All posts by Martha Middleton

I am active in Adult Education content development and best practices. I have been privileged to work alongside some of the best minds in Adult Education from Non-Profits to Corrections. All striving towards the ultimate goal of moving adults from under employed to full time employment with access to the American Dream of a better life for self and family.

Model Curriculum for Digital Citizenship

Common Sense Media


Common Sense Media

Versatile collection of lessons offering many options for instruction with students K-12 as well as lessons designed for use with parents. Includes professional development for educators, parent education connections, student digital resources, student print resources, teacher digital resources, and teacher print resources.

Price: Free

Grade Range: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12

Platforms: Desktop, Laptop, Mobile Phone, IPad,

Language: English and Spanish

Standards: Common Core and 21st Century

Scope and Sequence:Link to Scope and Sequence

Teacher Support: Professional Learning Communities

Home Connection: National PTA Program

Pros: Bracketed age ranges ensure relevance of topic and images to the audience. The topics are current. The curriculum is available in English and Spanish in a wide range of formats. Formats used include audio, video, and PDF. Unique to this curriculum is the inclusion of professional development for educators as well as the addition collaborative projects for students as well as educators. The collaborative projects appear to be designed to show what you have learned as well as a means to improve the content for others.

The inclusion of a “mentor” opportunity along with professional development is an excellent component. This is in line with the “teach the teacher” idea of planting one expert in a building and letting the education flow outward.

Digital Passport game suite for grades 3-5 Digital Passport

Digital Compass from grades 6-8 interactive “choose your own path” experiences Digital Compass

Digital Bytes grades 9-12 interactive role play allowing the students to record and post to youtube. Digital Bytes

Cons: Organization of content is a bit haphazard on the site. No clear path to grab all content for an age range.

Bottom Line: Best free Digital Citizenship Curriculum I have found. Covers all student ranges in English and Spanish. Includes traditional teaching methods such as lecture and group discussion as well and incorporating digital tools such as video creation and blogs.

Ikeepsafe Digital Citizenship



 Non profit collection of global partners from technology, government, and education focused on creating a toolbox of materials for use at school and home when working with students on digital literacy. Includes links for parents, students, and educators.

Price: Free

Grade Range: k-12

Platforms: Desktop, Laptop, Mobile Phone, IPad,

Language: English *Project is a global project but I am not finding links to content non English in origin.

Standards: Did not find a link to standards

Scope and Sequence: Use a Balance Curriculum Matrix Matrix Link providing a light overview of the content

Teacher Support: Teacher Resource provide an overview to digital topics such as digital security and digital rights. Does not provide teacher certification or badging.

Home Connection: Parent Portal consists of a collection of basic videos, info charts, and research documents. The parent resources are not engaging or interactive

Pros: Supported by a wide range of individuals with a vast array of interests.

Cons: The videos are not available, the content is flat not interactive, the educator training information is not designed to get educators thinking beyond the basics. The Parent Portal lectures as opposed to engaging parents. The high school materials are not age appropriate.

Bottom Line: Does not live up to the potential of the list of partners. I appears to be an afterthought and underfunded. Might be a resource tool but not a stand alone curriculum.


 Last is ikeepsafe

Start over



Most Brilliant Education Idea


What do you think of the statement “A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be”

What about the idea of why do you need to “shove it in your brain” when it is on google?


I think if we use technology to its fullest the teacher becomes the “coach” or as this example shows the “Grandmother”. The role of the educator is to guide the student in THEIR learning path. Let the student own the experience.

I agree, if you know how to access the information you do not need to commit it to memory. That is a shift in education from knowing “bits” to understanding how “bits” work together. The move towards understanding.

Changes are easy in a blog

I changed the theme of my blog by searching through the archives of templates available in WordPress. I decided to go with a neo trendy look to jazz it up a bit. This was the 5th template I selected. The others were too limiting with color and flow. I like the energy of this new template.

Additionally I added some widgets for pages and a calendar.

I also installed the wiki feature

I played around with the colors for backgrounds as well as the text colors trying to find the right combination.


Review of the Essential Elements of Digital Literacy

I am not a fan of Doug Belshaw’s book The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

The book is failing to deliver a deeper understanding of the elements of digital literacy. The basic statement from the author is along the line of define digital literacy how you need to based on the situation you are in. This type of approach leads to more ambiguity in the area of educators relating to digital literacy.  I asked 7 educators to define digital literacy and the results were all over the board. From knowing how to turn on the computer and use a mouse, to understanding functions such as drag and drop , to knowing how to use digital tools to expand ability. How can we discuss the need for digital literacy in schools if we do not have a preset rule of what it is actually  addressing.  I hope the remaining chapters have more details and go deeper into the problem.



Essential Elements of Digital Literacy

No Digital Facelift youtube Lecture

No Digital Facelift

The lecture No Digital Facelift is over 6 years old but contains a lot of relevant thoughts impacting digital instruction today.  The basic concept of applying a facelift or transforming education is the question thought leaders are still discussing.

