My Twitter and Kikutext travails have been documented, so I won’t belabor them. But with a little legwork I think I’ve managed to get Twitter to do what I want it to do: send messages to each class direct to their phones and the ability to access multiple classes if I need to. The only thing I’m not quite sure about is direct messages, which I don’t think I’ll be able to do, but that was the least interesting aspect of Kikutext anyway for me.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Make a Twitter account for each class (this requires multiple emails, which is the frustrating part, but I had enough random ones lying around that I could do it; if you don’t, dummy Gmail addresses will do the trick): @dehlat345, @dehe4gol, @dehmedieval, @dehclassical, @deharcheo.
  2. Tell students to follow their class’ account via their cell phone (rather than their Twitter account): text ‘follow [twitteraccount]’ to 40404. For full instructions from Twitter, click here. If students follow via their Twitter account (which some have done also, though hopefully not instead of), I found last year that my tweets were lost among their others.
  3. Sign up for a Splitweet account, which allows for the management of multiple Twitter accounts, and link all accounts to Splitweet.
  4. Send a test tweet and have students turn their phones all the way up for a chorus of pings, dings, and other noises (perhaps the most fun part of the process).

Splitweet is the key. Without it, you’d be logging in and out of various accounts too frequently to make it worthwhile (and TweetCaster does something similar, though not quite as elegantly, on the iPad, though you can of course access SplitTweet on the iPad via the web browser). But with Splitweet I can just check the account / class to which I want to Tweet and it goes right there.

Tonight I received two emails from students saying that they couldn’t find the homework. I didn’t think much of the first one; figured it was a glitch. But the second one made me think that there was something wrong on my end, which indeed there was: the assignment had deactivated because I assigned it a day later than I had originally planned. So I changed the deactivation date so it was visible again, and Tweeted that there was a problem but it was now fixed, a message that went right to my students’ phones.