How-to video: Creating a safe, private student Twitter account
Brief synopsis: Although parents and even many educators don't understand Twitter and the power it holds in the K-12 classroom, Twitter is not only useful, it is also safe for students to use. Twitter, the microblogging social media network, has a powerful privacy feature that gives users the ability to approve or reject anyone who tries to follow them.
Benefits: Twitter is a powerful microblogging tool that can teach students how to condense their thoughts into brief, well-written statements. Twitter can help students, who are reluctant to participate in class, be part of classroom discussions either in the classroom or from any place that has Internet access. Contrary to popular belief, even though it is a social network, Twitter can be completely private for students. Twitter has user-friendly settings that allow students, or other users wishing to monitor who follows them, to keep their tweets private. So, users clicking the privacy box must approve followers, before anyone attempting to follow can see those users' activities on Twitter. Students can also keep their Twitter handle, or username, private -- using a first name and a combination of numbers -- which allows only teachers and peers to know who they are, while maintaining privacy from everyone else on Twitter.
Drawbacks: The only drawback to Twitter is that many school district firewalls block it.
Conclusion: The how-to video above demonstrates how to set up a private Twitter account, so teachers and students can use Twitter as a powerful communication tool.