I had used some polling in the traditional classroom setting, using remote clickers and integrating those into power point presentations. They were great for review, or starting discussions. I believe that this concept translates quite easily into the online environment. Polling can also be used to assist in assessing learner's preferred direction for the course, where we have that flexibility.
Texting was more a challenge for me to get my head around. The first application that struck me as being quite useful was Poll Everywhere ( http://www.polleverywhere.com ). This allows me to do a couple of things. First, if I am running a synchronous session using, say, Elluminate, I can include everyone in my polling community, not just those in the class. Also, I can run my poll asynchronously, and come back to share results with the learners at a later time.
I think there is more potential to the texting technology, but I have not yet put my finger on how to draw on that power. My students can text faster than lightning, and it has become a normal mode of communication for them .. ie. if I want to reach them, then this might be the way to do it.
By the way, my daughter put me onto a great, funny website (caution: contains adult language) about messages which are mangled by the auto-correct function on phones. http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com . I have not laughed so hard in a long time.