MyPortfolio service extended fee-free for at least 3 years!

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Richard Wyles

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Jan 26, 2011, 4:38:55 PM1/26/11
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Hi all, I'd like to share some great news. I thought about rewording this but thought on reflection to share the press release in its entirety to the MLE group. I'd like to personally thank Paul Seiler, Ian Munro, Sandy Britain from Minedu and the Mahara team at Catalyst IT for helping to make the vision of a social learning  network and national portfolio service a reality. And thank-you to all the innovative teachers and students who are helping New Zealand be at the forefront in this space.
 
Please read below.
 
cheers
Richard
 
Kineo announces an extended fee-free e-portfolio service for New Zealand schools

 

Kineo Pacific is delighted to announce the continuation of the free MyPortfolio service, to all New Zealand schools, until (at least) the end of 2013. “We’re very excited to have the support and be working with the Ministry of Education on truly 21st century learning technologies. To our knowledge, a nationally provided e-portfolio and social learning network for schools is a world first”, said Kineo Pacific Director, Richard Wyles.

 

MyPortfolio is a nationally available e-portfolio cloud service that runs on the open source e-portfolio software, Mahara. Mahara is one of the world’s most popular e-portfolio systems with 11,300 members of the Mahara.org community, and 24 official partner organisations providing implementation, hosting and support services. Mahara has been translated into 13 languages and has approximately 28,000 visitors monthly to www.mahara.org.

E-portfolios provide learners with an easy way of recording their learning experiences, achievements and evidence of learning. Learners who have used e-portfolios report having a greater awareness of their skills, greater confidence in their abilities, and feeling more independent as learners.

 

Learners today often create and use digital content. E.g. videos, audio clips, stories, photos, learning reflections, assignments, and other learning materials they source or create. Being able to easily link and integrate all these resources into a portfolio enables learners to create their own personal learning space in a safe and nurturing environment.

“MyPortfolio’s learning space has similar functionality to the most popular of social networks so the learning curve is minimal”, says Richard Wyles. “The key difference is that the features are focused around learning.

 

Since July 2007, Wellington based companies Kineo Pacific and Catalyst IT have led the Mahara project, and provide the My Portfolio service supported by the Ministry of Education.

The service is provided free of charge to schools in New Zealand. Currently around 350 schools have signed up with MyPortfolio and approximately 12,000 students and teachers are using it.

Unlike some social media sites, the content created on MyPortfolio is by default private and the users (students and teachers alike) decide who can access any parts of the content. In choosing to share specific parts of a portfolio the options include: teacher/s, peer/s, a project group, a class, within a school, across schools, between two people etc.

 

Schools are also realising the importance of teacher portfolios and often encourage or even require their staff to establish their own e-portfolios for professional development and appraisal purposes. This also ensures staff familiarity with the application and teaching approach best suited to e-portfolio use.

 

MyPortfolio is a stand-alone system that can be integrated into a wider virtual learning environment. The Ministry of Education is currently scoping the requirements to enable interoperability between MyPortfolio and the most popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) used in New Zealand. This will mean schools could use MyPortfolio alongside their LMS and easily transfer data between them. In choosing MyPortfolio as a national solution the Ministry of Education was impressed with the student ownership and transferability features of MyPortfolio. I.e. the e-portfolio can remain with the student as the student moves from one school to another or even to higher education.

Kineo (Pacific) and Catalyst IT
Kineo is a leading e-learning solutions company passionate about learning and technology. We provide complete solutions including consultancy, e-learning content development and learning platforms. We create innovative solutions using open source software such as Mahara, Moodle, and Totara.

Kineo (Pacific), based in Wellington New Zealand, is part of the Kineo worldwide group of companies. The Kineo Group has the privilege of working in partnership with a wide range of clients including: ANZNational, NZ Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, Nikon, BP, Vodafone, McDonald's, HSBC, Canon and many more.

Kineo works in close partnership with Catalyst IT. Catalyst IT is New Zealand’s leading open source technology specialists and has been instrumental in introducing and supporting the growth of open source applications used within the school sector.

