Let's face it, students want to use technology while at school. They would most likely be on the computer typing (blogging) rather than writing on a piece of paper and handing it in with the hopes of seeing a comment in a few days...from the teacher. Blogging has the ability to achieve comments from multiple sources. For instance, a class might have a blog that is protected, in other words only certain people can see it (like only the teacher and those in the classroom). By creating this scenario, now the student's writing can be read and commented on by those students in the classroom. Not to forget that the blog post can be read by and commented on by multiple people all at once.
Another scenario might be that the blog is out in cyber space for all to see. Now think if the student writes about a topic, say, volcanoes. The blog post happens to catch the eye of a scientist who lives at the foot of a volcano. Can you imagine the dialogue, the learning that might take place when the scientist comments on that student's blog? Of course I realize that this won't happen all of the time. I mean, c'mon, my students won't post something and get responses from around the world instantly.
But it could.
This is why the teacher needs to know about blogging...about social networking...about global communication. The teacher needs to have a network of teachers, a working knowledge of how they might go about finding that scientist who works at the base of the volcano. If the teacher doesn't use the technology, how will they be able to encourage and assist the students?
I believe that if done correctly, a system of writing, editing, posting, reading, commenting, (repeat the cycle), could be very powerful. VERY powerful.
So, begin to explore the world of blogging, social networks, Twitter, wikis, shared Google documents and the like.
It's never too late to start.