Just for the record - I write in my purple paper diary first - during any professional development - mainly because that's the way that I can get any quotes down or ideas written down fast. Over the years that I've been blogging - I've learnt that online journalling is too quick of a published post. I need to think about what I've written and think about the conference (or professional learning or whatever else that has made me want to write) in more depth and then post something relatively reflective and strong as a piece of writing. When I write on here without writing in my paper journal - it's because I've been ruminating for a long time on the issue and I've finally either got the courage, guts or the best way to start the post. Sometimes I write on here just for the sake of hearing my own voice... and those are the ones that should really have just gone into my paper journal.. But sometimes there's some solid truths in them all.
In this thought process - there are similarities within how I teach my students to write - though alot of the time it feels like there isn't enough TIME to do anything really well. We have a HUGE curriculum to get through and writing sometimes gets left at the wayside - particularly creative writing. So far this year my junior students have done bits and pieces here and there but we haven't worked them up to a full published piece yet. Am hoping to do that this term. The seniors on the other hand - were taught a specific genre - and task for their writing - and while they had relative freedom in their writing - there were many students who just didn't have the ability - basically because they don't read enough. To be a good writer, you need to read- to increase your vocabulary, experiment with different writers' styles in order to create your own style of writing.
There often isn't time to edit assessments to their ultimate best as a piece of writing or even just pure writing - done for fun rather than tested and marked. This is the reason why I think student blogging could be really effective. It would give the kids an outlet, an instant audience and would teach them the importance of editing their thoughts - for clarity, sense and overall enjoyment and ease of reading. They would get peer-reviewed feedback and feedforward and more importantly - would get them reading... and of course writing. Yes there are safety issues and equity issues involved. But think of the possibilities! Hmmm. :)