Ok, bit late to the party here but have just heard of Mahara.
I'm looking into ways for my staff to still stay in touch "professionally" as we are working between to phyisically different sites.
Would Mahara be any good for this? Does anyone have an example to show me as the one on their site is a bit rubbish.
When you say "stay in touch" I assume you mean work collaboratively? :)
Mahara can be used as a shared workspace where users have a file area, discussion areas etc. Is this what you mean?
Yea Mahara can be used for that.
You'd setup up the different sites as either groups or institutions and then either use shared views or group message areas to stay in contact. I don't have a site to show you anymore as I'm no longer working for a Moodle/Mahara company but there are plenty out there that fit the bill!
If you want anymore ideas on Mahara, let me know.
yes that is what i mean lol!
I blame the fact im tired :)
Possibly attract some of the luns people that lerk around - its setup for use here but havn't got a clue how its used!
I know luns support mahara
yes LUNS are official Mahara partners and very good at that sort of thing. We've got our staff starting using Mahara now -they took to it very quickly and positively and are keen to use it as part of their teaching not just for departmental sharing. Groups are best for what you want - if you are in a departmental group (for instance) you can have your own forum and share collaborative group pages - that's a real boon.
What kind of functionality are you looking for - Professional Development, forums, or a space to share notes/files/etc?
Mahara provides an easy-to-use interface for users to upload content (video, audio, graphics, documents, pdfs, etc) and arrange and share it easily (drag and drop interfaces with easy user-access controls). Mahara also offers support for external content (for example YouTube, vimeo, embedly, and Google Apps). Another key feature of mahara is it's Journal - typically users are encouraged to write journal entries as they work and to use those as a form of reflective learning, and it allows users to have multiple journals (e.g. one per project). There are also a number of additional plugins which allow you to extend Mahara further - things like Europass, Questionnaires, Continual Professional Development, FreeMind, Jmol, Chem2d, and Twitter.
As Barney points out, you can also create groups which give, amongst other things, forum functionality -- in fact, the forums on mahara.org are a Mahara group with a forum.
Mahara also supports various different authentication methods - you can hook it up to Moodle for example, or have users log in using their existing Active Directory credentials. We've even written a plugin to allow users to use their facebook login details.
At Mahara UK 2011, there was quite a lot of talk on schools and universities using Mahara for staff professional development too - several people mentioned using the Journal feature as part of staff CPD for example.
If you have anything specific that you want to see examples of, I can see if I can find specific examples, or failing that put something together to show you? I'm one of the core Mahara Developers, but I'm also interested in how Mahara is used.
As Glennda suggests, we are indeed a Mahara Partner - we offer hosting, development, and consultancy. We'll also be hosting the Mahara UK 2012 conference.
Andrew - LUNS