In total, 94 percent of all teenagers use the internet. A large part of their lives plays out online. They chat with friends, find out about news and trends on social networks, and pass the time watching videos and playing games. But in the experience of the Digitale Helden, children and teenagers often lack digital and social skills. That leads to stress and verbal abuse in class chat groups, hate speech and fake news on social media, cases of cyber-bullying in and beyond the classroom, while parents and educational staff feel overwhelmed by it all.

This is where the ‘digital heroes’ come in, assisting those who are affected by providing expert input on how to deal with personal data online, fake news and other issues in the digital world. Pupils from grades 8 to 10 are given expertise on online matters that will allow them to become digital heroes themselves, guiding the younger pupils in navigating the internet.


For whom?
Educational professionals, parents and pupils

Improving digital responsibility and digital empathy among young people 

At least two years’ participation in the mentoring programme is recommended

Throughout Germany

Digital communication in schools

The school curriculum is often so full that there just isn’t enough time for media education. The Digitale Helden mentoring programme supports educational staff in combating problems such as cyber-bullying, hate speech and fake news by anchoring information and prevention in the school’s profile – while also discovering the opportunities that digital media can provide. The ultimate goal is for teenagers to support each other and take a critical and self-determined approach to internet use.

The digital heroes offer regular webinars and online courses for parents, teachers and educational support staff, teaching the participants skills such as preventing cyber-bullying, understanding how ChatGPT is changing schools, knowing what to bear in mind when teaching online, and being equipped to spot fakes.

In the case of a digital emergency, the digital heroes offer support in preventing, recognising and solving digital conflicts. Educational support staff are given the necessary competence to accompany and support young people in negotiating hateful content that crosses the line.

The Crespo Foundation supports the development and expansion of Digitale Helden’s activities into more schools across Hesse.






‘I’ve learned more about the issues of cyber-bullying and sexting so now I can be more responsible in my media use.’

Pupil from Hesse, aged 14

‘The Digitale Helden webinars are a great option for training. As a mother and media educator I can really recommend them to parents and educational staff!’ 

Sabine Müller-Bunzel


Digitale Helden gGmbH is funded by the Crespo Foundation, ALV Foundation, Aqtivator, Beisheim Stiftung, Datev-Stiftung Zukunft, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung as well as Deutschland rundet auf Stiftungs-GmbH, the Hesse culture ministry, Pädagogisches Landesinstitut Rheinland-Pfalz and the City of Frankfurt.


Florian Borns
Digitale Helden gGmbH