Hey, this is in response to Shawn_Holloway's ideas for Tweeting with Teens. After 3 years of effort, these are my observations.
1. Kids do not use twitter the way adults do. Most despair of TweetDeck. Try using twirl instead, because organizing for them is global, not analytical
2. Kids do better using twitter on their phones than adults do. They are more likely to use twitter on text, and can start with a message to 40404.
3. To get kids paying attention to YOUR twitter, you must put a twitter link on your class blog. (e.g, mapowell.org has a twitter feed in the top right corner). Use daily links and ask an extra credit test question. They'll figure out in a hurry to pay attention.
4. Have the kids use twitter as a news system to start. Follow KWWL, Joe_Winters, and one or two others.
5. Hold a Follow Friday share-a-thon. It will get them going.
6. Rather than going through the hassle of following everyone to start, @username the messages. Or .@username to comment to them and all of their followers (note the period in front)
7. My own kids use twitter on their smart phones, and copy any messages they want to save from Twirl.
8. Show the kids Twitpic or Daily Booth. Have them use the cell phones to post their assignment poster digitally for grading, and follow up with a Tweet
9. Have more than one twitter address...one for you and your students, another for your own professional development (e.g., @mapowell vs. @marciarpowell) Twirl accomodates multiple accounts.
10. #hashtag student ideas so you can easily search, rather than following all kids individually, at least to start. This lets you use Tweet Deck without forcing students to do so.
11. Consider turning tweets off on the phone between 11-7. Remember, also, that if you follow someone on the computer, you have to turn on the username to send it to your phone. It's much easier because of this for kids just to follow people on their phones.
12. And for the Nerdfighters out there, who love @realjohngreen: http://dft.ba is a great URL shortener. Don't Forget To Be Awesome!