Adina’s Deck was directed, written, and produced by Debbie Heimowitz and Jason Azicri. Debbie created Adina’s Deck as part of Stanford University's Learning, Design & Technology Master's program in the School of Education along with Jason Azicri who co-created the film.
They are very passionate about helping families navigate tricky behaviors with technology. Since creating Adina's Deck, Debbie and Jason have pursued their passion in educational media & technology.
Debbie was on the first team to launch Amazon Studios Kids Video Streaming Original Content with a mission to find smart content presented in an entertaining format. Several of the shows she developed went on to win Emmy awards. This includes shows such as Tumble Leaf as well as Gortimer Gibbons which was nominated for the award. Debbie has also been involved in the NBC Page Program where she worked on The Jay Leno Show and Ellen. She also worked in enhanced content marketing at Netflix. Debbie’s past projects also include being an intern on the show Smallville and at Disney Channel on the show Phil of the Future.
Along with Adina's Deck, she currently works in marketing and product development for Square Panda, an EdTech and consumer products start-up where she was the 1st employee.
Jason has consulted and advised executives in children's media and creative brand development at Zoodles (now HTC Kid Mode), Mitroff & Associates, and Square Panda. Jason has also worked on a few Netflix shows as a consultant; one of them being the Netflix Original Voltron. He has penned several films and television shows. Jason also works in private practice as a licensed mental health therapist.
They currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their 7- and 3-year-old sons and 2 guinea pigs.
Jason can be contacted through LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-azicri-a531085/
Debbie can be contacted here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbieheimowitz/
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 teens from online dangers and teaches them appropriate behavior. 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, Online 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 using technology. We developed the story 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, receives 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.p
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.
I teach technology education and business education at a rural high school in – Southern Humboldt County (in Northern CA). Since I see all the 9th graders in Computer Literacy class, I decided to order all three of your current episodes, to help me teach a unit on Copyright, Web Ethics, Plagiarism and Internet Safety. So far, I have used the Case of the Plagiarized Paper to introduce lessons on avoiding plagiarism, and I have used Adina’s Deck to help with lessons on Web Ethics, Web Etiquette, and Internet Safety. I spent two days on bullying because we are a Gr 8-12 high school campus, and the 9th graders still have memories of their time as 8th graders as well as the benefit of moving 1 step up in the campus pecking order. We use the Community of Caring model for character education, so the Adina’s Deck footage was especially appropriate. Our discussion on bullying was one of the most open that we have had all year – my students were totally cued into what cyberbullying is all about and our discussion ranged from what happened at Columbine to vandalism between classmates on our school wiki. My timing could not have been better – as it turned out, the day before we had our pre-video discussion, we had our own horrendous incident involving cyberbullying. 2 younger female 8th graders vandalized another female 8th grader’s locker with fake blood, wrote messages like “whore” and “bitch”, and then sent cell phone pictures to the victim of a third student trying to look scary with knives also dripping with fake blood. It was truly a memorable teachable moment, and gave us all an opportunity to understand just how offensive mental bullying can be. Also, I have an investigator from the DA’s office coming to meet with my students about Cyber-safety, and we’ll use the Case of the Online Crush then!
-Aletta Sauer, CA
“We showed Adina’s Deck on Sunday and the audience was very impressed. You could see the parents were very involved in watching and either related to the subject firsthand — or had their eyes opened.Keep up the great work!
Ann B., Hawaii
I received your DVD in the mail this morning, I am delighted with it!! I’m so glad that it arrived before next week as I wanted to start the Cyberbullying campaign next week. I watched it tonight with my 7 year old son. He is quite net savvy. He really enjoyed it and wanted to know if there were any more!! I asked him if he understood what cyberbullying meant and he said “when you are bullied over a mobile (cell) phone”. I asked if there were any other ways that you could be cyberbullied and I explained email and IM’s. He said that it is a really good film to show children as they can learn alot from it!! So there you go, younger children need to see it too.I really can’t wait to show my three groups of students. They are a good group of students of mixed abilities and are at the correct age to be influenced by high quality DVD’s like this. Irish children are very influenced by American culture and this film gets the message across using entertaining techniques. The characters are all “cool” even the “geeks” (haha), the sets are colourful, authority figures are understanding, etc. I could go on and on but I think you get the message by now.
Congratulations on this whole initiative. I will share it with my fellow trainee teachers.I will let you know what the students think about it next week some time. I’m sure I will order the other DVD’s too.
Very inspirational material!!
Joanne R., Ireland
The 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Vandenberg Middle School were talking about seeing Adina’s Deck for days after the assemblies. It is a great starting point for addressing the topic of cyber-bullying. After the assemblies the teachers were able to talk with their classes about their thoughts on the topic and reinforce that the school is here to help them if they should find themselves in a similar situation. Equally important, I believe it got those students who have been cyber-bullies, or are capable of cyber-bullying, to think about their actions, and hopefully not be a party to such activity in the future. The program can be used in a classroom format using the facilitators guide provided with the DVD, or can be presented assembly style, like we did at our school. Either way I am sure you will not be disappointed. The material is engaging for this age group. When 400 kids sit silently for a half hour, you know you’ve got something unique. It held their attention and they were hearing the message. What more can you ask for?
– Cathie R., Counselor, Vandenberg Middle School
Today our entire 6th grade watched it at an assembly with our counselors facilitating the process. The students loved the movie and were engaged throughout. At the end, students went back to class for a 30 minute class discussion in regards to the issue of cyberbullying. There were some candid discussions about the issue and the teachers did a great job helping the students process issues that were raised by Adinas Deck. Thank you for the positive work that you have produced, and we look forward to future versions about other topics.
Steve B, Cupertino, CA
The girls still ask about Adinas Deck and want to watch a sequel of it. A seventh grader told me at the last savvy surfing meeting, that they wanted to form their own deck after watching it. Theres not a lot of material for Cyberbullying, and if there is, you have to censor a lot of it for younger girls. Adinas deck was age-appropriate for MS and the girls absolutely adored it! We cant wait for the sequels!!
Working in a school district, and having three teens myself, I would say that Debbie captured the current teen scene perfectly (at least for a Silicon Valley high school). Being a first effort, I would say that Debbie and team are on the threshold of a very rewarding career if they keep this up with future projects.This topic is of critical relevance to todays teens, and yes even tweens. The production values and acting in this student film far surpass a lot of what is out there being shoveled on kids in this age demographic. The actresses were perfect for their roles and pulled in most of those who were in attendance at this mornings session.
- Stan T., Modesto
I teach 7th & 8th Graders at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Harvey, Illinois… In doing my research I came across your Video Adina’s Deck on the Internet. I surveyed my students(120) before showing the video to see if the students even knew what Cyber Bullying was. I have to admit that I knew what it was but I had no idea how wide spread it was. Many students did not know what it was. The students loved the video and asked about future episodes. Some students had been mean to other on the Internet but were not aware of the term and that student’s had committed suicide as a result of it. They were touched by the video because they didn’t realize how serious the problem is. If there is any way I can be of assistance, please let me know.
- Cecelia H., Illinois
I was working with four girls on a cyber bullying situation that is incredibly similar to the one in Adinas Deck. Thankfully, we came to a positive resolution. It confirmed in my mind that your film accurately addresses the kinds of online situations that middle school students are facing everyday. And, the film addresses these issues in ways that are both educational and entertaining.
– Susan C, Hillsborough, CA
This letter came from Marilyn Schaumburg, the 6th Grade Advisor and Upper School Technology Resource Teacher at Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco, CA. Thanks Marilyn!
The girls LOVED Adinas Deck! I mean they REALLY loved it. Here are the comments they said right afterwards:
This should be on TV
There should be more episodes
It was so great!
Everything was so well done, the story flowed, and I want to see more!
They should make an episode of what happened to the little girl<
Makes you want to see more
Gets to the point of what really goes on.
Normally at school you dont get to watch things you actually enjoy!
I would want to see another one
Even though they know who did it, they made it seem suspenseful.
You should put it in stores.
Might be good idea for TV show
You could have episodes not just on cyberbullying.
It should be more well known; other teachers should be able to buy it (Here they were talking about the marketing of the product).
Dear Debbie and Jason: I want to thank you again for coming to our Crocker Connections Forum yesterday. You both did a spectacular job with our students. I checked in with several of them this morning, and they were all so enthusiastic about Adinas Deck and the follow-up discussion. Many of the students went back to their homerooms this morning and shared the highlights of the forum. One of the teachers told me how interesting and helpful the discussion was in her homeroom.
I even got the opportunity to share some of the pertinent information at a parent group meeting this morning. It is clear to me that your film and your presentation are already having a positive impact on our school.
I hope to work with you again in the future. Until then, I wish you all the very best!
I want to thank you for Adina’s Deck, which I had my daughter (10) and son(8) preview before showing it to a group of pre-teen girls and their mothers at an event I coordinated at the University of New Mexico, where I work as Supervisor of Youth Programs. My own children got a lot out of the production–you caught their attention with the mystery and kept it with the realistic (not over-the-top) acting. As a survivor of preachy after school specials, I am very grateful that your film was so informative, yet so kid-friendly.
Naomi Sandweiss, NM
Digital Citizenship, Cyber Bullying Prevention, Anti-Bullying cyber bullying program
Still Image from Adina's Deck movie
Looking to schedule a special screening for cyber safety week, screen time programming for middle school, elementary or high school? contact us to book your program!
CA 94582, US