ECMP 355 Tech Tasks

The Sextortion of Amanda Todd

A long time ago, I watched the Sextortion of Amanda Todd. This video discussed the Amanda Todd case in depth. Before watching this, I was dissapointed that Amanda Todd was the face of bullying. When this case exploded, the news and online media talked about how an ‘attention whore’ would show nudity online (at the time, I thought it was to some of her friends over skype, rather than 150 blog tv viewers). It was never reported (To me) that she was harassed for years and attempted to get away from it. Now I see why she is, and deserves to be, the face of bullying.

The video quotes “When the boys are giving attention to a girl, the other girls get upset” This is a Common scenario. The early bloomers of puberty for girls tend to be bullied at future dates, while the late bloomers tend to become the popular ones.

Amanda was smart enough to not fullfil threats and blackmails to send more photographs for the promise of the screenshot of her flashing to not make its rounds (for the third time). But eventually, Amanda went back to the sites that she originally found trouble on, talking with people making ludicrous requests again.

Before watching this video, I only knew about the Amanda Todd incident from her single video that went viral. I believed that any child that got in trouble online did so because the parents did zero monitoring of the computer. I myself was in one of these categories; my parents did not monitor my internet or computer usage at all and there were very clearly problems with video game addiction and other things. But it becomes clear after watching that her parents did in fact monitor her activity regularly and were open minded to the possibilities of the internet.Why would she do this?


Keep reading to find out. It’s a well known reality that teenage girls are very mean to one another, and that this can create extremely bullied women with little self-esteem who hear very little, if none, positive things about themselves. Give them a small or large audience of compliments and flirting and bullied individuals might do things that they know they shouldn’t for it these good feelings and comments to continue.

Society took a girl who was bullied harshly, but online she was wanted and adored. She had hundreds of followers whom talked nicely to her… Even though all the trouble started online, she probably told herself to never do something like flashing again and went back on to her ‘adoring fans.’ But this is all speculation.


Amanda Todd is a lesson for us as people, teachers, parents, friends, and strangers. It’s a sign to stop bullying, stop cyber bullying, and teach safety to the next, current, and past generations.


Ruining Star Wars


Part 1I never heard of Led Zeppelin being ripoffs until this… but now it’s clear that they were heavily influenced and snipped parts from other songs and artists.

It would be okay to take these parts and incorporate it into your own (original) piece, if enough change was made, or if attribution was given.

Part 2: I never realised just how many sequals there were to plays, movies, books, toys, characters…. and so forth, until this episode brought up the fact. Many movies are inspired by other movies, and characters by other characters.

This episode also brought up the fact that star wars heavily reenacted many scenes from many movies. I don’t want to believe that star wars is based on many other stories. While they have their own twist… But many scenes were made similar to multiple movies (intro, fight scenes, etc). Thank you for ruining my childhood. However, I feel that some of these were overexxagerated… Some movies had holograms of women or robots before star wars… does that mean that without the prior, the current would not exist? No!

It demotivates me to think that all these incredible pieces of work were filled with copies using similar camera techniques, sounds, quotes, and landscapes.

Part 3: “nobody starts out original… we need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding”

copy, transform, and combine –> basic elements of creativity

When kirby was talking about the Macintosh copying everything… the thought popped into my head… is this BAD? Is it bad to copy something and give innovation? No! Progress comes from taking existing ideas and modifying them to become more efficient or serve a greater purpose.

Multiple discoveries theorem was also something that was a reality check for me. .. Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace both came up with the theorem of natural selection in the same time period. Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Grey patented for the telephone on the same day. It’s clear that progression is universal, and that our future is not dependent on single individuals. Concepts and technologies are being invented at the same time, or in close time periods.



Part 4:

Even the US is a copy of the Iroquois Confederacy.

Copies are cheaper to make and sell than original products… originals cost more to research and have more trials. Even something that seems innovative is most likely just a copy.


Photo Credit: Sergey Galyonkin via Compfight cc





Take the Oculus Rift for example. It’s based on and competing against…well… all of these



“when we copy… we justify it…. when others copy, we villany it”






Youtube in the Classroom

Youtube is a great tool. It’s free, has tens of millions of videos, and is one of the largest sources of knowledge in the world. In the last four months, I’ve used youtube videos in almost all of my lesson plans.




