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2006- Pers Prof Development

Personal Professional Development”Not Just for Kids: Using Social Software to Create Community among Teachers and Provide Sustained Professional Development”

Jeff Moore
Englishtown, New Jersey, USA

Presentation Title
“Not Just for Kids: Using Social Software to Create Community among Teachers and Provide Sustained Professional Development”

Jeff Moore is the Manager for Technology for the Freehold Regional High School District, a district of six high schools serving nearly twelve thousand students in Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA. He has facilitated professional development in his district and at regional conferences on social software and the integration of technology into lesson planning. Jeff also hosted ‘One Big Head’, one of the earliest educational technology podcasts, from the driver’s seat of his Toyota Matrix as he commuted on the New Jersey Turnpike.

We assume that social software will be important to students as they wade into their post-secondary careers and education. In our discussions on how best to train students on the ethics and responsibilities of using social software, we sometimes forget that object lessons are often the best lessons. Schools can get a lot of mileage toward achieving organizational goals from social software tools, as well as provide an object lesson for students on the ethical and repsonsible use of such software.

In this presentation, Jeff Moore discusses his district’s efforts to offer sustained and individualized professional development to its staff. Speaking from the driver’s seat of his car, he describes:

  1. the use of local experts–innovative teachers who became a corps of Technology Facilitators
  2. the use of open source, social software tools in the Drupal (http://www.drupal.org/) content management system to create community among these experts and provide a resource for staff
  3. a new role for the educational technologist, that of software developer, arising from the development of a homegrown application to provide interactive professional development calendar, enrollment and tracking tools


Supporting Links
Drupal CMS

Drupal’s Vote Up/Down Package


the Freehold Regional High School District

the FRHSD Technology Integration Clearinghouse

a Video Demonstration of the PD Tracker

Feel free to contact Jeff Moore at jmoore@frhsd.com.


  1. Wendy

    Jeff –
    Could you post the urls to the opensource tools you discuss in your podcast?

    Thanks and thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Alex Ragone

    Hi Jeff,

    Excellent presentation. I’m the Director of Technology at an Independent School in New York City that is experimenting with Drupal. I’d love to know exactly how you configured your server with the Vote Yes/No Module.

    We’re using Drupal for our New York Technologists group at: http://www.nycist.net/d — and it’s going online for the first time this week.

    Also, I’m involved with WorldBridges CMS Academy Drupal at: http://cmsacademy.net/drupal. They are doing some great Drupal training.

    As a tech director, I’m very interested how what your expectations were for your Faculty Technologists to post to their blogs. I’ve tried that in different ways at my school, and never succeeded. It’s really the expectations of administrators, I guess, but any technology director advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks again for a most wonderful presentation.

    – Alex

  3. Wade Bosworth

    We are a one high school district that adopted FirstClass a few years ago. This software has allowed for social networking opportunities, content management, and web services. It is amazing how it has connected staff together and allowed little communities to sprout and grow. As Jeff refers to in his address, the technology of web 2.0 has amazing possibilities with professional development. As a smaller district, we are always trying to find ways to do professional development cheaper and more effectively.

    I’m a classroom teacher so I don’t have a lot of time to spend on developing new technologies. In fact, there aren’t many people in our district, including our technology coordinator, that have time to develop new applications. Open source does offer a lot of cool opportunities for development and growth, however, it does take some time and skill. For instance, as I entered this school year, I was looking for a better way to manage content with my students. In the past, I had been using a web site to post notes, solutions, etc., a separate portal for online discussion, and a separate service for online homework. I was looking for a way to combine these to make management easier. I started to look into using Moodle because it seemed to over most of what I was looking for. However, I ran into difficulties when my hosting services didn’t have the right server software. The school could have hosted it, but getting tech support would have been difficult. So it came down to me not having enough time to manage such an undertaking and not feeling I had enough skills to do all the troubleshooting. So instead, I convinced our district to let my students have FirstClass accounts and I have been able to do most of what I have wanted to do as far as collaboration and social networking with my students — and there’s always someone I can call/email if I have questions since we are paid customers.

    Jeff — thanks for sharing what your district is doing. It sounds like you have a great job with a great group of teachers.

  4. Cheryl Oakes

    Hello Jeff,
    What a great media presentation! The audio was great!!! I was able to listen more than once to your great ideas about social networking for staff development. I find that the message just has to keep being presented. I like your example about using a social bookmarking site for a group of teachers to create and generate content important to the organiziation.

    Open Source is the next web 2.0. I think Open Source is going mainstream.
    Cheryl Oakes

  5. Pingback: K12 Online “Not Just for Kids: Using Social Software to Create Community among Teachers and Provide Sustained Professional Developmentā€ « Brooke Schofield

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