Twitter not appropriate for your students? How about Twiducate?
Teachers, if you're looking for a safe and private online environment where you can let your students run free, then check out Twiducate.
Connect, collaborate and embed, that's the overview on the Twiducate website, a social networking tool that teachers have designed to assist other colleagues. Don't be put off by the social networking categorization. That doesn't even put a crack in the eggshell. Take a dive into Tait Coles blog '35 ways to use Twiducate for deeper leaning'. He's generously provided an extensive list of ideas to get you started.
As a language teacher I find this tool extremely useful, even with mixed levels.You can post one task e.g. load up an image and ask all levels to use it as a prompt for poetry; for a collaborative writing project; stimulating vocabulary etc. Be creative and encourage your students to follow. Empower them with the responsibility to take control of their own learning. Shift away from explicit teaching and act as a facilitator, monitoring and prompting where needed, to keep the class spirit alive in your Twiducate room.
It's simple to start up. Sign in, add your mail address and invent a classroom code.
Create a class list and you'll be given a code for each student to use when logging in. No need for them to use email addresses. It's password protected.
It's user-friendly and private. If you have any problems or want to share ideas and resources, then make use of the community forum site.