I take your point about the Admin level on Mahara. There's two lines of thought: the first concerns the policy that schools have in place around using the eportfolio. If the policy establishes co-ownership then students as part of terms of using mahara need to enable access to teachers to all of their portfolio. The other way of course, would be to have 'group admins' - put your learners in a group and assign an admin - the admin would have the ability to login as a member of the group. We could request this on the Mahara development forums. I suspect the best option maybe a combination of the 2. I'd be interested in seeing how this develops and can see the need for tools that support co-ownership. So we need to define exactly what we want to put forward to the Mahara developers. Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?
Themes. You could make your own theme - there's plenty of online documentation. Google moodle themes and find the moodle theme forum. Ours is adapted from a Newbury College theme. I'm not sure if the Moodle 1.9 series themes will work well with Moodle 2.0 which is released later this year and I expect we will be putting in place for 2011. It's probably worth waiting a little to see if this is the case. Darren or I can upload themes once you have made and tested them on a local installation of moodle (ie on your laptop) I use virtualbox for this sort of stuff.
The microsoft office - moodle plugin is available from
http://www.educationlabs.com/projects/officeaddinformoodle/Pages/default.aspx and it's installed on the client laptop. I'd be interested to hear your experiences with it. The problem that I see though is that using, for example, word documents on Moodle assumes that learners can read word documents at home. I prefer either HTML or pdf's. Likewise slideshare.net is better than *.ppt's and also uses less bandwidth.