This is one I use as homework reminders and announcements to parents: http://gmcsblogpc.blogspot.com/ There is a setting on it that does not allow for comments.
And this is the one I use, also from blogger, for writing assignments: http://gmcsblogpc1.blogspot.com/ This has a setting that allows for comments, and that's what it's designed for. I don't do all my writing on the blog, but I use it on occasion, usually when I give them a writing prompt.
I envision a time when all my homework, all my policies, all my parental forms, all my coursework, all my writing, and all my collaborative projects will be on one site. There are some super tools out there, but for now, this is what I have.
All this can be a little overwhelming, but I find Classroom 2.0 an excellent resource. Stick around, pay attention, follow threads of interest. You'll get there.
Blogger is great, I've used it a bunch and like it. HOWEVER, there are some limitations that have caused me to leave Blogger. I now use Edublogs.org. Edublogs allows you to create private and secure sites where students are safe. The Wordpress platform allows for the creation of private discussion forums, extra pages for specific purposes, upload space for documents, etc.
Of course, you could go "all in" and start a Ning for your classes, and use the blog feature there.
Stephen, My gifted ed students grades 4-7 have been blogging for three years. You can see our blog here, it was done with Drupal and is served privately. What I like about it is the ability to have blogs for each student. My blog posts are on the front page, to see what people are blogging about go to Recent Posts. I also have two teacher blogs using Blogger here and here. Blogger is great for a teacher only blog, but I would not want to support multiple individual blogs for students. Transparency is important. Be sure you principal and parents know what you are doing and why and get signed permission slips from parents and signed AUPs from students. Good luck, N.
There is a real risk with blogging or social networking or personal webpages, pageflakes, igoogle, etc. with kids under 18. A bullying incident or inappropraite photo upload could not only put a damper on your good intentions but a cramp in your employment!! That's why you need to come up with a system where you have access to every word written by every kid every day. Don't be fearful, just be informed before you start. It's a lot of work to do it well so you have to set your objectives, expectations (both for you and the kids) and criteria before you start. Haha!
I like it because I can easily moderate every post and comment that comes in. As Nancy says below, moderating EVERY word that goes to the blog is critical.
It assumes you want to set up a blog for each student so they can post their own writing and makes that process very simple.
I also like it because it's SIMPLE. The kids can't fuss around too much with backgrounds, themes, etc. They need to stand out for what they write.
I have also come to like it because of the community of users that have grown around it. There is an accompanying Yahoo discussion group where we all post ideas, questions, problems, etc. The group is very supportive to new users, not somethign I experienced playing around with similar educational blogging programs.