Teacher and user guides (video and text) are available and a community of practice has been established across all campuses. It will be interesting to see how many staff and students decide to use E-Portfolios who were not part of previous projects.
Problems encountered during the 2009 projects will hopefully be addressed with recent changes such as
- upgrading Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8
- upgrading Mahara to allow for importing and exporting
- customised help
- blogs with embedded code from other sites where they save work or links to online file storage
- wikis or services such as Google docs and sites
- Deviant Art or similar shared galleries
- Flickr, Picassa or similar photo albums
- Facebook or MySpace for student or whole class folios or online presence with rich media
A survey of staff at the end of 2009 revealed that 40% were exploring so-called web 2.0 or social media sites for use with students. The attraction of Mahara is that it provides some social media functionality within a local learning environment while still providing student control of access to work including external access via a 'secret' URL.
Students can connect with and share work with classmates or friends as well as teachers and feedback from students in the 2009 projects indicated that this was highly valued.