This week, after I published Five Platforms for a Classroom Back-channel Chat, someone Tweeted me a link to check out ShoutEm. ShoutEm is a free service that allows you to create your own private microblogging network. In my testing of ShoutEm, I found it to be very similar to Edmodo. ShoutEm allows you to make your network public or private. As the administrator of your own network you can restrict access to only those people you invite. You can also exclude entire email domains in the adminstrative settings. Your ShoutEm network can be as simple as Twitter or as robust as FriendFeed. As the administrator of your ShoutEm network you can choose to allow users to post pictures, attachments, and have threaded conversations. The video below provides a quick overview of ShoutEm.
Click here if you cannot see the video.
Applications for Education
ShoutEm could be a good platform for creating a small communication network for you and your students to use. At it's most basic you could use ShoutEm to host a back-channel chat for students to use during a class viewing of a film. Using the more robust settings of ShoutEm, your network could be a place to post assignments and links to important information that your students and their parents need to access.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Five Platforms for a Classroom Back-channel Chat
Back-channeling During a Class Viewing of Glory
Try Todaysmeet for Back-channel Chat Without Distraction