Monthly Archives: March 2016

The harsh reality of online trolls!!

Image result for victim blamingJohn Oliver on online harassment was quite entertaining.  Quite often people believe anything that they see on the internet, falling into misinformation and scams, some of us may even know this as click bait.  The AOL commercial is a hoot, just think of all the driving and running around we would have to do before the internet.  Now everything is a little too convenient.  I usually turn to my phone to look something up, and I am certainly not using Bing ahaha!!  I think it is a sad and scary world when people make online threats, as they are often blocked by an online identity.  It’s even scarier when the police are unable to understand that technology can be used as a weapon.  Technology and the internet are rapidly changing and evolving and unfortunately the laws are not keeping up.  Should you ever need to take something such as revenge porn to courts, make sure you have a big box of money for fees and lawyers. Victim blaming is something that happens quite often in modern society, it is ridiculous to continue to take jabs at a victim, we need to put the responsibility where it belongs..   

Email Scams cartoons, Email Scams cartoon, funny, Email Scams picture, Email Scams pictures, Email Scams image, Email Scams images, Email Scams illustration, Email Scams illustrationsWow, I think I enjoyed the video This is what happens when you reply to spam email a little too much.  I have the personality to play along and I would be the one to be email back and forth.  Who wouldn’t want to claim their rich prince uncle’s fortune.  In fact I make jokes with friends about sending money to get the process sped up.  I wonder who are the people who re actually buying into these scams??

I didn’t really realize that female gamers were taking such crap.  Only after reading the article With Gamergate, it’s not enough to ignore the trolls it made me think of a recent Law and Order SVU episode that I watched about a female gamer facing cyber attacks. Law and Order is always following headline news. Gendered harassment of women online is gaining popularity as the computer and internet become a tool for bullies to use to intimidate females. Criado-Perez points out “Threats of rape, death, and stalking can overpower our emotional bandwidth, take up our time, and cost us money through legal fees, online protection services, and missed wages.” I agree that society should boycott sites that shed light on these incidents of gendered harassment.  

Free Internet and the Digitally Divided

This week I enjoyed the article Backlash against Facebook’s free Internet service grows. I think offering a free app would be awesome, an if it only connected to certain internet services so be it.  I believe that some for free is better than none.  I look at it like the T.V., yes there are like 3 channels if you don’t have cable but society and the a group about T.V. neutrality isn’t petitioning for  60 free channels for all, as in lets not just limit to the local channels such as  CBC, Global and CKCK.  I believe if you want the full internet you should have to pay some sort of fee.

I do believe that people who are living in poverty have certain rights violated, and sometimes they just look past it, as they don’t want to cause added attention or are unaware.  I have occasionally judged people who are poor because they are looking for money or food and have the best of the best cell phones. Unfortunately there is The new digital ddownloadivide as the internet does not level the playing field in terms of access as some can not afford it, but I know that there are many free WiFi options and libraries have computer and internet for the public.

I do see the point of Don’t post about me on social media, children say.   I am very selective about what I post about my step daughter online, sometimes I feel that she is old enough to decide what she should and shouldn’t post. My brother has a saying whenever pictures are take “Right to Facebook”.  I don’t think embarrassing a child or making it anyone business is appropriate, kids are just learning.  After our class on Tuesday I thought about the idea of child shaming. and I  wondering if shaming children online is the best idea as those pictures don’t go away. I even came across husband and pet shaming this week on Facebook, it did make me giggle thou. 

Connecting with my community

Over the past few weeks I have managed to find support for my health goals online.  I found the website Spark People awesome in terms of setting health goals.  There are also plenty of articles and support to guide you on your journey.  I also enjoyed participating in the online community, where you can post within different forums.  I defiantly suggest looking into his online tool for some education and support!!

I also focused on connecting with other healthy eating bloggers.  I explored 2 different website.  My first pick is called Thestonesoup.  I enjoyed that all of the author’s recipes were simple,  as she works hard to post delicious recipes that encourage us to become healthy home cooks. I also enjoyed the organized recipe index.

stonesoup-screenshot-best-healht-blogs-by-healthista.comScreenshot from The Stone Soup

The other healthy recipe blog that I was able to check out was Hungry Healthy Happy.  The tag line is ” a blog that will motivate you to change your lifestyle”.  I like the blog as it is very supportive and motivating.

Screen shot from

I also follow a few different Facebook gals for motivation: curvy girl on the lose, Bree gets fit.  I enjoy when recipes or little victories come up on my news feed. I also want to mention that I attend a fitness center called Fearless Fitness.  If anyone is looking for a great workout, I suggest checking out one of there classes.  I attempted to attach the schedule, but it was a blur, just check out the link above or look at their Facebook . Comment on my blog if you are interested in attending, as it is invite only.  I tend to do Waist trimmer on Mondays, and Cardio-kickboxing on Thursday, come on and join me, you won’t regret it!

