Mahara Digital Portfolios and High School Students: Some Examples
After a recent upgrade to get our eportfolio site version current, I realized there are not a lot of great examples out there showing students Mahara work in a high school environment. Last year at Lick-Wilmerding, our Technical Arts Department and Don Rizzi in our Science Department (who had been working with electronic portfolio in various formats previously with his classes) and I planned to formally incorporate Mahara into the incoming freshman curriculum. I registered dportfol.io and we did some testing and the faculty unleashed the freshman on it in the Fall of 2011. We keep the site closed to public registration and only open to students and faculty, but students do make their portfolios publicly accesible via direct URL to those they want to share.
Setting-up the LAMP server and some code tweaks on my side is nothing compared to what the faculty and students working together are accomplishing in this initial year. Version 1.4 of Mahara was a major breakthrough in ease of use for students. I pulled some random samples from the site and blanked-out student names or other identifying information in the screenshots below to give you a sense of what students can do with the Mahara system. I also put in the sample one Andrew K did to introduce his students to the basics. Enjoy and I hope it gives you a sense of what is possible with a decent digital portfolio system.
It is my goal to let students keep their dportfol.io ”dportfolios” for the rest of their lives. As with any technology in schools, having the faculty be stake-holders and provide guidance for students continues to be critical with these new tools to help drive learning, mission and understanding.