions inside a group of emoji. (4)

For example emoji-3

Using coded language isn’t new. Our rather long history of using symbols and images to communicate with one another dates back to the prehistoric era and has evolved along with tools we’ve had at hand to record and transmit the message (i.e. media), and “in tandem with shifts in political and economic systems, and by extension, systems of power.”5

Morse code was the first invention (1840s) to successfully exploit electromagnetism for long-distance communication. In a significant way, it was a precursor to our current means to connect with people over distance. We don’t use Egyptian hieroglyphs to communicate, but we do still use some Morse code in our written communication, mainly our abbreviations. (6) 

Much of Morse code abbreviated words in a straightforward manner and several of the abbreviations we still use, such as TNX for Thanks, FWD for Forward, and MSG for message; interestingly, others codes have become antiquated, such as OB for Old boy and YL for Young lady (originally an unmarried female operator). There are others that required a knowledge of the code, such as 88 for Love and kisses and 73 for Best regards. And, here is my favourite,

HEE for Humour intended or laughter (often repeated, e.g. HEE HEE)Clearly a predecessor of LOL.

 .. / .- — / .-.. .- ..- –. …. .. -. –. / — ..- – / .-.. — ..- -.. .-.-.-



Sources and where to read more:

1 http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/03/26/meet-shigetaka-kurita-the-father-of-emoji/

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji

4 http://www.bobology.com/public/6-Things-to-Know-about-Emoji-and-Emoticons.cfm

5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_communication


7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code_abbreviations

ablokeabroad – COM0011 Post #3





COM0011 – Blog Post 6 What does the future hold for Social Media

Every day it seems like there is a new app that will help people connect with one another in real time, regardless of distance, location or even language.  Some channels are subscription based, like Twitter and Facebook while others are formed based on physical location, such as YakYak.  The general purpose of social media from a corporate perspective is to foster engagement with clients to increase brand recognition and loyalty.  From a user’s perspective the allure of social media is not just the ease of use but also the sense of community. Finding people you can relate to, either with like interests or through a chance encounter allows human interaction on a global scale.

Where will this all lead?  The news is full of the power of social media.  It’s been used to reunite a kidnapped newborn with her mother and has made two men lifelong friends who, despite an odd meeting have shared an unbelievable adventure that caught the eye of celebrities like Ellen.  More and more frequently people are turning to social media for information before checking other media sources.  Breaking news is tweeted and shared by major networks like CNN and disseminated by individuals more quickly than the networks could manage just on their own.

People are becoming increasingly dependent on their social media sources to provide them with information, not only about events but also recommendations ranging from where to eat to which products to buy.  People in an unfamiliar city turn to apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor to find restaurant recommendations.  Soon sites will further this purchasing power to increase usership.  The potential for collaboration is staggering.

Think of Pinterest for an example.  What if when you see something you like instead of simply pinning it you were given the option of buying it from within Pinterest?  Rather than being diverted to an external website and having to wade through all the other items for sale you could just click the sale link and complete the transaction quickly and easily.   It’s already happening in fact.  According to this Shopify article the majority of sales traffic is being diverted to sites via Facebook, with Reddit and Polyvore, a community style site, also contributing.


What about you?  Have you ever purchased anything via social media?  Would you?  I know some people who distrust all levels of online commerce and refuse to even bank online whereas others jump right in without questioning how secure the server is.  Where do you land on this scale?

COM0011 – Blog post #1 – Fear of Social Media – How to overcome it


Writing this blog has me scared.  The fear of what to say, how to say it, do I actually have anything to say and what will people say about it.  I’ve been out of school for over 18 years now.  The most creative things that I’ve written in the last decade have been e-mails!  Most of those have revolved around getting details for meetings, conferences or social events – not too scary.  Their answers might scare me sometimes, but that I can deal with:)  As I read our lessons and search online, I see that I’m not alone in my fear of social media.  In fact, there are several people and companies out there that have a fear of social media too.

