As an online instructor, I plan to incorporate news items and announcements on a weekly basis to inform students of our weekly chat sessions and due dates. I would use ImageChef.com to create customized images for my classroom.
Other resources I would reference to format news items include Animoto to create simple videos from pictures, SnagIt to create quick videos to show how to navigate or complete a problem as well as animation factory. There are so many other tools to use, http://digitaltoolsforteachers.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/creating-digital-multimodal-texts.html is a good website to continue to reference.
The following is an example of a News Item that I created for my students to remind them about our synchronous sessions entitled: Live Learning Lounge