AnswerGarden is a neat service that allows you to embed a open-ended feedback tool into your classroom blog or website. With an AnswerGarden embedded into your blog your students can simply type responses to your question and see their responses appear in a word cloud.
Creating an AnswerGarden is a simple process that does not require you to create an account. To get started go to the AnswerGarden homepage and click "create AnswerGarden." On the next screen you will enter a question or statement for your students to respond to. To share your AnswerGarden with students you can give them the link or embed the AnswerGarden into your blog as I have done below. Optionally, before sharing your AnswerGarden you can turn on moderation of responses and set an admin password.
What is the best thing about teaching?... at AnswerGarden.ch.
Applications for Education
AnswerGarden could be a great tool for taking the pulse of your class. You could create AnswerGardens on which students share a word or two that they think summarizes a lesson or a reading passage. AnswerGarden could also be good for having students quickly share an opinion on a question.