On the subject of Blogs, we three have the following to say...
Networking is the top of the list. Networking allows for a range of communication, like parents, students, online communities, faculty and staff. Inside the Classroom, the teacher can have the kids do class projects in a blog, daily writing journals, science experiments (with results), book reviews, suggested reading lists, and even an author's corner. Inside the school, a blog allows for school calendars, and monthly newsletters (with feedback), and even school upcoming events, like family nights, talent shows, etc. Outside of the school, a Blog allows for parents to communicate with teachers and students, students can communicate with other schools, and even kids from other countries. Grandparents and family members who live far away can connect to the student's work online.
Reading is another area where Blogs can help. Teachers can connect to students, with instant feedback, can track student strengths and weaknesses, and can share lesson plans (either with other teachers, or with students who missed because they were sick). Student audio blogs allow a student to hear their work, allows students to catch their own mistakes, and redo the work correctly, without the teacher "harping" on them.
There are even some creative aspects to Blogging. Digital photos can create a polished look for projects, class or school newsletters, and even an online yearbook. With a Blog, the projects can be on going, allowing for easy updates and revisions.
On the Subject of "Emily's Newsletter" we were impressed that this was the work of a 5th grader, who had been Blogging for two years now. Melissa liked how she had links to the blogs of classmates. We are curious if Emily is really the one typing her blog though, as it appears error free. However, based on the articles we read, Emily probably had to have all the text worked out before she typed it. The added pictures were a nice feature, allowing others to see the artwork that students have done. Student's humor can come out in the artwork, such as the "Pull Yourself Together" picture, which we all got a laugh out of.