I have not been updating elfboy.net as much as I had hoped this summer. Part of the reason is that I have been spending quite a bit of time working on my new web site for use by my students, their parents, teachers, and to a certain extent all students and parents. It contains, or will contain, lecture notes from my classes, syllabi, my classroom handbook, and links to resources for parents and teachers. I am pretty excited about it actually, as it promises to be much better than what I was providing via my school's web site.
I had debated for a while whether or not to purchase another domain name specifically for educational use, and also how to have it hosted. I was concerned, and still am to some degree, that my students might stumble upon this site, which does contain certain materials not entirely appropriate for their eyes, by way of my new site. Since I teach at a Catholic school, the community might not be thrilled with some of the content on elfboy.net as well. It would only take one savvy student to do a WhoIs look-up for my new site and get my contact information, and then do some searching to find this site. (You have no doubt noticed by now that I have not given the URL for the new site, nor will I, should a student do a Google search or something for the new site, thus finding this article. How's that for paranoid? Not that it even really matters, as they could always search on my name.) The odds aren't great, but it could happen. Nevertheless, I decided to proceed, as I think the benefits outweigh the risks.
The biggest reason I finally decided to use a personally owned domain for the new site was the patently stupid way things were being done at school. In the past if I wanted to update my web site through the school, which was often, I had to save the updated .html file to a folder on a network drive, and then email or tell our tech coordinator to let her know I had updated a file. Then she would FTP the file or files to the web server when she got around to it. No one but her and the other technology guy has FTP access, as teachers were (are) not permitted to have FTP access even to their own folders on the web server. Further, I could only update the site from school, unless I wanted to go through an archaic and involved process of emailing myself the files at my school email address and connecting through a very restrictive remote access application to save the files in the network folder. It all just got to be too much of a pain in the ass. This way I can update my site whenever and from where ever I want, not to mention the additional latitude I have in terms of content. It all just works out better, and it is well worth the $27 I spent on a two year domain registration.