Seth finally decided on a domain name. I’ll respect his privacy but I thought he did a good job; only six characters long and has a .net extension. We used GODADDY.COM for the registration. For the web hosting, we are using a no-cost program that Microsoft has set up with Verio. It is a basic plan that offers 100MB of storage until January 2010 with support for ASP.NET and SQL Server. Anyone can use it; send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include name, address, telephone, domain name, contact e-mail address and mention no-cost Microsoft program. You will get an e-mail with user ID and password to FTP and to access a control panel to set up security, etc. I was a little concerned about Seth registering the domain with his personal contact information. You might recommend that minor students use a parent’s work address or another family member’s out of area address and telephone number.
On another note, I showed Seth a really cool feature in Windows Vista for creating jpegs, gifs or png graphics without the need for a photo editing tool. Its called the “Snipping Tool” located Programs>Accessories (or just use the Search window). The Snipping Tool was designed for creating bitmap graphics from screen shots, but it works great for simple web graphics using text or simple shapes. You basically create any graphic using the drawing tools, WordArt, Office 2007 SmartArt, clip art, Paint, or any other graphic tool; client software or web-based, then use the Snipping Tool to capture the image and save in the desired format. Nice and inexpensive (but assumes you have Windows Vista, which almost no K-12 schools have). Some instruction on intellectual property should be included; its too easy to capture images that are copyrighted, even if you can’t right-click and “save target as”.
Lastly, I just received several Expression Web books in the mail, and they are both perfect for my son. The first is “Expression Web Plain & Simple” by Katherine Murray (Microsoft Press ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2519-8. VERY basic and lots of pictures. The second is more technical and great resource for more sophisticated users covering things like .net etc. It is Microsoft Expression Web Step By Step (Microsoft Press ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2440-5).