This was a really interesting article, and although it seems obvious, I had not considered the possibility of using a blog for classroom discussions before. Looking back at the online class I’ve taken in the past, I did feel more confident in my responses because I don’t know anyone in the class so they couldn’t knowingly judge me or my response. Depending on your students’ access to internet though, this may not be appropriate to use as a homework assignment, but it could be used as a center in the classroom. Using a blog and/or discussion board would be easier with 4th grade and older, but with some training and lots of modeling, I think it could also be used in the primary grades.
If computers weren’t readily available, I wonder if chart paper set up at a center for students to respond on would have a similar effect. As with the blog example, the students would be assigned random numbers they would include with their response so the teacher would be able to keep track of each response. I don’t know if this would have the same anonymity as a blog, but it may create a slightly more comfortable environment for those less eager to participate in class discussions.