I've become a big fan of blogging in the past year as it makes it much easier to maintain a web prescience and update resources that most other content management systems out there. I plan on using a classroom blog this year instead of a newsletter. Here's a post from Free Technology for Teachers that I found timely, as the author talks about why teachers should have classroom blogs.
Here are my plans for my classroom blog:
1. Link to Weekly reading log form that I created using google docs. This way, I can quickly compute how many minutes kids are reading, what they are reading, and can even ask a quick question like what genre they are reading or where they like reading to help get a better sense of how I can support their reading. If it works, I might do a math type log as well, as I did Math logs once, and the students really enjoyed keeping track of the number of math problems they completed.
2. Current and Upcoming Events in the classroom. This will hopefully replace the newsletter. For those parents who need a hardcopy, I can just print out the pertinent newsletters once a day. I'm really excited about the prospect of putting up pictures of student work, possibly using the ELMO in my classroom to help with that.
3. Homework. I can just post homework to this page so that there never is a question of what the students' homework is or if they forgot to bring it home what they should do.
4. Rubrics. I'd love to get to the point where I have rubrics for units of study up on the blog.
One thing I will need to do is figure out a service that will email people with updates to the blog, as that is the manner in which most parents receive their newsletters from teachers. I also need to find out the policy on student work on the internet, and what I should do with student names and the such.