Monday, August 17, 2009
Last week I signed up for a Mahara account and have been experimenting with it since. A Mahara – which means ‘think’ or ‘thought’ - is a digital e-portfolio, weblog, social networking system and résumé creator, all in one. Mahara was developed in the effort to create a lifelong learning application that with the use of ICT’s would promote more collaborative, interactive, mediarich and personalised learning (Brown, M., Anderson, B., Simpson, M. & Suddaby, G. 2007). The setting up of a Mahara account was relatively simple – despite some problems with the credit card – with the program guiding you though the process. Although I have only skimmed the surface of what Mahara has to offer, several ideas have already emerged as to how I could use this piece of technology in an educational setting.
Learning managers could use this as a way of documenting the growth of students over the year and highlighting their strengths for both the student and parent(s) to see. Lorenzo and Ittelson (2005) point out that these types of e-portfolios offer opportunities for students to digitally showcase their work and skills for employers. Overall, I find Mahara and the ideas of e-portfolios in general to be a much more effective program than the former paperback method and would definitely recommend it as a useful program to any educator willing to give it a try.
Brown, M., Anderson, B., Simpson, M. & Suddaby, G. (2007). Showcasing Mahara: A new open source eportfolio. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from
Lorenzo, G., Ittelson, J., (2005) An Overview of E-Portfolios. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 14, 2009, fromhttp://www.launiverciudad.com.mx/promueve/ciedd/CR/tecnologia/AnOverviewofEPortfolios.pdf