What is the Digital Citizen Academy (DCA)?
The Digital Citizen Academy (DCA) is dedicated to improving the lives of students, parents and educators through the resources, tools and knowledge needed to foster a healthy balance with technology. Our prevention, education and diversion programs are professionally designed to inform, protect and support children, teenagers, and adults impacted by issues resulting from technology use and abuse.
How did DCA get started?
Digital Citizen Academy (DCA) was created to develop specific education and prevention programs to directly address the challenges children are facing daily through technology. By working in conjunction with schools, students and parents have access to an interactive education and prevention program. This program, with the support of the administration and the teachers of the school, tracks the progress of the students, and allows the school to monitor results and track data. A separate diversion program is also available as a disciplinary option for offenders who are not demonstrating responsible digital citizen behaviors and adhering to school/community rules and regulations.
Who is the DCA Team?
- Lisa Strohman, CEO and Founder
- Greg Muir, Chief Technology Officer
- Suzie Cary, Education Program Development Specialist
- Commander Joseph Leduc, Law Enforcement Advisor
- Juliet Straker, Communication Program Advisor
- Niamh Sutton, International Program Coordinator
What Is The Mission of DCA?
Our mission is to empower, educate and encourage digital citizens. The Digital Citizen Academy is dedicated to improving the lives of students, parents and educators through the resources, tools and knowledge needed to foster a healthy balance with technology. Our prevention, education and diversion programs are professionally designed to inform, protect and support children, teenagers, and adults impacted by issues resulting from technology use and overuse.
Is there a cost to DCA?
Yes, however we do our best to keep costs minimal. We offer a variety of options to minimize costs. Schools can also utilize funds from Title I, PTO, grants, tax donations and other contributions to help pay for DCA programs.
What does the cost include?
Access to program(s) purchased for specific grade levels, technical support, data gathering and reporting service, webinar training on DCA programs for educators, parents and students, plus additional resources and support for teachers and parents.
Are there costs for other components?
Costs for other optional components include:
- The DCA Middle and High School Diversion Program
- Speaking engagements with Dr. Strohman
- Digi Kits (student accessories)
What if a school can’t afford to pay for the DCA program?
Consideration will be given to schools that may not be able to afford the DCA programs. Our goal is to assist schools in finding funding and working with schools to insure programs are available.
How does a school enroll in DCA?
Contact DCA via email, phone, website and request information. Those requesting information will be contacted within 24 hours of inquiry.
Are the DCA program materials available in Spanish/other languages?
DCA recognizes the need for materials to be translated into other languages and is currently working on making sure this is available.
Is DCA a sole source provider?
Yes. All materials are copyright and trademark protected and may not be used without the expressed written consent of the Digital Citizen Academy.
What is the basis for selecting the content of the modules?
Online behavior such as cheating, plagiarism, inappropriate postings, cyberbullying, can all have severe consequences. Students seldom think about how their actions can negatively affect their future. Mistakes made online can lead to loss of friends, trust of family members, investigation by law enforcement, loss of job or college opportunities, severe depression or even suicide. The mission of DCA is to prevent negative online behaviors from happening. Beginning with the building blocks of being thoughtful, trustworthy, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind before you go online at the K-2 and 3-6 grade levels, at the middle and high school level our modules address the important topics of digital citizenship, cyberbullying, inappropriate posting (sexting etc.), cheating/plagiarism/copyright infringement and digital reputation.
What sets DCA apart from other programs?
DCA is a complete K-12 technology prevention program offering a curriculum rich in content and topics relevant in the digital age. We provide specific programs for students, parents and educators to address and reduce the growing concerns and issues related to technology use and overuse. We provide trackable and measurable data for school districts and organizations. Our team is diligent about monitoring all aspects of social media. In addition, program components include, but are not limited to, educator, student and parent portals, intensive diversion programs for middle and high school students and student driven Technology Leadership Councils.
Why is a positive footprint important?
Our digital world is a permanent part of everyday life and with each post, students are building a digital footprint. By teaching students to think about the consequences before they go online, they will be more apt to consider whether what they are posting will help or harm them or others. Positive posts can lead to a positive digital reputation while negative posts can negatively impact future hopes and dreams. It is common knowledge that colleges and employers are checking social media accounts to help determine the quality of the individual they might be accepting or hiring. We have seen firsthand how negative posts, can lead to loss of college acceptances, scholarships, jobs and even loss of life.
Programs span more than one grade. How can modules be modified for each grade?
Lessons within modules are sequential and are designed to give teachers the flexibility to spend more or less time on topics depending the age of students.
The DCA Teacher Resource Guide offers opportunities and suggestions for discussion, follow up activities to lessons and additional support resources.