Some key ideas that resonated with me

“programed for discovery rather than instruction”

What would the education system look like if the focus was discovery rather than instruction. Students in charge of their educational path with the educator as a coach rather than the divine being responsible for instruction.  He speaks to the “historical conditioning” of industry specifically the newspaper industry but could the same not be said of the education industry? I contend we are historically conditioned to education being a passive endeavor with the instructor in control instead of the learner. With technology, could we shift that dynamic? Could we move to a collection of learners tracking at their speed and interest level?

It was also stated there are three pieces to education

Narrating, curating, and sharing

Interesting when you think about what Common Core is attempting to do with higher level thinking skills. If we move education to a process of narrating, curating, and sharing I believe we move from memorizing to understanding. For you can not articulate the learned skill without understanding, you can not curate without understanding application, and you can not share without deeper understanding of what you have discovered.

Now the deeper question is what is the barrier to adoption of technology in education?

What does digital citizenship mean to me

Before defining digital citizenship I have to take a step back and define digital literacy for one builds on the other in my mind. Digital literacy is the understanding of how the devices work and how to use the devices along with understanding the content served up through technology. An example would be understanding Twitter not just as a limited character communication tool but understanding how to access, sort, store, manage and utilize the tool to your benefit. In print it would be understanding there is information on a page and having the ability to access and understand the information using the information to build out critical thinking skills.

Digital citizenship is how you engage with digital literacy. It is understanding the risks and benefits of technology to enhance your contribution to society. Risks such as privacy, bullying, image protection, copyright laws, and general engagement. Benefits such as time management, communication, engagement, and knowledge.

Digital citizenship is membership in the transformative community of technology and technology users. It comes with rights as well as responsibilities and a good digital citizen engages with the knowledge base and embarks on a path of continuing education around digital literacy. Digital citizenship is your footprint in technology from your smartphone to laptop and beyond. It is communication, understanding, debate, engagement, entertainment, knowledge, and growth.

Random Lists

Random Lists



You can’t think of your pets without smiling

  • Daisy is a 6 year old Golden who thinks she is human
  • Gulliver is a 19 year old Himalayan who knows he is in charge
  • Maxwell was Gulliver’s brother, he died at age 12
  • Henny Penny, Cloe, Benedict, and Pat are my chickens.










Nor can you hear a dumb joke without at least a grin.

  • Why does the giraffe have such a long neck? Because it has smelly feet.
  • What do you call an acid with an attitude? A-mean-oh-acid
  • What do you call bears with no ears? “B’s”
  • What did the polar bear say when it saw a seal on a bike? Meals on Wheels.
  • What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear.
  • What do you call a pig who knows karate? A pork chop



I am active in Adult Education content development and best practices for Adult Learners. I have been privileged to work alongside some of the best minds in Adult Education from Non-Profits to Corrections. All striving towards the ultimate goal of moving adults from under employed to full time employment with access to the American Dream. A dream of a better life for self and family.

I care about what we leave behind. It is our job to lend a hand to the next generation and lift society up. I am beyond fortunate in that my career matches my passion. I have worked in Educational Publishing for the past 20 years. While creating content is a charge, there is nothing better than attending graduation and hearing how what you created helped a family or individual change thier path in life. Adult Education does not just impact the learner but the wider family unit creating options further down the line.  Professionally, I am part of a team changing lives through one curious learner at a time by creating opportunities for life long learning. I create digital courses in blended learning environments designed to move the learner along at their pace, speaking to them where they are in life, removing education baggage, and helping the left behind learner “eat the elephant’ one bite at a time.

In my personal time, I break a lot of eggs! I like to create amazing cakes and spend a lot of time in the kitchen/lab. Some outcomes better than others, who knew green tea added to the batter would make the cake taste like spruce bark? It was worth a try.  I have also created some pretty amazing combinations like chocolate cake with port wine reduction infused mouse. Now if I had only remembered to write it down.

Breaking eggs can be fun when in the kitchen but not so much in the classroom. If I were to engage in a protest it would be around education. I feel strongly, we need to move away from a one size fits most approach to education. Granted, the basics are the basics and everyone needs exposure to the basics but why did we move away from apprentice education? What caused us as a society to decide only those with advanced degrees in classical education are truly educated? I believe there are many paths to success once you have the fundamental skills in hand. Paths beyond higher education paths that lead to gainful employment and purpose. I am not saying do away with higher education but I would protest our habit of assessing a person’s worth based on pieces of paper.

Along that same thought, if I had the power to change the world I would do away with the question, “what do you do”. How many times in life have you decided a person’s worth based on what you see as the importance of thier job? How many times have you been in a social setting and been asked by a stranger , “so tell me, what do you do”. I would remove the need to rank a person’s value to you by what they do for a living. That is thier job/career not who they are.

“Who are you?” you ask? I am someone damned by the need to plan every detail. I am the planner that drives everyone nuts. I am the one who needs to see the end goal before starting a project. I am the one not capable of letting life simply happen. Annoying, isn’t it. If my magic wand worked I would change that about me. I admire people who can just let life happen.