There are several anxieties to contend with, here are some of the top ones:

– What sites to be involved with?

– How to manage all the sites? (this is a hard one for me – you could be managing all day!  Who has time for that?)

– What content to post and how to say it to get an audience?

– Feedback (this is one of my fears too! People are not always constructive with their response so it can come across as an attack instead of as an opinion or valid points)

Here are some organizational steps to take to help conquer those fears.

social media logos

Step #1 – Choosing the social media outlets that work for you

With so many choices, you need to look at the your audience and where they spend their time.  Take small steps and venture to one outlet at a time.  Get comfortable with that site.  Too many sites at the start and you will become overwhelmed.

Step #2 – Audience and Strategy

Figuring out your audience will help you figure out your content.  In order to be heard you need to know how to listen!  Once you have your audience and content, you need a social media strategy.   This strategy will help you stay focused and relevant in your message.

Step #3 – Time Management

As stated in step one, start small, this will help you with your management.  Set aside a small amount of time each day, 15 minutes is recommended, to post your next comment, ad, picture, etc and to review any comments that people have left for you on your last post(s).  Once you start to add other social media outlets and 15 minutes is not enough dedicated time, than you can look at social media management tools, like HootSuite, to help manage your social media networks, schedule future messages and provide analytic data on your content and audience.

Step #4 – Feedback

Feedback is always scary.  You’ve put yourself and your hard work out there for the world to see and you want to hear from everyone, but some people are brutally honest, NOT in a constructive way, instead they are just mean.  Those are the comments that I find very frustrating and quite frankly useless to hear.  With that said, you need to respond to all comments.  Part of your strategy should be how to respond to the negative feedback.  Don’t kid yourself, it will happen, be prepared and nip it in the bud.  How you respond can have an impact on the individual and on all others who read the comments.

I hope that this beginners guide strategy can help conquer any fear you might have.  I’m not sure I’m over being scared, but I’m going to work on it.  These articles helped focus me and keep me looking forward.  At least I know I’m not alone in my fear and discomfort and I’ll keep that with me and continue writing blogs and listening to my audience (good and bad).  I look forward (?) to hearing what you have to say or advice you have to offer as I try to grow into this new world I’m venturing into.



COM0014 – Blog # 2: Storytelling and Communication Styles

Interested in learning not only how to improve your writing but increase your readership too? Keep reading.

Encourage interaction
Would you like your readers to actually read your work from beginning to end and not just skim through it? Here are few things writers should keep in mind when preparing content.

Always start with the most interesting information at the top. This is called the inverted pyramid. By not burying the lead, it captures the reader’s attention and in most cases, has them reading til the end.

Don’t just state facts and comments. Remain engaged with your readers by asking them questions. This will help start communication and foster a two-way conversation.

Share, share and share. Make it easy for people to re-post and share your content or page by using social media buttons, like the ShareThis button. Don’t forget, the internet can lead to viral opportunities with just one click from the mouse.

Take full advantage.

Communication styles
Are you reaching your target audience? There are several ways to develop your own personal communication style. But here are some pointers that every writer should incorporate as part of their style if they want to reach their audience.

Be clear and concise: The internet world is very vast and there’s lots of competition. Your beginning, middle and end should be clear in what you’re trying to convey.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation: You can lose some serious opportunities, credibility and have a reader look elsewhere if you don’t triple check your work.

Use an active voice: People tend to make the biggest mistake by writing in a passive voice. Avoid this faux-pas by putting your subject in an active role. It’s more interesting this way, and where there’s interest, there are readers.

Practice: It’s true what they say, practice makes perfect. So don’t fret, the more you write, the better you’ll become. Keep calm and practice on.

How is your story useful to others? What can your readers gain from what you have to say in your written work? A good story gets passed on when it’s interesting and when people feel connected to it so keep that in mind when writing content. Paint them a picture with your words – be creative, descriptive, have a good flow and ensure clarity – and you’ll have them reading out of your palms.

