Many schools may provide you with some web space. However, this web space may be pretty limited. For example you probably could not install blogs or forums because of the technology available on the web server-(Where your web pages are stored). Having your own web hosting allows you to have complete control over the web space your are provided. In addition having your own web hosting allows you to have your own domain name-(or website address). Instead of having http://Your-School.com/Web/Blah/MrsWackadoodle you could have http://MrsWackadoodle.com.

If you are just wanting a place to store classroom photos or have a simple website, then the web space provided by the school may be enough. If you are wanting blogs or forums for your students then having your own web space may be beneficial.

But, if I want Blogs or Forums why couldn't I use a free one?
There are many great solutions out there for free blogs or forums. Those however are hosted on somebody else's web space. While you may be able to do a lot of stuff with free blogs and forums, you are going to have to suffer with advertisements and a lack of security control. With your own web space you can set up multiple security points. For example you can password protect your blog in addition to making all of your students have their own log in information. This can help keep out outsiders.

Is it hard?
Yes and no. It depends on the web host you go with. Most web hosts today have control panels. These control panels allow for easy administration of your web page. From this control panel you can install forums, blogs, and many other web based programs that you may find a use for with just a click of the mouse.

Is it expensive?
You can find many web hosts that offer all the space you would ever need for around $5 per month. If you were to pay yearly then it may go down to $2 per month.
Some free web sites allow blogs and forums to be activated on a cite that is already created. Anyone can make a free site as long as they have an email address! Schools should also like it because the forum can be protected. Give each student a user name (maybe first initial and last name) and a password (the class title) and no one else can get onto the site. I think it is easier to just give everyone the same password (unless you are worried about students going on and changing each others
answers.
How do I find web hosting?
You can easily find a web host by googling "Web hosting". Some of the web hosts that are cheap, reliable, and trustworthy are:

- Site5 : www.site5.com
- HostGator : www.hostgator.com