My ICT goal for this year is to use a Blog site for my very able Y4/5 writers. They all love writing and critic each others work very seriously (and some competitively). So the theory is they write into their blog and then they can comment on each others work for them to rework their pieces. I have set this up on 21classes.

Reflective Blogging with Children
Blogs For Learning
Reflective Learning Blogs

May 19th
I introduced my target group of students to their Blog last week. They are very excited although they are still coming to grips with the concept. They spent their first session getting to know their space in 21classes and filling in "about me'. The group of 10 are going to need some time invested however they are keen, love to write and share their work with each other.
Will keep you posted with success, management and the time involved.

30 June
My group of 10 has grown to 14 with a few others keen to get writing - great. They are keen to get on their blogs and start writing. The interface for 21 classes has taken a bit of getting used to - it isn't always logical for the kids to get around. I was pleased to see a class at Summerland using the same blog for the same purpose and with similar security. The kids have left some amazing comments on each others work and they are pretty pleased when they have published a piece. It is taking then some time to type their work but they are committed. A few are accessing the blog from home which is pleasing.
It is easy to manage - I get an email when there have been updates to the blog and its a quick read. One of my boys comments on how many errors he has found so thats one less task for me! I will have a few examples of their blogging so far on the Middle 's display board at the expo.
My next stage for them is to rework their pieces from the comments they receive.

Wow! You saw that class at Summerland too! It was a a cool idea, 21classes is very secure, even if you don't get all the featues that you may like. You could try and set up a link with another class where you comment on each other blogs- Adds a whole new audience! Google Reader makes this real easy. You just set up an account for the kids with the blogs you want them to comment on. I have a list of a few if you are interested. Nigel, Korokoro.

September 1st
Spring is here and it also saw a face lift of the class blog. I used a photo of the group to enhance the front page and change a few things.
The children are much better at getting posts up and commenting on each other - it now has more momentum. A few are entering things on at home but I need to step up that expectation now. My next learning step is to get them to plan and write from their plan rather than copying from their book or randomly writing without planning.
A few issues to overcome with having 'free writing' on their blog and having 2/3 of my class boys is their need to write about gangs or violence (mostly connected to age-rated movies) - these have not been accepted to be shown. It is interesting that a couple of parents I spoke to at interviews about this being a regular choice of topic they were not that concerned. They are 9 and 10! A couple of the kids also worked out how to upload images - I have allowed this only if they are supported by text.
Now that the blog had momentum and the target group are confident in using the blog - as is their teacher - I will make it available to the rest of the class. I will still continue to have the feature of accepting or declining posts and comments.
Our Blog

September 8th
Getting a class wiki together - slowly - its mostly for a place to put the e-products the kids are coming up with so they don't get forgotten about in a folder! Signed up to slideshare and have got a couple up there and linked to the wiki. Not as ideal as i'd like but its up there and it's a start.