Online Safety Resources: Adinas Deck

Todays feature is Adinas Deck, an award-winning DVD series about the fictional detective club, Adinas Deck, a group of friends who help solve challenges current to todays young people.  The series addresses a number of important topics relating to online safety and digital citizenship.  Lets find out more

Whos Behind Adinas Deck?

As the website notes, the Adina’s Deck founders are Debbie Heimowitz, who has a background in the film industry and a Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University; and Jason Azicri an award winning screenwriter, currently obtaining his MA in Counseling Psychology and Marriage & Family Therapy license. Jason was formerly a special needs health and physical education teacher. The actors and actresses in Adina’s Deck are teens from Northern CA who are now experts in their shows topics. They are motivated, hard working students who are leaders in their communities. Adina’s Deck has attracted excellent volunteers who value teamwork, creativity and intelligence.

What do they offer?

Adinas Deck offers three separate episodes available to purchase:

  1. Solving Cyber Bullying Mysteries: 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. Her best friend Melody asks the tech-savvy Adina for help. When Adina says yes, her friend Clara is confused. Skye is stuck up, and has never been nice to them in the past, so why is Adina helping her? After an adventure, the girls learn about more than just the bullies identity– they learn about friendship and growing up in the digital age of technology.
  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! The club takes the case to track down Ally’s mysterious boyfriend and uncover his true identity.  After using technology and their detective sleuth skills, the club learns that young online relationships aren’t as romantic as they might seem.
  3. The Case of the Plagarized 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. Dave’s grade is lowered and his parents are sending him to Boarding School! Adina’s Deck takes the case in order to help Dave get the grade he deserves. In this who-done-it, there are four main suspects, and the club needs to investigate each of their alibis to catch the cheater and save Dave. After a difficult case, the club learns about the true nature of plagiarism- and that doing things right the first time just might be a trustworthy solution.

The DVDs can be purchased for use in the home, school, and/or community.  The package for teachers comes with a Faciliators Guide and a Single Classroom License.  Packages are also available for Libraries and Youth Groups, and Schools/Organizations.

You can get a sneak preview by watching the trailers here.  Watch an interview with Debbie Heimowitz and Jason Azicri here.

Our Editorial: While we have not viewed any of the DVDs in their entirety, we applaud Adinas Deck for the following reasons:

  1. The Presentation and Message is On-Target for Young People: The DVDs are obviously very high quality and visually appealing to young people.  We can imagine that young people would engage well with this medium and would not switch off out of boredom or the feeling that this is adults trying to tell us something and they really dont get it yawn!  Adinas Deck does appear to get it and knows how to draw in young people with a presentation and message that is relevant and meaningful.
  2. Peer-to-Peer Teaching: We especially appreciate the peer-to-peer teaching approach of these DVDs.  This is not about adults telling youth what to do (which we know does not work well), but about young people (with the help of adults) helping each other to learn (which we know does work well).
  3. Levels of Intervention: We like the fact that the DVDs can be used either individually or as a series; by parents, teachers, and/or schools/organizations.  We know that the most effective approach to online safety and digital citizenship is to integrate prevention efforts throughout the entire school and curriculum (and involve the larger community) rather than approach it in a more piecemeal, ad hoc manner.  While the DVDs can be a stand-alone resource, they also allow for a more holistic, integrated approach.  We can imagine that these would be a great kick start to initiate such an approach.
  4. Great Resources: Adinas Deck provides links to some other valuable resources, such as Connect Safely; Critical Issues for Girls (coming soon to their website; in the meantime, check out our blog on Alison Trachtman-Hill); and Shaping Youth.

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