At the end of last week, I created my Mahara account. To create the account, I was required to follow the online instructions and pay five dollars, charged annually, for access.
Mahara is an electronic portfolio program, which in its simplest form, is similar to a paper portfolio, only an online version (Mahara, 2009). Data such as blogs, resumes, multimedia and documents can be stored in this facility. The benefit of this system is to provide a central location for the storage of documents in a secure server environment. One of the benefits of using this system is that it is accessible through any computer internet connection.
Mahara can be considered as a valuable pedagogical tool in a new approach to teaching and learning. This program allows both students and Learning Managers to demonstrate their acquired knowledge, skills and learning to a selected audience. It provides a place for reflective practice that can be utilised for both teacher and student.
Within the classroom, this piece of technology can be used by providing students with a secure and simple environment where they are able to upload work samples and documents that they have created. This will allow other members of their class to view their portfolio. This is definitely a more formal approach to learning, whereas a wiki can be accessed and modified by any user, depending on the security settings.
This portfolio enables students to build a profile of themselves through text and pictures. It is an effective way to become familiar with the interests and hobbies of each class member. This aligns clearly with Dimension One strategies for developing positive attitudes and perceptions in the classroom (Marzano, et al., 1997).
There are many different programs that can be utilised within the classroom. I believe that as a Learning Manager, I need to identify specific knowledge and skills that I want the students to acquire and consider the range of different pedagogical tools that will enhance the creation of effective learning experiences.
I am looking forward to creating and expanding my Mahara profile.
Mahara. (2009). About. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from Mahara - ePortfolio System: http://mahara.org/about
Marzano, R., Pickering, D., Arredondo, D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R., Mofett, C., et al. (1997). Dimensions of Learning: Teacher's Manuel. Colorado, USA: Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory.