Young people independently communicating with others their age is nothing new, but now that their communication is made more visible to adults though the digital world, what is the responsibility of schools, counselors, teachers, and parents in mentoring young people? These young people need “training wheels” in the social uses of technology. 

The exercises in this book offer that practice in dealing with everyday social issues and the way they translate into the digital realm. These lessons challenge students to think critically about how to relate with friends via texting and social media. The goal of this curriculum is to offer the students in your program ways to identify, analyze, and solve common problems they will face in grades four through eight growing up with technology. This guide facilitates conversations and engagement. Unlike guides to general internet safety, this curriculum is focused on how young people shape their online communication with people they know and how their experiences affect them on a day to day basis.

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“Digital Citizenship has evolved; it is no longer a separate entity but rather a crucial part of the everyday decision making process. This book melds digital citizenship with the overall social/emotional/ethical curriculum by informing teachers about valuable Digital Citizenship skills and giving students opportunities to examine their choices in a reflective, supported context.” Tom Mussoline- MS Academic Technology Coordinator University School, Milwaukee, WI

“This book offers schools an essential resource to help coach students in how to use technology thoughtfully and empathetically. These exercises ask students to be problem solvers and critical thinkers as they articulate, practice and reflect upon how technology can play a positive role in their lives.” Jenny Lira, LCSW 
School Counselor Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, IL

“With its flexibility and its focus on adults as connected world coaches and mentors (not lecturers), Connecting Wisely stands head and shoulders above many other curricula in this category…Each of the 21 activities aims is to help children and preadolescents gain social and emotional insight — perspectives that can help them identify potential problems, develop effective inner voices that speak up in difficult situations, and most importantly, learn how to analyze on-the-spot situations. With straightforward activities, manageable materials lists, helpful questions, and lots of guidance, Heitner and Jacobson set the stage for successful adult facilitators, who encourage kids to “…speak, share and shape their responses, and engage in lively conversation and community.” Marti Weston, 
 Academic technology specialist at Georgetown Day School

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