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Eva Taylor
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Does anyone know what the procedure is for signing up for Lawtons online course? I'm on his email list for the free videos, will the link to register be sent that way?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hi Eva:

Yes - Geoff is opening registration on March 29th.

If you are already signed up for the videos, you'll get the announcement through that site as well.

For those of you NOT already signed up on Geoff's site, here's the link. You will need to set up an account with your email address: http://geofflawton.com

Geoff has said that the class will be under $1000 US dollars.

AND....it's worth every penny. I did it, I LOVED it!

Jen
 
Eva Taylor
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Great! Thanks for the reply...
One more question...
Having taken the course is there any advice you would give to those of us gearing up to take it? Things you wished you had done differently, preparation you wish you had done in advance?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Eva Taylor wrote:One more question...
Having taken the course is there any advice you would give to those of us gearing up to take it? Things you wished you had done differently, preparation you wish you had done in advance?


First of all, a caveat - I took a hands-on local PDC in 2007, so I had been tinkering around with permaculture for a few years. The online PDC took permaculture to a whole different level, partially because of those experiences. Hopefully other people for whom this was a first time PDC will chime in here.

Having said that - there is no pre-reading or anything like that to do, Geoff has created his own materials. PLUS, you get the whole class on DVD to review at your leisure years after you've taken the course. I'm on my second pass through the videos and I learn new things each time. It blows me away.

Other stuff:
--Expect to spend about 5-10 hrs a week watching the videos and reading the short pdfs that go with the section. Some sections are longer than others.
--Each section is released on a weekly schedule. Try to keep up - you will get more interaction that way.
--Once signed up, immediately join the online community. I have truly built some fun friendships from that class. Many of those folks are on permies.com. And many of them have taken on volunteer roles for permies. Graduates from Geoff's class are definitely "doers" - which is exactly what we need more of.
--Approach the class with excitement and an inquisitive mind. Geoff created over 50 hours of QA videos just for our class - he tried to answer everyone's questions. He is awesome!

Now, I hope others will chime in here.

Expect the class to be one of the best educational things you've ever done. Really.

 
Eva Taylor
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That's so great! Thanks for the detail, I'm just so anxious to start. I've been reading and playing in the dirt for years waiting for just this class I think!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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You won't be disappointed, Eva!
 
Cj Sloane
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I'd recommend using a real sounding name. It's a "private" forum so only participants will see it.

Jen & I "met" at the course so it is possible to strike up friendships. Don't be shy.
 
Tina Nixon
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I took the course as well, and am so glad that I did. I learned an enormous amount in that time and refer to the DVDs all the time now.
If there was one thing that might help in advance of the course, it might be this: start thinking about how you'll document the final project. If you are very comfortable with design tools on a computer, great, but if not you could try some out now, or figure out how you'll do without, like do drawings on paper & photograph them or scan them.

As far as the forums/community went - The regional forums were one of my favorites. And when it came time to start getting ready to prepare the final project, there was a lot of discussion/support on the forums too.

I think it's one of the best things I've ever done with my money and time.

 
Peter Smith
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I took his online pdc as well, only about 2 months after hearing about permaculture for the first time. The course is very comprehensive, and gave me the bug for more permaculture!!! He got a deal on the design manual that he offered during the course, if he does that again, I highly recommend getting it. It requires pretty good internet connection, as videos are streaming. It is a time commitment, but I always wanted more! Enjoy!!!
 
Eva Taylor
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That's perfect Ta! Do you (or anyone reading )have suggestions for iPad apps that would be useful for landscape design? I have tried some and they all seem a little lame, or hard to use...
Great suggestion though, It will be good to get a head start on how to get the final design in.
 
Cj Sloane
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Look in this thread for design tools.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Ta Nixon wrote:If there was one thing that might help in advance of the course, it might be this: start thinking about how you'll document the final project. If you are very comfortable with design tools on a computer, great, but if not you could try some out now, or figure out how you'll do without, like do drawings on paper & photograph them or scan them.


Ta - GOOD ONE! I would second that advice!

Also, one of our classmates designed this site to talk about design and tools for the final projects. You can see the design processes of some of the people who participated in the class. Go to the Design Forum to see the designs and discussions.
 
Tina Nixon
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Eva Taylor wrote:That's perfect Ta! Do you (or anyone reading )have suggestions for iPad apps that would be useful for landscape design? I have tried some and they all seem a little lame, or hard to use...
Great suggestion though, It will be good to get a head start on how to get the final design in.


In addition to Cj's suggestion re. the thread on permies, and Jennifer's suggestion to check out permaculturedesigns.org, I have some of my own feedback regarding tools, but mostly on the mac desktop side

I used a combination of photoshop & omnigraffle (a mac-only product) - I work in technology design, so I already had these programs. The cost might be prohibitive, though. Omnigraffle has a free trial period, and I think it's got almost all of the features of the $$$ product, so might be worth trying out.
I also took a ton of screenshots from google maps, and google earth & layered digital drawing layers over them.

