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LDS's going out of business very soon - help them out!

Discussion in 'Scuba Industry News' started by divezero, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. PhilEllis

    PhilEllis Dive Shop

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    PADI will charge $120 for enrollment in the eLearning program. A good portion of that will be distributed to the "Designated Water Skills Faciliy", or the LDS chosen by the student. There is also an age limitation of 13 or over. This is the result of internet privacy laws.

    Phil Ellis
     
  2. jbichsel

    jbichsel Instructor, Scuba

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    This morning I sent an email to Johnny Wetzstein, Director, Training at PADI, 'johnny.wetzstein@padi.com', to let him know my opinion on this eLearning program.

    I had also called last week and spoken with Gordon in the training department. As seems typical, I was basically told I didn't have all the information that PADI has compiled and didn't understand how this program would benefit the LDS. I kept having to remind Gordon that I am an independent instructor.

    Frustrating is a kind way to put it.
     
  3. PhilEllis

    PhilEllis Dive Shop

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    There is no doubt that the PADI eLearning program is designed to favor the IRRC members. That does leave independent instructors in somewhat of a quandry. I would suggest trying to seek a business model that allows you to take advantage of eLearning by associating yourself (loosely or otherwise) with a PADI IRRC store. I don't know what PADI plans for the future to integrate the independents, but I don't expect it to be much. Clearly, a change in business direction for PADI.

    Phil Ellis
     
  4. jbichsel

    jbichsel Instructor, Scuba

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    Phil,
    I agree, achange in business direction for PADI.

    If the $120 rate for eLearning is correct and a portion of that will go to whatever facility/shop the prospective student selects from the PADI list, then us independents are out of luck.

    Guess I should start looking at options.

    I had approached one LDS for a while regarding trying to work an arrangement that would get my students coming to their shopfor materials and equipment. I can't tell you why, but they were less than enthusiastic.

    I have recently become less than enthusiastic about returning to them since the last several air fills I got were not done when they said and I had to wait for tanks to be filled after I drove 30 minutes; this fill and a couple other were short fills - 2400-2600 with one at 1600.

    Fortunately, I have found another shop that also is an authorized dealer for my choice of equipment, that is very open to me bringing in students, has better prices and lets me fill my own tanks. Refreshing.
     
  5. mdb

    mdb ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    No need to rely on the rumour mill. The fully stocked legit stores like
    SCUBATOYS, SCUBA.COM. etc. will continue to serve the dive community. Others will bury their heads/deny etc. In the end the free market will prevail.
     
  6. wjknobles

    wjknobles Instructor, Scuba

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    all i have to say on this is that online learning will never be a substitute for classroom teaching, especially for something like scuba. there are too many questions that students have the possibility of asking for any kind of online learning portion to cover. call me old-fashioned but teaching scuba isn't about the profit. the job of an instructor is not to teach as many students as possible, but to teach safe diving to as many students as are willing to learn it. as much as it pains me to say it, teaching scuba is not a path to wealth.

    and though i am not a PADI instructor i do not have issues with the agency due to my certification agency. i just find it hard to fully trust a teaching agency that is run as a "for profit" agency. think of how our schools and universities would
    be run if they were for profit.
     
  7. jimdiverman

    jimdiverman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United States
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    I have always used PADI for my instruction in diving. I have completed OW, AOW, Rescue, Master Scuba Diver and a litany of specialties including Wreck, Deep, Night, Medic First Aid, National Geographic, Nitrox (40%), Equipment, Peak Performance Buoyancy, and Digital Underwater Photography. For every one of these courses, there was payment and submission to PADI for a c-card. All of these courses involved classroom time and water time, and usually testing at both.

    Having been in the corporate world for 27 years and having seen the evolution and rise of the Internet, most large companies are using the Internet for all repetitive classroom training and testing now to cut expenses. Every year I am required to take a minimum of 3 online courses that must be completed by the end of the second quarter.

    PADI, Put another dollar in, is no exception. They see this as another market that needs to be opened up, particularly since most 10 year olds are as comfortable with the Internet as they are with their mommies. In fact, where do prospective new divers come from anyway? The advertising focus is on younger and sooner, directly to the kids and around the parents, a disturbing trend in my opinion.

    Now, that being said, I have been teaching project management courses for a dozen years. Recently the company has created modules to replace some of the face time that a student needs to have to save on travel expenses. In my opinion, training face-to-face is at the top of the food chain when it comes to effectiveness. There is no guarantee that a student has read all of the material presented in the online module unless every single item is tested and passed successfully. Is PADI going to make the written test 100 questions long now for OW? Aren't there some other liability issues with online testing like... is the person in the pool the same person that took the test online? Forget all the liability issues for PADI, the instructor and the LDS, what about the safety of the divers that will be cranked out in this process?

    I am not an instructor... yet..., and I don't have a horse in this race, but from my past experience with on-line versus classroom training, there is no substitute for face time.
     
  8. PhilEllis

    PhilEllis Dive Shop

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    The ONLY difference between a "non-profit" scuba certifications agency and a "for-profit" agency is that one pays federal income taxes and the other doesn't. The people that run those "non-profit" agencies are making plenty of profit. If you ask them what scuba is all about, they will tell you many things....one of them will be "it's about money".

    where would we be if our schools and universities were run for a profit? Tough Question. Let me take some guesses...........

    the average 10th grader would be able to read.
    poorly skilled employees would be replaced instead of tolerated.

    oh heck, the list of improvements is too long.

    Phil Ellis
     
  9. scuba66

    scuba66 Solo Diver

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    its a puppy mil industry from what i see. loads of students in and very few long time divers churned out. out of the 25 people that were in my open water class only 3 are still diving.
    most of em want the c card to flash in the bahamas and have it in the wallet kind of like a condom just in case . right? seems that way to me .
     
  10. wjknobles

    wjknobles Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Big Pine Key, FL
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    i can understand the benefits that can be gained from running things like a "for-profit,"
    but the question is where do you draw the line between trying to gain profit or concentrating on the education. unfortunately you can not treat education as you would some arbitrary productor service due to the vast difference between students and learning styles
     

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