For the majority of participants in the course. ePearl was the most frustrating and least satisfying of all the webtop tools. I share the opinion of the majority.
EPearl is an electronic portfolio platform. Three levels of sophistication allow teachers to choose the proper level for early elementary, upper elementary or secondary students. Students can use ePearl to store written or audio artifacts, to set goals and to reflect on their work. The portfolios can be shared with parents, if the student and teacher wishes.
I think the platform offers many positives, especially the goal setting and reflective pieces. However, I think most teachers would balk at the amount of work it would take to develop an ePearl portfolio for each child. Given the fact that the platform is not the most intuitive, I think teachers would find this frustrating. My opinion is that a portfolio template could be developed using PowerPoint that could incorporate the positives of ePearl while avoiding the negatives altogether.
Don't let my assessment of this utility dissuade you from taking this course. It was the only negative of the course for me, and a few people loved it.
Tomorrow I will tell you about session four and one of my favorite tools - Google Calendar!