Note: there is an iPad version of omnigraffle but it's expensive & has very limited functionality compared to the desktop version - I definitely would not recommend it until they build it with 80% - 90% of what the desktop version has. I don't have any experience with landscape design tools, but I really like the drawing/painting app Procreate - not sure if it's suited to PDC design workflow, however. A dropbox or evernote account makes it easy to work on the design from multiple devices too - Procreate lets you import photo layers from dropbox, as well.

In retrospect, google maps and google earth provided really great base materials to design onto - learning to use google earth's tools is hugely helpful if you don't already know how.

Hope that helps!

 
Jen Shrock
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You will love the course. I took it as well. (Hey Jen, how are you?) I was actually in the throws of finishing up an online PDC with someone else that I was severely disappointed with when I signed up for Geoff's. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything. He really does bring to life each section and is so patient with his explanations and answers to questions. He is honest, humble and very, very enthusiastic, which I must admit is beyond contagious!

I think the biggest thing that I recommend is to keep up. I was away for one week and struggled to get caught back up because there is a lot of information presented each week. Keeping up, as Jen mentioned, does let you interact with others and ask questions of Geoff in real time.

Oddly enough, I did my final design with Microsoft Excel. It took a little work to make it happen, but it came out just fine. I couldn't find a CAD package that I was happy with and that was in the free price range that I was looking in. I almost (if I wouldn't have kept changing my mind) did mine as a hand drawn sketch. I like the artistry of hand drawn and actually feel a little more connected with the design.

Best of luck with your upcoming adventure. You will have to keep us posted as to how things are going.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Peter Smith wrote:It is a time commitment, but I always wanted more!


Ditto. There was a definite void after that class was over. Glad permies is her to pick up the slack!
 
bob day
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how many people did he let into his last class?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I never heard the number. Maybe someone else knows.
 
Richard Gorny
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I'm currently doing another online PDC but I'm thinking about going for Geoff's one as well. From what I hear this one is quite different from the one I'm doing now. I would like to ask about some details of his PDC:

- does each participant suggests his own topic for a project and works on it individually or it involves group work?
- how much time you have for completing your project (after watching all lectures / videos)?
- when working on a project, do you submit it gradually and make corrections based on feedback, or rather you do a whole thing that gets then evaluated?


 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Richard Gorny wrote:
- does each participant suggests his own topic for a project and works on it individually or it involves group work?
- how much time you have for completing your project (after watching all lectures / videos)?
- when working on a project, do you submit it gradually and make corrections based on feedback, or rather you do a whole thing that gets then evaluated?


1. Each participant selects his own final design project site - people from our class did everything from roof gardens in India to converting a local park into a food forest. Because everyone is all over the world, people tend to work on their own project. However, there were cases where spouses or families worked on a project together and this is acceptable. However, if the spouse or other person wants a certificate, they must pay for the course. Otherwise, they are welcome to help out.
2. Originally we had about a month. However, for some people there were timing issues and so they were given extensions.
3. Submit the whole plan which gets evaluated. However, having said that, one of our classmates set up an awesome wordpress site where many of us submitted our designs for feedback from other students prior to submitting to Geoff. You can see it here: http://permaculturedesigns.org/ The designs are in the "forum" - you will have to create an account to participate in the forum: http://permaculturedesigns.org/forum/
 
Cj Sloane
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
3. Submit the whole plan which gets evaluated.


The one real disappointment I had with the course was that there was no official feedback on the plan.
 
Cj Sloane
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bob day wrote:how many people did he let into his last class?


Seem like it was about 1000. Maybe 800-1000.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Cj Verde wrote:
The one real disappointment I had with the course was that there was no official feedback on the plan.


Yep - I'd have to agree with that. Hopefully it is something they'll work into this next course.
 
Eva Taylor
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This is great! Thanks for all the suggestions!
Are there a lot of "homework" assignments given by Geoff over the length of the course like essays or papers- mini designs? I feel like a kid again, gearing up for class buying notebooks pencils and a book bag...
 
Cj Sloane
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Eva Taylor wrote:This is great! Thanks for all the suggestions!
Are there a lot of "homework" assignments given by Geoff over the length of the course like essays or papers- mini designs? I feel like a kid again, gearing up for class buying notebooks pencils and a book bag...


Just watch all the videos. Good idea to participate in online discussions with other students.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Eva Taylor wrote:This is great! Thanks for all the suggestions!
Are there a lot of "homework" assignments given by Geoff over the length of the course like essays or papers- mini designs? I feel like a kid again, gearing up for class buying notebooks pencils and a book bag...


