E-Portfolio system with Mahara for International Schools

About ePortfolio

An electronic portfolio (also known as an eportfolio, e-portfolio, or digital portfolio) is a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a class, a student or any individual or group, usually on the web. Such electronic evidence may include inputted text, electronic files, images, multimedia, blog entries, and hyperlinks. E-Portfolio content is both a demonstration of the portfolio owner’s ability to develop and display work and a vehicle for self-expression.  If the e-portfolio is online, the content can be maintained dynamically over time.

E-Portfolio for schools

“E-Portfolios … are personal online spaces for students to access services and store work. They will become ever more useful as learners grow up and start moving between different types of learning and different institutions” Secretary of State for Education and Skills, UK, January 2006.

Students have been taught and encouraged to create digital identities using the various types of multimedia content they create. These portfolios are at times kept in a file structure on the school server or part of their learning management system and are not easily manageable or shared through web exchange.

In international schools and in the IBmPYP, MYP, DP programmes, students are expected to develop and maintain their personal work in digital portfolios. These portfolios are used as evidence of their achievement and the quality of their learning experience and can be marked by teachers against the criteria set for each subject. The electronic content can include personal projects, various activities they have performed over the years.  The organization and presentation of the portfolio content can be used to gauge the student’s portfolio management skills.

Managing a student portfolio using the Mahara E-Portfolio is surely as smart way of doing this. Absence of a standard portfolio management system can make the portfolio management and publishing difficult. A standard eportfolio system will allow the student to develop and manage their portfolio in real time as well as give them immediate feedback.  Assessment of the student’s work will be much easier and the student can also easily export their eportfolio to their new school or to potential employers in years to come.

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What is Mahara

Mahara is an open source open standard product that comes with no licensing fees. A growing number of educational institutes are using Mahara server as their standard eportfolio application. Open source open standard products give the student the freedom to migrate their work in case they move to a new institution, or to host it on a public platform in the future.

Mahara is a stand-alone system that can be integrated into a wider virtual learning framework. Mahara’s architecture is modular like the architecture of Moodle. The Mahara team has also been heavily involved in the Moodle community.  In a sense, Mahara is like a ‘sister’ application of Moodle, although the two systems are not required to go together.  Mahara is customizable and can be integrated with other open source products with ease. Mahara also supports social networking among peers in an institution. It allows the students to collect, manage and share their electronic products and achievements.  Mahara supports file repository, blogs, resume builder, social networking, and portfolio templates. Mahara can be integrated with Moodle for single sign-on. Mahara is scalable, has advance security features, and complies with web standards for import and export of content. Read more on Mahara.

How to have your own Mahara setup

Mahara is a php sql based application that supports my sql and postgre sql. Mahara works well with Apache and supports nginx. Although Mahara can be installed in Windows, a Linux server is recommended for a Mahara setup in a school or production environment.  Your Linux server can be hosted on a dedicated system or can be mounted on a virtual server. To start the installation in a virtual environment,  you may use a few GB ram, a few core of CPU and disk space as required.  We can supply you with a cloud hosted Mahara server which will link to your existing school services.     Follow this link for more info on Mahara systems requirement

Mahara, eportfolio, school, education

How can we help you with Mahara

We can provide software services for Mahara. We can help you with installation and deployment of the package. We also can integrate Mahara for single sign-on with Moodle or the central authentication system you might have. We can provide managed services with a service level agreement on the deployed installation, which includes proactive monitoring, technical support, update and upgrade, backup and recovery. We can also provide a hosted service of Mahara as per your requirement.

You may contact me directly for Mahara related services or visit http://xeois.com for technical services offered and http://globalsm.pw for educational services offered.

Author: Saad Fauruqe

Edited by John Sperandio 

Tag: eportfolio, Mahara, international school, school, implementing, support, training, deployment


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