At my middle school, but not when I was in middle school. About 10 years later. When I met with a school counselor who told me that the biggest problems they were facing were with social media, online dating and virtual identity. What does it mean to be the same person in person as you are online? And how can we help teens understand the vulnerability of having access to all sorts of technology?
After doing research in two middle schools of varying socio-economic backgrounds the results were startling. The majority of middle school students had either been a bully, victim or knew someone who was experiencing cyber bullying. This was terrifying so we had to do something.
We filmed a video series and created a teachers guide to help young teens with understanding that virtual and real are one and the same. Adina’s Deck was designed and tested at Stanford University. After testing the shows with over 150 students between the ages of 10-15, significant and substantial evidence showed improvement about the topics of cyber bullying from the perspective of the bully, victim and by-standard. To read the assessment results, download this PDF here.
Award-Winning Video Series Protects Kids from On-Line Dangers. Designed like a detective show, students love the series because “ It doesn’t remind me of boring educational shows”Adina's Deck is a DVD series and curriculum for elementary, middle school, and high school aged students about today’s issues of Cyber Bullying, On-Line Relationships and Cheating/Plagiarism via technology. The film is an 'origin story' of four girls who form a club to help their peers with mysteries by using technology. The story was developed based upon first-hand research at three Middle Schools in Northern California. Winner of awards at the International Family Film Festival, the Kids First Film Festival, the Eugene Oregon Film Festival, The Honolulu Film Festival, over 10 other awards and approved by the Coalition for Quality Children's Media Episode 1: Skye's Cyber Bullying Mystery When Skye, the most popular girl in the 8th grade, starts to receive threatening emails, text messages and voice-mails, she doesn’t know what to do. Episode 2: The Case of the Online Crush Michael, a concerned 8th grader, approaches the Club with a difficult problem. His friend Ally has been talking to a guy online for over two months and it seems too good to be true- except the guy is 20! Episode 3: The Case of the Plagiarized Paper Dave, a fellow 8th grade classmate needs help from the Club. Someone in Mr. B’s class plagiarized their own paper—and since Mr. B has a bell curve it affects everyone.
These episodes are appropriate for all ages. Suggested classroom use (4th-10th grade): writing, literature, history, technology/computer teachers, character education, leadership classes. Additional use: school-wide assemblies, school broadcasts, counselor sessions, “back to school” programs on cheating/plagiarism, college prep, in preparation for assigning a major writing assignment, University level teacher training, intervention programs.