One of the features I like about Mahara is the ease with which teachers and students can make pages to display useful and relevant information. This is done by dragging and dropping blocks of different types. In fact, so appealing was it to the teachers in my old school that several of them decided to add their resources to Mahara pages and simply link to them in their Moodle course, rather than add the files, videos, notes and so on individually.
A new contributed plugin called Poster, by David Mudrák (a Moodler and Maharan) now brings this page-making facility into Moodle, making use of "sticky block" positioning and the option to add blocks to the poster page:
What are the implications of this? Basically, you can add a "Poster" as a resource and then make a page out of blocks, dragging and dropping them to your preferred location. So a teacher could use a Poster as a course dashboard, collating useful elements for students on a single page and keeping the main course page clean and clear of side blocks. Here's my basic and not very arty example, but you get the idea:
The poster is made up of regular Moodle blocks with HTML blocks adding extra information and media.
Although the main use would be for teachers to create block-built posters for their students, I can see another use which again reminds me of Mahara group pages: A teacher could make a resource poster for different group projects, restricting access to the poster to the relevant group. Here for example is a poster for a group doing a project on the River Thames. Only the members of this group can see it. The teacher could give the teacher role in this poster to the group members and they could add their own information - student Sam here has added an HTML block with useful links for example:
I like the potential of this new Poster module for course management and teaching. You do need to read up a bit about how blocks work however, but once you get the idea, I guarantee you'll be Mahara-ing within Moodle in hardly any time at all!