I have had the chance to explore some really neat Web 2.0 tools in a class that I am taking that I didn't even know existed. I found out a about a microblog called Today's Meet while exploring Curriculum21 Clearinghouse that I thought I would share. I watched the following podcast and was hooked: http://www.curriculum21.com/?s=Today%27s+Meet. Today's Meet is a microblog with three main purposes. First, is a backchannel which allows for conversations behind a presentation. Also, it allows people to meet without actually meeting. Lastly, you can use it in lieu of emailing back and forth, which saves time. The ease of use is one of Today's Meet's best features. Once on the site, students login to Today's Meet simply by typing their name and clicking Join. No accounts or passwords are needed for teachers or students to use Today's Meet. Then, when students and teachers want to speak, they type in a short sentence or two and click Say. Another positive feature is it gives students who are reluctant to share a voice and the chance to ask and answer questions without raising their hand. One more positive feature of using Today's Meet is you can use it in place of emailing back and forth. It can be used before a meeting with a large group of people to make some decisions before the actual meeting. Everyone can post their comment to the room instead of emailing back and forth several times. You can use before a meeting to focus issues before getting everyone together and shorten meeting times. One challenging feature is since Today's Meet is a backchannel and backchannels are a form of social media. School district servers may block Today's Meet. Also, all students need a computer or mobile device to use Today's Meet. You could get around this by having each group have a member who is responsible for typing in the comments for the group. Lastly, when students join they may create their own username. Students could abuse the system and post inappropriate or distracting comments without knowing who posted the comment. To avoid this problem, assign them a specific way to set up their username such as using their first and last name. Today's Meet is a backchannel that gets students chatting using an easy-to-use interface. Today's Meet is a Web 2.0 tool that is free, requires no logins, and works on any Internet device. It allows teachers to instantly create a virtual room for students to speak up while channeling the results onto one web page or an Interactive White Board. The tool can be used for discussions, brainstorming, reflecting, formative assessment, and even exit tickets. Students can get to Today's Meet with the click of a mouse, if the teacher provides a link on a classroom blog or classroom web site. Responses are limited to 140 characters or less (much like Twitter). This type of online response is considered micro-blogging due to the size of the post. 

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