Andrea Ghoneim, Danube University Krems von Andrea Ghoneim: Getting started with Mahara

This Blog is for people who want to get started with ePortfolios basing on the ePortfolio platform Mahara. The entries focus mainly on ePortfolios in schools and higher education, but there are also some other examples.

Write offline and paste

I just had a conversation with a Mahara user who was not aware that Mahara offers the possibility of blogging as well. It does, the feature is just called "journal" (at least in the German version).

After this clarification the user still was reluctant to use Mahara for blogging. She gave as a reason that in Mahara there are sometimes difficulties with saving the entries and that she is afraid of losing her entry or at least part of it.

As I write this online, I will keep this entry short. However, one should always be aware of problems with saving when working - whereever - "in the cloud". Drafting a text in an offline text editor and pasting it afterwards may look old-fashioned, but it is still a pragmatic way to prevent loss of text or other kinds of entries.

admin, blogging, Mahara
Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 31. Juli 2013, 16:20 | Kommentare (1)

Blogging with Mahara (and other features to get started with)

"An Introduction to Mahara" introduces the user to the main features of Mahara:

https://mahara.org/features

With the help of this video the user can - among other things - learn about the difference between a journal in Mahara and a blog set up with other blogging tools:

When you save your entry it does not mean yet that it is visible to the public as well. If you want to share your blog entries with the whole world wide web, you have to create a view in which you embed your blog.

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 31. Juli 2013, 17:04 | Kommentare (0)

Made a view + shared my page

It's pretty easy once you know how to do it:
Click on "Portfolio" and on "Create page". This is how you get into the space for editing title and description, layout, and content. You can add or remove colums and different types of content.

You think this explication is too short and simple? Visit the Mahara handbook and check out chapter 1.2 "The Mahara framework". There you can find a little more details and some backgrounds.

You prefer to have a video instruction? There are plenty of them available online. You could try, for example: Mahara - Creating Views, part one: Create a view by Chris Grant (2010).

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 01. August 2013, 16:34 | Kommentare (1)

Benefits of ePortfolios - Videos

Of course, there are a lot of scholarly articles on the benefits of creating/having an ePortfolio.However, some users might like to have something more short and simple. The video "Mahara E-Portfolios" gives an insight in different uses and purposes of ePortfolios for university students - in less than 3 minutes.

For teachers and/or headmasters who are facing the question whether they should introduce ePortfolios to their classrooms, the Video "The e-Portfolio Process: Benefits for Middle Schools" might be of interest.

 

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 05. August 2013, 12:35 | Kommentare (0)

Tasmanian Polytechnic did it in 2009!

In the framework of the Tasmanian  E-learning Innovations project, Tasmanian Polytechnic embedded ePortfolios in the teaching and learning process in 2009. As they used Mahara and collected their reflections, hints and "how-to"s in a web-guide entitled "Embedding e-portfolios in the teaching and learning process", we can check out how they did at http://eresources.tafe.tas.edu.au/epw/introduction.html.

The guide offers some graphics on teaching and learning processes and activities, ideas for setting up courses and for teacher and student activities. Short videos of teachers make the guide more vivid, and keywords for finding help on each topic in the Mahara user guide (which is now the Mahara user manual) make the guide a helpful resource for implementing Mahara for school teaching.

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 08. August 2013, 10:17 | Kommentare (0)

EUROPORTFOLIO Newsletter

The new EUROPORTFOLIO newsletter contains an article on "Getting acquainted with ePortfolios". The newsletter also reports on the launch of the platform EUROPORTFOLIO (http://www.europortfolio.org/), where experts, practitioners, initiatives and publications have started to meet and to exchange information. Please take this blog entry as an open invitation to join as well!

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 21. August 2013, 14:36 | Kommentare (0)

Mahara Tutorial

There are many tutorials for Mahara available online. I like the one of the AUB (American University of Beirut) because it is clearly structured and can be printed out as a book or chapter by chapter.

Mahara Tutorial by AUB  is directed both to students and teaching staff. It can be used by school teachers as well. As it is written clearly and has a good structure, at least upper secondary students should not have a problem using it, either.

The mentioned Mahara Tutorial gives an idea about the pedagogic idea behind Mahara, and contains information on the basic use of Mahara, like setting up a profile, possible contents of the ePortfolio (files, blogs, views, collections, plans), finding and organizing groups and friends and management of one's account settings. The process of exporting content from Mahara is explained as well.

The AUB's policy is that the user's Mahara accounts are active as long as you are a faculty/staff member, while other schools or universities keep the account "alive" even after graduation.Furthermore the tutorial is adapted to the user interface of AUB, so users of other Mahara platforms might find "their" Mahara looking slightly different. However, it gives a good idea for people who want to get started.

AUB's Mahara Tutorial was partly adapted from: http://mahara.org/, where you can, of course, find more detailed information.

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 03. September 2013, 15:58 | Kommentare (0)

Mahara and other ePortfolios - from Kindergarten to University

As I heard that Mahara is even used in the Kindergarten, I tried to find examples online. I did not manage, but found this very nice pdf-collection on Helen Barrett's electronic portfolio website: it shows Victoria Barrett's Kindergarten ePortfolio. This can at least give a good idea, which artefacts to collect for such an ePortfolio. As the handling of an ePortfolio tool is not the prevailing learning target for the age group, a lot of media can be used for making an ePortfolio - slide shows, picture collections, etc. To store the ePortfolio, one can use places in the cloud (like Dropbox or Google drive) or school environments, such as Moodle. For a Moodle Kindergarten ePortfolio I found quite a nice example, uploaded to youtube by Paul White.

However, this brings us to the question "Why do we need Mahara when we have Moodle?", which is also treated in a youtube video of Rod Cullen.

Finally, I want to point at an excellent video by JISC on the implementation of Mahara at university and its interconnections with Moodle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MmEHAqP-yQ

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 04. September 2013, 16:13 | Kommentare (0)

Secrets of Success on Every Portfolio Journey

MyPortfolio "provides a personal learning environment to record and showcase evidence of achievement, manage development plans, set goals, and create online learning communities" and much more. It is a Mahara-based service for schools in New Zealand. Even though this looks far away from Europe, there are example views and guided tours on the MyPortfolio website that can give a pretty good idea what students (and teachers) can do with their ePortfolios. And the look and feel of MyPortfolio is not that different of the one of the "usual" Mahara - so we can all feel inspired ;-)

Heather Eccles' reflections on embarking on an ePortfolio journey seem very close to my heart, too. She reveals three secrets of success, the first of which is the pedagogical purpose. I found the way to her short, clear and heartfelt essay on "Secrets of Success on my MyPortfolio Journey" via the Mahara Newsletter, where always a lot of goodies wait for being appreciated.

In case you have something to share, have a look at the call for the upcoming Mahara newsletter (deadline: September 28, 2013).

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 16. September 2013, 15:56 | Kommentare (0)

Mahara for Teachers

As we will implement Mahara in a range of lower secondary schools in the framework of the EU funded project EUfolio, I created a view "Mahara for teachers" as one of the preparations for the teacher's training. Hope that this is a good way for teachers and teacher trainers to get started both with Mahara and the idea of ePortfolios in the classroom!

Veröffentlicht von Andrea Ghoneim am 02. Oktober 2013, 09:37 | Kommentare (0)
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