Who is Digi?
Digi is DCA’s model Digital Citizen. Digi is a character that is introduced in our K-2 Program and appears at the beginning of our 3-6 Program. Digi wants students to be safe and responsible on and offline. Through personal stories and experiences, Digi guides students to be thoughtful and helpful, show kindness, inspire others, and think before going online.
What is the DCA Diversion Program?
The Digital Citizen Academy Middle/High School Diversion Program offers professionally designed online programming for students as an alternative to short term school suspensions. Using a compassionate and thorough approach that will ultimately reduce the likelihood of future violations, our program is designed to further educate, protect and support students who have violated school rules. Through Diversion, students will gain valuable insight into how their behavior impacts themselves and others.
What modules are offered in the Diversion Program?
Although our Diversion program is always dynamically changing to include more options based on need, we currently offer the following:
- Inappropriate Posting
- Digital Reputation
- Cheating, plagiarism, copyright infringement
How are educators instructed in how to deliver DCA module lessons?
DCA provides educators two avenues for educating themselves on DCA content and lesson delivery. In order to become familiar and comfortable with DCA programs, it is highly recommended that educators take advantage of both avenues:
- Teacher Resource Guides (TRGs), available upon purchase of DCA programs, accompany all program modules and can be accessed online. TRGs follow the scripts of the module lesson videos allowing teachers the opportunity to prepare for the lessons, follow along on information given in the videos, pause for discussion and review lesson content.
- Webinars, designed to educate and instruct educators on the basics of implementing and delivering DCA module lessons, scheduled throughout the school year and during the summer. Webinar schedules will be made available to all schools who purchase DCA programs.
Who should participate in the webinars?
All educators responsible for delivery of the lessons.
Can DCA webinars be considered as professional development?
Can educators earn professional development hours attending DCA webinars?
It would be up to individual schools/districts to decide if educators would earn professional development hours.
How long do DCA webinars last?
Approximately 30 minutes.
Is there an additional cost for the webinars?
Webinars are included in the purchase price of the DCA program.
When can a school start a DCA program?
There is flexibility in when a school can begin using a DCA program however, It is generally recommended that module lessons be taught over several weeks during the school year.
Why is it recommended that module lessons be taught over several weeks during the school year?
In order to make a sustainable impact on student learning, DCA lessons are purposely designed to be as short as 15 minutes or as loengthy as 30 minutes, giving educators the flexibility and time for meaningful discussions, suggested activities, review and follow up. A sample timeline is available on our website at dcakids.org
Revisiting our mission – the Digital Citizen Academy is dedicated to improving the lives of students, parents and educators through the resources, tools and knowledge needed to foster a healthy balance with technology. Our prevention, education and diversion programs are professionally designed to inform, protect and support children, teenagers, and adults impacted by issues resulting from technology use and overuse.
How do middle and high school students access the modules for DCA?
This is determined by the school utilizing the DCA programs. Schools have the ability to provide the modules within class or school time, as well as providing the modules to be viewed outside of school. Modules are compatible with any computer or mobile device.
Is the information secure?
Yes, we use all the necessary security measures to make sure that data within the DCA database is secured. We do not host any critical information, such as credit card information, within our servers.
How does DCA track student responses? Who sees the results of the responses?
All student responses are tracked within the DCA database. We have built a real-time educator dashboard that can be utilized to see user responses. We do not provide any private student information to anyone other than the approved school/district educators.
Is DCA tech support available?
Currently we provide tech support through our email ticket system. Users simply need to click the “Contact Us” button and submit a ticket. It generates a support item within our system. Our normal response time is same business day but can sometimes be up to 1 business day later.
Are state standards adhered to in the programs?
Yes, technology state standards as they relate to DCA content are highlighted in red in the Teacher Resource Guide (TRG).
Are parents involved in DCA? How?
Parents are an integral part of the DCA program. School administration will notify parents that DCA is being offered in their school. Parents will be given instructions for how to access the Parent Portal and are encouraged to check their child’s portal frequently. In addition, the parent portal offers parents resources related to program modules. Books, video suggestions, samples of parent-child technology contracts, how to find assistance or seek help for social media and other technology related issues and concerns is all available in the parent portal.
What is the Technology Leadership Council?
The Technology Leadership Council (TLC) is made up of students in combined grades of 3-6 and 7-12. Under the guidance of an adult advisor, TLC is designed to be a peer to peer mentoring group. Student leaders, selected by other students, teachers or administration, create and implement projects, assemblies, before and after school activities which all support and are directly related to the prevention modules within the 3-6 and 7-12 DCA programs.
Is there DCA merchandise available online?
Yes, this is in the design stage of development.