We’ve Completely Updated Our Curriculum!

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve updated all of DFI’s curriculum to help kids meet the latest challenges by empowering them to take control of their digital lives.

Our lessons are updated annually and developed in the field, not in an office. All concepts are rigorously tested and adapted in classrooms with over 9,000 students before making it into our national curriculum.

“Children are growing up more digital than ever before,” explains Jason Breed, President of Digital Futures Intiative.  “This poses new challenges in education, self-worth/esteem, isolation, depression, risky behaviors, and external risks including online predators and grooming. As a result, we need to establish a digital culture in homes and schools that includes device rules and behavior expectations. Without such guidelines, kids are left to fend for themselves. Our lessons help students start building that digital culture.”

We’ve also taken a new approach to teaching students how digital platforms are developed to capture their attention, use their personal data for profit, and encourage specific behaviors. Left unchecked, this digital conformity erodes traditional values. We address this with a framework called Tolerance, Acceptance, and Resilience (T.A.R.). Our lessons give kids opportunities to practice these skills through in-class activities and real-life lessons.

In all, DFi now offers over 17 hours of presentation materials in addition to two different 90-minute Parent Academies… and it’s all still 100% FREE.

Here are just a few of the updates you’ll find in this year’s update: 

Vaping

The danger of vaping has finally started receiving the attention it deserves. With the federal government storming the offices of Juul Labs, to hundreds of people around the country developing serious lung illnesses linked directly to vaping and THC, people are finally realizing not just how dangerous vaping really is, but that these companies directly target kids to get them hooked.

Our new curriculum provides students with numerous examples of how vaping companies are fooling children into believing these products are safe and how these companies use social media to reach them.

Trolls, Bots, & Fake News

We look at detailed examples of how trolls & bots are used on social media to manipulate people’s views about the world. In recent years, we have learned a lot about how companies like Facebook and Twitter really operate— especially when it comes to turning a blind eye to malicious actors on their platforms. We show kids examples of what this looks like, and why they should be skeptical when seeing strong views expressed on social media.

Fake news is also covered in our new curriculum. Since 2016, we have seen an explosion of artificial stories spread on social media. Sometimes, this is done with a political motive. Other times, it’s to create controversy so someone benefits by getting more profile views or followers. We teach kids how to spot fake news and how to create & protect their own online brand.

New Format

We’ve also redesigned our lesson design to make it easier for instructors & kids to use. Instructors are especially thrilled with our new series of 1 sheets, covering everything from vaping to screen time agreements for familes.

We also completely rebuilt our website to make it easier for instructors, SRO’s, educators, and parents to find what they’re looking for.

Did We Mention It’s 100% FREE?

Because our goal is to help kids everywhere take control of their digital lives, we make this amazing content available for free to everyone who wants to use it, including members of law enforcement, teachers, and parents. Just visit our Getting Started page to become a DFI instructor and start your training. You’ll be making a difference in kids’ lives before you know it. And if you don’t have much experience presenting material to kids, don’t worry— our lesson plans are packed with notes and cheat sheets to make it easy to communicate this info to kids at all age levels.

“Understanding how to establish a digital culture and climate in schools and homes is a vital tool all communities need to invest in to combat the digital nuances that are always changing.” says Deputy Jay Martin, DFI’s Director of Training and Curriculum. “By preparing kids on things like TAR—tolerance, acceptance and resiliency —and training them on digital platform manipulation, we empower students to take control of their online actions before becoming victims to someone else’s game.”

Join DFI today and help kids take control of their digital lives:

https://www.dfinow.org/get-started/

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DFi’s Jay Martin teaching at the National Association of School Resource Officers, 2019

Digital Futures Initiative (DFi)

DFi’s mission is to empower educators, parents and communities with informative, useful resources and solutions to help guide today’s digitally-connected youth on making better decisions, mitigating digital threats and using the power of digital, mobile and social media for their benefit.

DFi provides the necessary tools and training programs for educators, law enforcement (SRO’s) and parents to help them instruct kids on safer, more responsible internet and mobile use, and to better manage specific problems that can arise—including cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, substance use, loss of emotional intelligence, distracted driving and more.

Digital Futures Initiative (DFi) was created to deliver digital life skills to students and parents in an innovative, consistent way. Lessons are designed by curating the best and most current content available in the world and the curriculum is made available for FREE to any school, county or group who needs it. The program includes all of the self-paced online training, powerpoints, images, videos, presenter’s notes, and in-class activities that are needed to start teaching digital citizenship in your classrooms today.

To sign up simply go to https://Certify.DFiNow.org and register as a new user after that use as many of the lessons that you need.

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