I have used some of these discussion tools in the past. I love TodaysMeet. When I was in my masters class, it was a good way to talk with my classmates during class and outside of class. I think this would be a good tool to use in the classroom when discussing books or a lesson. I think it would have to be used in older grades who are good at typing. For the shy students in the class, this would be a great way for them to participate in group discussion. The teacher can use the active board with this tool that way the teacher can monitor the discussion.
Last year was the first year I used a blogger to help me communicate with my parents. I have to say that it helped me out a lot. If reduced the amount of emails I received through out the year. I was able to inform the parents what we were working on that week. I had pages that addressed homework, schedule, important dates, etc. The parents enjoyed it as well. Here is a link of my blog, Finley's newsroom, although just last week I deleted all the posts since I will be teaching second grade next year. This year I decided to add a book recommendation page since I always have parents asking me for book recommendations. ( Hence my summer project, to read appropriate level books for my little kiddos. It's hard since I'm used to third and forth graders) I would recommend all teachers have a blog. It's easier for parents to refer to and reduces the amount of communication on the teachers part. I know at first it might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, it's really easy.