About seven years ago I did an online course with permaculture visions. I actually did it with my son, who I think was 12 years old at the time. The course could be started at any time, all the materials were downloadable. There was a choice of assignments for each unit and a final design project at the end. I loved it, and, because it was self paced, it was also excellent for my son to work through at his own speed as part of his home-education.
Earlier this year I also did Geoff Lawton's online PDC. Obviously the technology has improved in those seven years, and it showed! The course was video based, available online and also on dvds which were sent to each student. There were also bonus courses thrown in, and it was possible to ask questions and Geoff would answer them in specially recorded videos. He covered a wide range of climates, which actually helped to get a really broad understanding of how the design process applies and I think it would benefit everyone to understand all the different climates, at least to some extent. All the previous years' questions and answers were also available. The only downside with Geoff's PDC is that it is only run once a year, at set starting and finishing times. Other than that it's completely awesome and I would heartily recommend it to anyone.
Both of those courses are run by fully qualified, established teachers with years of experience and who have gone to considerable lengths to produce their own materials so that their own knowledge is shining through. And it shows. I'd recommend either of them, according to your own needs for flexibility in study.
I have a friend that done the Lawton online PDC and he says it's the best formative experience he's ever taken. Of course Geoff makes everything seem easy, but you'll never get the amount of information in any other. I todl Geoof answers every week the questions of the students with a video, you have the forums to discuss aspects qith the other students. and you get 40 dvd's that are done really well, as you can see on lawton's site, you'll find samples. I thought about taking the online PDC for a year and now I have made up my mind, I have two kids and I coudn't get away for two weeks from home, my partner would go crazy.
and looking at the options this is the best one the more complete.
my opinion good luck for your journey
I received my PDC from Lawton's 2014 online course and I have to say that the amount of information given is amazing and inspiring. The fact that he's allowing veterans of the class participate in future classes as observers/mentors is also great. He wont answer your questions in the forums once you've gotten your PDC but that's because he want's you to be confident in your newly gained skills as well as give a certain impression to the current course participants. Couple that with the DVD set for future reference and I think it was well worth the money. Everything is very well done (I may have some nitpicks with the forum style but hey, I'm opinionated) and the information put forth is absolutely top notch.
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir
Although we are in sub-tropical climate zones, all climate zones are considered and you get personal support. We have a few students from temperate climate zones like Canada and UK and South Australia.
The Noosa Forest Retreat is a vegetarian Permaculture Community & Education Center from the Noosa Hinterland, Australia, Sunshine Coast. The Noosa Forest Retreat is surrounded by National Park, is registered Land for Wildlife and officially nominated ambassador for a unique area awarded Biosphere status by the United Nations.
With the help of some crowdfunding and the first bunch of early bird students we could build a kick-ass online course platform!
Ian Trew, your principal teacher at the Permaculture Online Course - is a sought after public speaker and known to set you on fire with new ideas. Ian met the co-founders of Permaculture David Holmgren and Bill Mollison at university in late 80s and became inspired to pursue an integrated approach to health of individual, soil, planet and community. He has now worked for over 25 years in areas of permaculture and integrated natural health for both government and private practice and has worked on a range of long term permaculture projects.
Previous students have now gone on to design and implement their own sustainable systems, be involved in third world aid work, teach permaculture and recently winning the prestigious Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC) Award.
We already got great feedback from first students and can't wait to see you on board too!
Personal Support & Community Vibe:
You can connect with your classmates online, write in forums, send private messages etc
You will get personal support in the forums and you have a whole year to finish the course.
Small personal crew, direct support from Ian and me, ... and co-teacher Christina, environmental scientist from Australia.
Ah yes and me, that's Konrad, I am the web developer and doing the video editing