I just started a group to discuss these issues. I hope you'll join.
I'll send invitation. It is called Student Blogging.
Are any of these of interest Sue?
On this page blogs / wikis /docs, benefits of collaborative learning and hand it in teaching...
and on the blogs page - Scott Huette's article and Kim Coffino's blogging guideleines.
I have certainly seen that my own students are motivated by publishing online so others can see their work.
Something else that has worked very well in that respect is Storybird. See links here.
Thanks for the links...haven't been here for a while...lots going on at home and work. I have set up a classroom account on storybird but am disappointed that at this time am not able to invite another class as I would have like my kids to be collaborating on a story globally...with a class.
They are inviting classmates to write at home and signing in without an email address has bee awesome!
I teach 4th-12th graders and we have the 4th and 5th graders post all of their assignments on a personal blog. They know that anyone in our small 4-12th grade community as well as parents have access to look at their blogs and make comments on them. Our elementary students have to write about all of their learning throughout the day including their inquiry based math. They use their blogs for formal writing, reflections and posting projects etc. It has been very successful and I am happy to share with you what we do.
Mainly I just wanted to say that I think it is great that you are embarking on your inquiry. The more creative you let them be with their blogging the more ownership they will feel. Have fun!
I've seen a few studies showing that blogs can increase students' writing scores, quality, motivation, and variety. I recently wrote a blog entry about it and included links to much of the research. I also have some articles listed on the PD section of my website, if you're interested.
Let us know how your research goes!
Thanks for your reply. I very much enjoyed reading the your blog post and appreciated the research links. I am using edublogs for my class blog and had intended to get the kids blogging but was reluctant to start as I thought many on the steps and menu items might be too much for my Grade 3s. I checked out kidblogs, one of the sites you wrote about, set up my class and linked it to my class blog. Awesome! Today they started on their first blog post and all were successful.
Although I am a college student, I think blogging for 3rd and 4th graders would be so beneficial for them. Blogging is something that my professor tried out for the first time last semester to see how it could help us as students and future teachers. At the end of the semester, she asked for our feedback and it was for the most part very positive. Students loved how we were able to see each other's writings and feelings about the class through our postings each week. It sort of felt like we became a closer community at the end of it all.
Here is an article discussed in one of my educational technology classes about blogging: