I love Backchannel Chat. I actually use it as a tool for absent students who have questions about homework, notes, and/or discussion. The students are aware that I am only online for about 35 minutes to answer their questions or concerns about homework, class discussion, grades, or missing assignments. I use this as a tool to keep students up to speed in order to get the maximum amount of classroom time that I have with the students. So often absent students come back to class asking, " what did I miss." I end up spending class time trying to get them caught up. This is a great way to stay connected with the students and to keep them updated without using instruction time.