I had to apply an exam this week for a web development for beginners course I'm teaching. We're using ruby for the server side for a couple of reasons: heroku is an excellent option for one's first deployments and I wanted to get a better grip on Ruby on rails 3 and html5 for my own improvement (and I've found that there's no better way to learn stuff the good way than teaching them).
No decent developer can survive without some sort of source control management. The one I know more of is git and I'm a huge fan of github. We're actually using github organizations to manage the class projects (the github staff is really great, they've let me use private repositories for the student groups at no extra charge).