I have started to blog with this year's ERASMUS students, who are over in Barcelona until Christmas. I have them for a class on Catalan Culture, introducing them to the culture and history of Catalonia (and how this is similar to / different from Spanish culture).
Last year I set up a class weblog for this group, and although the experience was positive, and some of the students continued blogging there after the course, I found that having just one weblog between 25 students made it difficult to keep track of what everyone was saying. I also used the weblog as a way of grading them, and it was not easy to evaluate as all posts were on one site. Finally, I asked them to set up an account, and there were problems (with students forgetting passwords and user names).
so, having learned from my mistakes, I set up a class weblog for the group here:
and also individual learner weblogs, linked to the class weblog. I actually set up all the accounts for the students and gave them their logins and passwords. That way I set myself up as Administrator on all the accounts and fixed the settings to help the functioning of the weblog community.
My idea is that the others can respond to what their colleagues say using the comments system, and so when someone makes a comment, an email is sent to the student to inform them. When they publish their weblog, however, an email is automatically sent to me. This way, I know when I have to check their blogs and respond. In theory, it should work much better than last year's system. We shall see! At least it seems that a lot of the students have responded well to using weblogs and are posting about their experiences in the city...