  1. It can capture emotion and provide a better reference point than me lecturing or students reading
  2. It captures the attention of students better than most methods
  3. It works great for audio and visual learners
  4. A video can be found for almost all scenarios and content

For example, on the history channel on youtube, there are dozens of playlists. Some of the more useful ones for education would be The Men Who Built America, Deconstructing History, or WWII in HD.

The above are great playlists for pure content. Some videos will portray a hidden message or attempt to convince the viewer to adopt a new style of thinking (Ted Talks are great for this!)

My personal favorite youtube channel is SpaceRip. I have watched almost every video on this channel and it has fueled my passion of physics and astronomy.

Youtube is a great place and excuse for people to practice something unusual and unique, upload it, and get applauded for it. Musicians upload themselves playing, gamers upload themselves playing video games, educators may upload videos of them teaching, or students may upload videos of them doing whatever!


If I need to learn how to fix my car, I can. 


If I want to learn how to play piano, I can. 


If I want to learn about treaties in Saskatchewan… I can.


Save yourself some time, give yourself some knowledge, and have some fun with youtube in your classroom.

Learning Code

I was given Tech Task #5 which instructed me to go and learn some coding! I decided to check out CodeAcademy and was greeted with an interesting screen. 1The home page was actually a tutorial on some of the basic inputs on coding, which was an easy way to pull the user into learning more. I followed the prompts, and eventually I was led to three beginner projects. 2

  1. Create a solar system / orbit pattern (which I have done in the past)
  2. Create a website about myself (I think I’ve got that one covered!)
  3. Animate my Name

The choice was rather obvious, and I decided to go with #3. This tutorial came with 15 instructions and it checked the work after each line of code. Hints were available if needed. The first page started with the completed product. 3

As the tutorial progressed, I was instructed on the terminology of coding, what these inputs did, and how to combine previous lessons into one giant collage of code. 4

Overall the entire experience was short, fun, and educational. It provided a brief introduction into coding and can be used to diagnose if students want to look at coding for some sort of project for future classes. CodeAcademy allows one to do learning on their own by providing advanced tutorials and project ideas, and then allows the creator to share these creations to the world.


Five Photo Story

Tech Task #7


Five Card Story: From Market to Forest

a Five Card Flickr story created by Matthew Washkowsky

flickr photo by dwtno

flickr photo by krutscjo

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by bionicteaching

My father woke up in the morning and had an entire week to himself. Bored, he decided to check out the farmers market in the outskirts of town. It was filled with wonderful products, but it shamed him that so many people were eating unhealthy and packaged things when a library of fresh foods were sitting in front of them.

He stayed at the market until night fell, and sat in a park observing nature. Fascinated by its beauty he decided to go out on a hike and soon became an avid hiker, going often for many years to come. Today, he lays in that park.

The New Era of Binders

Tech Task #8

It’s clear that schools, students, and people are moving towards a more techy world. Everyone’s grandma owns either a tablet, a computer, or a smart phone. Schools are introducing one on one tablet / laptop programs with high success, but organization with computers from notes and URL’s can be tough (and kids have trouble organizing a paper binder!).

8623652742_5293fe9fd4In a tablet integrated school (or for a student in any grade / post-secondary) an easy way to organize notes by subject and content is using livebinders. Anyone reading this post will have used a binder organizer when they were in school, and this website allows the user to organize notes into any category they want. 

I’ve used computers for the last four years to note take, and I do have to say that organization is difficult (and don’t even get me started on all the things I favorite!). What I normally do is save by date or into one giant document with all my notes, and then use CTRL+F (find) to search for keywords. Not very effective.

Photo Credit: Songralonian via Compfight cc    BocRMBI

For school work I would optimally use this to organize by topic (Math, ELA, science), and then by Unit (Unit 1: Addition, Unit 2: Subtraction…). I could then add a tab for each day or combine the notes all in one, or for similar content (adding single digit numbers, adding double digit numbers, adding vertically / sideways…). This would an optimal experience for organization, studying, sharing notes, and visually for the emerging tablet scene. I myself am sick of making dozens of folders to attempt to organize.


This is not just a great tool for students! For educators it allows prime and secure organization of turned in assignments, teaching prep notes, resources, marks, and student categories. The only downfall with livebinders is it lacks a ‘flipboard’ and book style transition. Instead of swiping downwards or sideways the user must click the category.

It’s a more user friendly way of organizing folder on your computer or google drive, and it’s more visually pleasing.