First approach… explore your school information system. Your classes are already set up, the students should become familiar with logging in, and it is about as secure as you can get. Sample from Sycamore Education (behind a password) By having your daily blog and assignments in your SIS, the kids can’t claim to have not known about upcoming deadlines and grades as well.
Second approach…. use google tools (especially if you are working with a google school.) Create a document, open it to editing, and share with your class… blogging on that document. Reinforces google domain student logins and private with your school. Can be shared to other schools as well for collaborations if you want. Schedule a google hang out to bring them all together.
Third approach… use kidblog. Simple to set up (export csv from school information system), and requires student log in to see data. Free for 50 students. kidblog has a free ipad app too.
Fourth approach… use gaggle. Free for 100 students. Will link to google domain if you use paid version. Content filter included, and customizable for levels of viewing (teacher only, class only, grade only, school only, district only, and public blog settings.) Free ipad app too.
Fifth approach… use wordpress, blogger, or weebly to set up your own classroom blog. Be careful about publicity of the posts.
This is an example of a wordpress blog. Please comment about the blogging tool you like the best below!