CHUGIAK -

Trying to tie in today's technology with today's students, Chugiak High School principal David Legg is using that technology to reach them -- making use of their smartphones in ways many educators might not ever consider.

"Everyone has a computer in their back pocket of their hand," Legg said. 

Some 241 million people around the world use Twitter and its 140-character universe to send out information and news. 

Legg sent his first tweet under his Twitter handle, Principal_Legg, in the beginning of the school year when he became the principal at Chugiak. He decided to try it out after seeing the value of establishing relationships with students when he was running Dimond's Freshman Academy. 

"Often times the head principal doesn't have the opportunity in a given day to have the interactions with students," Legg said. "I was looking for a creative way to integrate district initiatives into my job, and at the same time allowing me to have that contact with students."

And contact is exactly what he got, with students like freshman Madison Beal paying attention.

"I've retweeted some of his pictures of the comp cheer team," Beal said. "I thought it was sort of weird at first, but then it was actually pretty cool -- because I don't think really that any other principals do that, because he tries to get connected with his students." 

As part of an initiative to bring your own device to school, the idea at Chugiak is to interact with students -- an engagement that is becoming an instant connection. 

Sabrina Henckel, a junior, says Legg's tweets break the tension between teachers and students. 

"He posts articles about what classrooms are missing, and it's a lot of things that the students say also," Henckel said. "So it's cool that he thinks the same way we do."

Legg says he's seeing real-world feedback from his online initiative.

"You have validation in the hallways when kids say, 'Hey, I saw your tweet last night,' or they responded the tweet with a favorite or they retweeted," Legg said.  

Legg says the challenge for him is what to do next with Twitter. His goal is to get more students involved in conversations about creating successful schools -- and with Twitter celebrating its eighth birthday Friday, there's no doubt he will use that platform to reach more students.