 

For more information please contact

Richard Wyles

Richar...@kineo.co.nz

+64 4 801 6688

Sandy Britain

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Jan 26, 2011, 5:57:28 PM1/26/11
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Nice one Richard - Hope it goes from strength to strength!!
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Paul Seiler

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Jan 26, 2011, 11:28:02 PM1/26/11
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Now that all you in schools have increased certainty on the cost of
this service (the main reason given either for not starting to use
MyPortfolio or for not scaling beyond a trial phase) I hope to see
usage grow. To support new users we are extending the taster session
program and I invite any school (or group) to make their request at
http://wikieducator.org/Mahara_Taster_Sessions

We have a great team of facilitators standing-by to help
* Mark Osborne, Albany Senior High School,
mosb...@ashs.school.nz. Experienced user.
* Carolyn Stuart, Tawa Intermediate School,
car...@tawaint.school.nz. Experienced user individually and at school
level
* Kristina Hoeppner, Catalyst IT. kris...@catalyst.net.nz.
Actively engaged in the Mahara community as part of the release team
of the software, done Mahara training sessions with tertiary students
and teachers
* Pete Potter - Timaru Girls' High - Used Mahara for 18 months and
trained other teachers locally. ppo...@timarugirls.school.nz
* Ronja Skandera, Hamilton Girls' High School,
ronja.s...@gmail.com
* Jacqui Land, Papanui High School, l...@papanui.school.nz Fairly
experienced user.
* Heath Sawyer, Edconnect in Hamilton, using Mahara.
he...@edconnect.co.nz

So please lodge your request so we can plan better how to support you
on your eportfolio journey.

Paul.

Fabiana Kubke

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Jan 27, 2011, 12:03:30 AM1/27/11
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Those are really good news! Congrats and thanks to all who made it happen.
Cheers
Fabiana

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M Fabiana Kubke

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Neil Leslie

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Jan 27, 2011, 12:00:03 AM1/27/11
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Hi All,

In addition to taster sessions, remember that PRTs may also be a useful
resource wrt Mahara. The use of Mahara is compulsory at Vic, and I
assume that it is used at Massey. I have no idea about other teacher
training providers. Of course, tertiary requirements are different from
secondary, but, if there is a recently qualified teacher available, he
or she may have some valuable insights.

Best,
Neil Leslie
Onslow College


Fabiana Kubke

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Jan 27, 2011, 12:18:06 AM1/27/11
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I am now testing an installment of mahara at U AKL for one of the foundation courses with views of seeing if it warrants wider adoption. I would be happy to share my experience.
Cheers
Fabiana

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Richard Wyles

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Jan 27, 2011, 1:11:32 AM1/27/11
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Hi Fabiana,
University of Auckland already uses www.myportfolio.ac.nz with several thousand users so I don't think you'd need to test a separate installment. Hasmeet Shukla is one of the UoA administrators.
 
cheers
Richard

Fabiana Kubke

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Jan 27, 2011, 3:30:20 AM1/27/11
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Thanks Richard for the information. The main reason to run a separate installation is because I am testing to what extent it can serve research purposes and international research collaborations which would not be suitable for myportfolio.ac.nz. I do agree, however, that as a rule the teaching side would be more appropriately placed in myportfolio.
Cheers
Fabiana

Martin Henry

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Jan 27, 2011, 2:22:28 PM1/27/11
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However, the use of mahara by VUW has not always lead to positive outcomes with new staff. Approach with caution. The 'my portfolio' platform, on the other hand, is getting more easily usable all the time and young staff are certainly more pre-disposed to working in this way. Looking forward to new developments during the year.

m

Hi All,

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Tabitha

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Jan 27, 2011, 4:32:57 PM1/27/11
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On Jan 27, 5:28 pm, Paul Seiler <paul.sei...@minedu.govt.nz> wrote:
> I hope to see usage grow.

If only we could have three years fee-free for the tertiary sector....
Paul - do you know who would we best talk to about whether these sorts
of dreams have any hope of becoming a reality? Especially if it means
a student can easily keep their existing portfolio for longer than
just primary and high school. As a believer in life long learning, if
we had the ability to keep an existing portfolio going in tertiary, we
are that much closer to make the portfolio a life long option.

Tabitha
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