Let me share with you my findings about e-portfolio's.
An e-portfolio is an online electronic portfolio that can be used to store data such as blogs, multimedia and resumes, it contains a social networking system that allows users to connect and create online communities (Mahara, 2009).
Mahara which means to think, thinking, thought (Mahara, 2009) is a product specifically designed with the software to set up a personal learning and development environment.
How do I get a Mahara account?
To create an account with Mahara a small fee of $5.00/ per year will be required. This will allow you to store up to 100MB of produced work, that is easily accessible through any computer Internet connection anywhere and anytime, without congesting your own hard drive.
How can Mahara be incorporated into the classroom as a valuable pedagogical tool?
Mahara can be incorporated into the classroom effectively to support, engage and enhance traditional learning activities as students can use the programme as a source to demonstrate what they have achieved academically or personally using the online portfolio instead of a paper based document. Chen & Ittelson (as cited in Zubizaretta, 2009. p. 109), state that e-portfolios “imply a process of planning, keeping track of, making sense of and sharing evidence of learning and performance”. Students can use the software frequently to upload work samples, and documents that they have created to share with their peers and learning managers. It is a tool unlike a wiki where only the author can generate and publish their own personal knowledge to be viewed by others.
Providing students the opportunity to incorporate this e-learning tool within classroom would extend their knowledge skills for the wider community and workforce (ASC, 2009), for example preparing students for future requirements by creating authentic tasks (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 1999) such as a resume required for a prospective job interview or a university application.
I feel as a learning manager it is important to provide our students of the twenty first century opportunities to explore a variety of digital technologies as they have the potential to enrich learning environments engage and enhance students learning outcomes (ASC, 2009). I am looking forward to enhancing my e-portfolio that I have created with Mahara and taking my understandings to the classroom.
Until next time,
Australian Computer Society. (2009). When the learners know more than the teachers: Information Age. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www.acs.org.au/index.cfm?action=show&conID=200412141302499805
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
Mahara. (2009). About: Mahara - ePortfolio System. Retrieved Aug 3, 2009, from http://mahara.org/about
Zubizarreta, J. (2009). Building a Community of Practice Around E-portfolios. The Learning Portfolio: reflective practice for improving student learning. Retreived August 13, 2009 from http://books.google.com.au/books?id=cDA9YTAMDGkC&pg=PA109&dq=e+portfolios+in+primary++education&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false