I've been using 21publish as a blog for my preservice elementary education class. It had several benefits: the blog served as a portal for all the individual student blogs accessible from a drop-down menu; it was free and public. Now, the free version can no longer be made public, limiting the purpose for having a blog.
I like to use tools my students can later use with their future
students. So, I'm looking for another free tool, which can be made public, is free, has an easy way to access individual blogs without creating a separate blog roll, and is not limited to K-12.
I'll take a look at Edublogs. I've used Blogger before. I'm looking for something teachers can use to moderate comments, yet provide some personalization options for students. 21 Publish was nice because students could create their own accounts and all were automatically place in the blog roll. Less responsibilities for the teacher. She also had access to student accounts.
One suggestion I have is to look at a learning portal such as edu20.org. It does much more than blogging, although you could just use the blogging feature. But it does expose them to all the rest of the technology learning portals offer. The great thing about using Edu20.org for blogging is that it is a self-contained walled community, but you can use the blog for outward-facing (public) communications....
I am looking forward to hearing what other ideas folks have about your question.
I've been using wordpress for blogging in my classroom. I actually have it set up so that when I send out an email blast to parents, it gets automatically posted to the blog (including file attachments). Email posting has made me a much more frequent blogger.
I would check out kidblogs.org. Individual student blogs are connected with a home page (with links to other members of the class). It is free and easy to use. It doesn't have the customization (themes, colors etc.) you probably have with 21publish, but posts can can include images, embedded items, videos and other media. I use 21classes (paid) and I'm switching to kidblogs.org next year. It's simple to use, but has some powerful features for blogging.