I hope that these simple writing tips and tricks can help you improve your work. If you have any comments or questions about this article, please don’t hesitate to post a comment.



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…

View original post 410 more words


The face of ECE (early childhood education) students has changed. Where once, diploma program teachers could look out and see a sea of young, eager but inexperienced high school graduates, the classroom is now filled with mature students, currently working in the field, pursuing a second career, or upgrading education obtained in another country.

The change in ECE students directly reflects the change in our society towards diversity. With every influx of new cultures, so changes the make-up of children in childcare and the educators leading them. If child care programs want to draw and engage to the new ECE teacher they need to do so through social media appeal to this new audience.

Who is the new ECE teacher?

  • High school, but more often a female university graduate.
  • Trendy, and tends to travel by bus
  • Middle class though has minimal disposable income.
  • Works in the ECE field at least part time.
  • Single, can be a single mom, but often married with children.
  • ESL adult with post secondary education and experience from another country.

Social Media Appeal?

  • Short snappy messages crammed with useful material via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Discussion boards with informative information exchanges.

The best way to draw and maintain the new ECE student audience is to set up an information hub where students can access short tid-bits of information and exchange ideas in one place.

com0015: Applied social media blog post #2

newnissanFor this blog I decided to find a couple  strong and week social media organizations in the automotive sector primarily because I have been car shopping this past month.  like most people searching for a sweet new ride I did my homework and research and visited just about every automotive website there is and I found that all use social media to attract attention but it most mostly dealerships such as New market Nissan in Toronto who’s owner Greg carrasco uses twitter for promotional give always such as this contest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac0js3e9-pM

Strong Organization

with out a doubt the strongest company to use social media was Ford, primarily with there ford fiesta campaign that target youth buying their first car. Ford neeFiesta Movementded a new way to reach youth.  In this campaign Ford gave 100 cars away on an extended 6 month test drive and also cover the insurance and gas for the vehicle; the only kick was Ford recorded the “honest” reactions in the car for an the entire time thanks to video cameras set up in the vehicle, the video would be eventually used in a marketing campaign used for the Fiesta.  the selected 100 were also asked to tweet and post videos on multiple social media sites,   The results of the campaign was unbelievable, the interest of the posts on twitter generated what ford called the “Fiesta Movement”  generating chatter and trends all over twitter and made the easiest and most honest ads ford has ever produced, the campaign worked so well Ford Motor Company has decided to revamp the project for the 2014 Fiesta.  Ford has used Social Media to target a new generation of car buyer and to expand there profit margin by aiming the social media marketing movement at young adults.  Ford has also redesigned there website to feature “The Ford Story” which is a blog for consumers to right about purchases and advice for other buyers interested in Ford vehicles the website also features quick links to nearly every social media sight on the net (I discovered about 5 new ones on the website).


Week Organizations


I found that GMC or primarily General motors actually had the weakest social media with nothing more than a twitter and Facebook account that just retweeted or promoted the sponsorship with the NFL.  GMC didn’t have any promotions or marketing strategies to gain new customers, GMC focus was on its pick up line the GMC sierra which can been seen plastered all over every NFL game and in case you missed the NFL adds just check out their twitter account to see pictures posted of the adds at the NFL games.  GMC has targeted the working class man and family with Sierra and that’s what they are happy with selling apparently with no focus on competing against the Japanese and European market like ford has done with the fiesta.  You could argue that GMC isn’t popular with social media because the target market for their products is the dirty covered in sweat country working man who’s idea of social media is discussing the daily news at the local dinner, so why bother with a social media campaign, I suppose this does make sense but it certainly made finding reviews and hints and tips for purchasing very difficult.


in the end I decided to go with buying a ford because I could find more information on the vehicles, information that wasn’t biased thanks to twitter trends and apps ford had created.  although its not a fiesta i’m still pretty happy with it