MyPortfolio is a nationwide ePortfolio service for schools offered by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. It is managed and supported by Catalyst IT. New Zealand schools are welcome to use MyPortfolio. The key benefit of a learner driven environment being on a shared service environment is that pan sector learner communities may flourish. MyPortfolio brings together the benefits of leading education technology and social software in a safe education focused environment.
MyPortfolio is built on the open source ePortfolio system Mahara. Meaning 'think' or 'thought' in Te Reo Māori, the name Mahara reflects the project's dedication to creating a user-centred life-long learning and development application underpinned by considerations of pedagogy and policy.
First established in mid 2006, the Mahara project started as collaborative venture funded by New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission's e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF), involving Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Victoria University of Wellington.
When the project officially ended in June 2007, the results of our pilot or action based research showed that Mahara has enormous promise as a 21st century learning environment, but was not quite ready for fully fledged production environments. Between July 2007 and 2010, Flexible Learning Network guided the further development of Mahara with open source software specialists Catalyst IT with the first full production version launched on 1 March 2008. This has been made possible by further support from New Zealand's Ministry of Education and the application of Mellon Foundation funds from the Open Polytechnic's winning a 2007 Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration. Since then, Catalyst IT has been the maintainer of the Mahara project. The Mahara project receives new features from around the world and issues new versions every six months.
The system is modular in design to maximise flexibility and extensibility. The MyPortfolio service will continue to grow as we continue to enhance Mahara. Because it is open source software, other organisations also contribute to the software's evolution.