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility



Photo Credit: <a href=””>-FaM-</a&gt; via <a href=””>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”″>cc</a> 


I had some eye-opening moments this week as I read more about women, trolling and online harassment. How is it okay that harassment of women online has become “an established norm in our digital society”? The power of the internet is also something that has the power to seriously hurt people.

Many classmates of mine have blogged about trolling this week, and several make reference to Katia’s blog post about her experience with trolls. Another story that I was reminded of during my readings this week was the story of Justine Sacco. Though she made a bad choice when she sent out the tweet that “ruined her life” she did not deserve the harassment and rape threats she received following the incident. If she was a male would she have been treated the same way? Likely not.

Alanah Pearce is a video games journalist who was being harassed online with sexual comments and rape threats. She assumed those trolling her were middle aged men with nothing better to do, but when she found that they were actually teenage boys.

“It turns out that mostly they’re young boys and the problem is they don’t know any better, so responding to them rationally didn’t resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable.”

Her solution to the problem? She contacted the boys’ mothers:

“It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it’s not okay to be sexist to women, even if they’re on the internet,” she says, “that they are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that.”

Though I respect her decision to teach the boys a lesson and her understanding that “they didn’t know any better”, it is frightening to me that young people can be acting this way online and be getting away with it. It is scary that they even know how to use this type of language, and that this problem with online harassment and trolling is starting with such young online users.

John Oliver said something that stuck with me:

“You can click a button and buy a book, meet your spouse, or ruin someones life.”

It is true that the internet gives us power and opportunity we could never have imagined, but (as Uncle Ben from Spiderman taught us) “With great power comes great responsibility”. And with this power of the internet, we need to teach our students to be responsible and respectful users.


Reads by Amy Does “Top Ten Tuesday” and #WAYRW

As I mentioned last week, I have been spending time really trying to connect with other book bloggers and be more interactive. For the first time I participated in something called “Top Ten Tuesday”. This is a weekly feature started by another book blog, The Broke and The Bookish. They post topics each Tuesday and book bloggers and encouraged to make their own list, and link back to The Broke and The Bookish. This was a great opportunity to connect because book bloggers could go directly to my blog from the link I posted. I had a few new visitors comment on my list and they were very welcoming and encouraging! I am going to try and participate in Top Ten Tuesday more often as a way to get more involved.

You can read my Top Ten Tuesday list here.


Instagram post about my Top Ten Tuesday list

I found another feature called “What are you reading Wednesday” (#WAYRW) from the blog It’s a Reading Thing. But I did not discover this in enough time to participate this week so I will save it for next week. It works like this:

How to participate:
Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Another thing I have been focusing on this week is being more interactive on twitter, I have been entering book blogger giveaways and directly tweeting other authors or book bloggers.

IMG_6253 IMG_6254 IMG_6255

I am finding it difficult to keep my Reads by Amy blog, twitter, and instagram updated regularly while also trying to keep my personal/professional accounts updated. I am trying to find a balance it is very time consuming to keep updated on all these accounts.That being said- after I am done this post I am off to Reads by Amy to do my next book review! Check it out!

Instamoms are Instacrazy

This week I felt compelled to write a blog post about a crazy topic that came up in our readings for this week…Instamoms. What is an Instamom you ask? A New York Times article by KJ Dell’Antonia sums it up:

“Meet the Instamom. She is not just snapping pictures of her cute child in adorable moments, she is staging them, using clothing she has requested from brands and a professional photographer. Regular shoots feed the illusion of a life lived outshining the most ordinary of surroundings: playgrounds, grocery stores, the sidewalks most of us walk so forgettably, our toddlers completely without the purple faux-fur jacket and fedora that would so surely enliven their days and the days of what could be legions of adoring fans.”

Another New York Times article defines Instamoms as “a Stage Mother for Social Media”.

One of the most well known is 4 year old London Scout. She has 118 000 followers on Instagram and a blog Scout the City (all accounts are run by her Instamom). I was looking around on the blog and found myself rolling my eyes at things like describing London’s style as “playground chic”. She’s 4 years old!!! Why does a 4 year old need “chic style”!? Whatever this reason, this is one very famous 4 year old. But what happens next? What happens when she reaches an age where she is old enough to make her own decisions and shape her online identity?

