So, early-bird access has opened for Geoff Lawton's online PDC for the year 2019, but I am still conflicted on whether to take it or not.
Currently, my thinking is:
-I have already taken one online PDC, which was how I got certified.
-I know this IS Geoff Lawton's online PDC
-But it still costs a heck of a lot of money, and there's plenty enough information I can learn without spending more money
-And besides, I think practical hands-on experience is what I need the most
-And if I was to take another PDC, I think I would get more from an in-person PDC doign things hands-on
-And I only have 12 weeks of college left after Winter Break, which starts a week from today, so I can just be patient enough until I am able to run off to a permaculture site to volunteer and gain experience there.
What are you all's thoughts about the value of doing a second online PDC?
I took Geoff's online PDC last year. It was excellent. There were many days where that course brought me hope and happiness when I really needed it. Worth the money I spent...
And yet, if I were to do it all again, I might do a hands on PDC instead. Probably one like the one Alan Booker did at Paul's place last summer. I have all these ideas in my head, but experiencing them hands on would really help me be more confident about actually implementing them. I think that's something that's missing in online PDCs. Of course, in person PDCs usually try to jam massive amounts of information into your head in a very short amount of time... so they have their own problems too.
In your case, I think it would be a good idea to go for an in person PDC if you're going to do another one. Then you get to see the theory in practise a bit more.
At the end of the day everyone has a different learning style. I know some people in my group watched the online PDC videos 3 times each, took extensive notes, asked tons of questions, etc. That's totally fine, but it's never been my style. So I say do what works best for you.
I would wait to do an in person PDC. I took Geoffs online PDC in summer 2014 and found the experience underwhelming. In hindsight partly this was due to it partly overlapping with an on farm apprenticeship, and I lacked the time to maximize my investment in the course, but I think I would have been dissapointed no matter the timing.
I imagine it has improved since, but at the time the pricetag vs the materials just didn't align as I had anticipated.
No matter how much it may have improved, I don't see how it can compare favorably with an in person PDC with a first class instructor. Especially if you are able to pick a biome/region that you expect to remain in for a while; there should be lots of locale-specific info to be gleaned from the course and the other participants alike.
Plus, networking opportunities are often a lot more useful when local... And it is likely to be just plain way more fun.
Yeah, that's kind of what I am sensing for myself, too. I'm very much a tactile learner, so I think it's probably best to do an in-person PDC, if I want to do another PDC.
And mostly, I just want to get down in the dirt. I've enjoyed helping in Missoula and on-campus, so I'm pretty certain if I'm happy doing better than organic farming, then I'll more than likely be ecstatic when I finally am out there doing permaculture in-person.