LOL - I know what you mean.

But no - no "homework" other than reading and watching the vids. There is a multiple choice quiz at the end of the class - open book, take it as many times as you want.

But don't let the lack of "homework" stop you from accessorizing!
 
Eva Taylor
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Again, my thanks to you all!
I'm feeling good about having the time to make all this work, and thanks to all of you, the supportive community as well!
 
Richard Gorny
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
Richard Gorny wrote:
- does each participant suggests his own topic for a project and works on it individually or it involves group work?
- how much time you have for completing your project (after watching all lectures / videos)?
- when working on a project, do you submit it gradually and make corrections based on feedback, or rather you do a whole thing that gets then evaluated?


1. Each participant selects his own final design project site - people from our class did everything from roof gardens in India to converting a local park into a food forest. Because everyone is all over the world, people tend to work on their own project. However, there were cases where spouses or families worked on a project together and this is acceptable. However, if the spouse or other person wants a certificate, they must pay for the course. Otherwise, they are welcome to help out.
2. Originally we had about a month. However, for some people there were timing issues and so they were given extensions.
3. Submit the whole plan which gets evaluated. However, having said that, one of our classmates set up an awesome wordpress site where many of us submitted our designs for feedback from other students prior to submitting to Geoff. You can see it here: http://permaculturedesigns.org/ The designs are in the "forum" - you will have to create an account to participate in the forum: http://permaculturedesigns.org/forum/


Big thanks for your reply Jennifer, it is very helpful.
 
Richard Gorny
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Cj Verde wrote:
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
3. Submit the whole plan which gets evaluated.


The one real disappointment I had with the course was that there was no official feedback on the plan.


This was exactly the reason why I started to look for another online PDC, where someone actually gives you feedback while you progress with your design.

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Try Andrew Millison's online PDC - I don't know if he does feedback along the way but from what I've read, it seems like he might. You can see examples of student projects at the below url too. The course is open for registration NOW.

https://pace.oregonstate.edu/catalog/permaculture-design-certificate-online
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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I took it last summer online. I think he mentioned something like 1200 students from all over the world. I found it to be intense and informative. There wasn't really much feedback on the final project and he made it sound as if very few people didn't pass, but it was still nerve-racking waiting for the mail!

The only thing I wish I had done a bit differently was to get a specific notebook to fill with notes. I ended up all over the place at first. The nice part is that I have it all on DVD so I can go back and watch it whenever I want!

Good luck to anyone who takes it this summer! You will love Geoff's style of teaching, I'm sure of it!
 
Eva Taylor
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Lucas- great point with the notebook, I'll add it to the backpack...

Does anyone know how Geoffs videos are made available? Will I be able to download them and save for later viewing or are they only available thru online links he sends you?
 
Cj Sloane
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They are available streamed but many people downloaded them (see page 2 of this thread for details.

You do get everything on disc eventually except the Q&As and the bonus Earthworks.
 
Cynthia Last
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geoff lawton's online PDC was life altering for me. I'm extremely thankful I took this course.
One thing that helped me was to go outside an observe when that was talked about. Dig a hole in the soil when that was part of the topic. Sending in soil samples for testing when that came up. If I was able, I attempted to implement, even if only in a small way whatever was discussed (if applicable to my environment). Making an A frame level & pegging my yard helped me understand that concept - I'm a hands on learner. A friend's yard would work if an apartment dweller.
Highly recommend taken advantage of the price break on 'The Designer's Manual' if at all possible. Geoff has the book with him in the classroom & teaches from it.
This opportunity is well worth the money & time.
Have fun!



 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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They may not offer the price break on the manual this time. It was something he had to talk to the institute about when we took it last year.

One new note though. I just got an email from Geoff this morning that said all of the alumni will have full access to the course this year as well to keep studying and to help mentor the new students. There will be a forum where old students and new students can communicate and alumni will also have access to extra supplemental materials as they become available. SO, if you had any reservations about how much this course costs and if you will get the maximum value out of it, rest assured, Geoff takes VERY good care of his students!
 
Richard Gorny
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In recently published pdf file describing 2014 PDC Online course, a term "Type One error in design" appears a few times. I wonder what exactly that means? Doing something not in line with Ethics? Ignoring Principles? Something else?
 
nathan luedtke
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In the Permaculture context, a Type One Error is a design error that results from a fundamentally improper understanding of the situation. The classic example is someone who builds their house on a mountaintop. They have to pump up all their water, they're more vulnerable to wind and fire, and it makes designing the rest of your systems impossible.

The term was loosely adopted by Mollison from a more rigorous statistical definition.
 
Richard Gorny
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Many thanks for explanation Nathan.
 
What's wrong? Where are you going? Stop! Read this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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