My biggest issue with this? The Instamom is creating their child’s online identity and digital footprint. Most of these children are around the age of 4-5, some even younger. The fame and incentives the Instamoms get (including clothing and discounts) sound great, but what happens when the child grows up and doesn’t want the fame and attention? This situation also reminds me of the discussions we have had previously about how social media portrays an edited version of our lives. These are all edited versions of these children’s lives- things are not all smiles, balloons, designer clothing and cupcakes. Instamoms are also not portraying a real picture of what it is like to be a parent.

What are your thoughts on the Instamom? Do you think they are exploiting their children or do you think it’s a unique opportunity for the children? Do you have a problem with the way these children are being portrayed online? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.

Reads by Amy Update- Connecting With Other Book Bloggers and Making New Friends Online

I have stated before that one of my biggest challenges with this project is getting traffic to my book blog Reads by Amy. Katia gave me some good ideas in my midterm feedback so in the next few weeks I am going to focus on trying to make Reads By Amy more interactive to encourage people to participate on the blog. I am also going to commit some more time  to connecting with other book blogs and hopefully gaining some followers.

I found some good tips that relate specifically to book blogs:

8 tips for turning your reading addiction into a book blog 

Book blogging tips

I also had a lot of fun exploring other book blogs. I left some comments and sent my blog link to hopefully draw some other book bloggers to my site. I am learning that the book blogging community is huge and they are very supportive- they interact with one another’s blogs a lot and offer suggestions and advice. I am hoping to make some book blogging friends that can help me out with my blog! Stay tuned for an update…




Teachers Pay Teachers- Helping or Hindering?

Since our class discussion this past Tuesday, I have spent a lot of time thinking about Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) and the debate around free/open resource sharing. Janelle had similar thoughts to mine and is planning on looking into some of the STF policy.


Personally, I have purchased a few items from TpT. When the site first became popular, my first thought was that teachers should work together and openly share resources, I thought paying for these resources defeated that. But over the years, when I found myself needing a good resource and didn’t have time to create one myself, I would purchase things on TpT. But until our class discussion I never considered the fact that not only is the site is really a barrier to openly sharing resources, but there is some question on who actually owns the content being created. Is it the teacher or the school division they work for?

While doing some research I found some interesting articles of success stories from teachers who have made significant amounts of money from TpT. Deanna Jump is a Kindergarten teacher who has made headlines because she is now a millionaire from selling her products on the site.

But is this idea of paying for resources taking away from creating a network where teachers can openly share resources and materials? An article Selling Out With Teachers Pay Teachers states,

“This introduces a dangerous incentive for teachers, dangling the possibility of huge profits in return for abandoning a free and open exchange of ideas to help students succeed.”

I can see both sides of the debate, if teachers are going to purchase resource materials it is better for that money to go to real teachers who create them rather than big publishing companies. And teachers know how much time and effort can go into creating some of these resources. But if everyone wants money for their resources and ideas-that is not creating a collaborative network where everyone could benefit.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Do you purchase or sell resources on Teachers Pay Teachers? Would you rather see teachers getting paid for their resources or sharing them freely with other educators?

Open Education Resources

I was first introduced to the concept of Open Education when learning about the story of Aaron Swartz last semester in ECI 832. It was the first time I thought critically about how restrictive and limiting education can be, and how valuable information, specifically research and journal articles, are not easily accessible to many people because of the cost. Since then, I am beginning to see just how many issues there are with the lack of available, quality education for all. That is why I find it so exciting to learn about the Open Education Movement and the resources that are beginning to become available.

This inspired me to do some research into some of the Open Education resources available. Here are some of the sites I found that would be helpful for teachers and students:

Khan Academy– I have been using Khan Academy resources to supplement my math lessons since my first year teaching, I just never made the connection to Open Education. I didn’t know they had a wide variety of subject areas such as Science, Arts, Computing, Economics, and many more. I found that all of the resources and videos are very high quality, and the layout of the website is very user friendly.

CK-12– I created an account on CK-12 as a teacher, and was amazed at the things I was able to do! I played around and figured out how to create a “Flexbook”. I could create a digital textbook by adding resources from their site, or adding files of my own. It was fully customizable and I could even edit the content from their resources. When I was finished, I could save it in my library and even publish it to a PDF file- HOW AWESOME!!! I am so excited about this and I think it would be so helpful for teachers to create these for their students or lessons! I would highly recommend you check it out.

Some other Open Education sites I looked at were Saylor, edX, P2PU. These were great resources where anyone can take college level courses for free. So they may not be as useful in the classroom, but are still fantastic for the Open Education movement.

Here is a great TED talk by Anant Agarwal (the head of edX) about the importance of MOOCs (massively open online courses).