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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New Orleans, LA.

    Default Re: Webinar Merits Question (Another one) :)

    There are no feelings of resentment here, just a comment on changes that have taken place over the last 30 years within the system. At one time, merits (any kind of merits), were rather difficult to obtain, and the comment is that merits seem to be easier to get now than in the past.

    I personally don't really understand the whole merit for attending a webinar thing - I'm OK with getting a merit for presenting a webinar since you are teaching and giving of yourself, but for attending one? It just seems to me that the merits should be given to those who provide the education and pass on their knowledge to others. I can understand educational merits for attending a significant educational event such as a week long school like Texas School, West Coast School or something like that, since the whole educational experience at a school like that involves a lot of one on one and quite a bit of after hours education too, but a few hours at home in front of a computer just doesn't seem like it falls in the same category as far as an educational experience as West Coast School does - but I'm not administering the program, so my comments are just my personal questions, that's all.

    I always thought that the idea of the merit program was to get people to stretch their abilities as in print competition, to give of themselves and to share their knowledge as with presenting programs, and to reward people for performing services of value to our profession. I'm not sure that giving a merit for attending a short seminar or webinar program really accomplishes that goal - or maybe (or more likely), I don't fully understand their goals.

    I'm not sure if it's still part of the program or not, but in the past, when the CPP program was initiated and was still young, there were recertification requirements that included continuing education credits. When you attended a program, you got educational credits, and those educational credits applied towards your CPP recertification. Those credits seem to have been replaced by merits.

    Again, there are no feelings of resentment nor are any of my comments aimed at you or at anyone - they're just comments about the changes within the system that have occurred over the last 30 years...
    Last edited by Rick_Massarini; 09-10-2009 at 07:32 AM.
    The best way to gain for yourself is to give OF yourself.
    - - - So get out there and volunteer for something ...

    Rick Massarini, M. Photog., Cr., CPP., F-PPLA
    PPA Affiliate Juror; 97th Recipient PPA Directors Award
    ASP Governor, SW District Rep. & Convention Booth Chair
    PPLA Past President & Fellow

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default Re: Webinar Merits Question (Another one) :)

    I'm wondering if the purpose of the merit system has changed from the completely service oriented... to rewarding the dedication to learning. Because the CPP designation has been separated from PPA and is now independent... maybe PPA decided to alter the merit qualifications to reward photographers in their pursuit of knowledge. Sure, some might sit through the programs and not learn anything,... but hopefully not most.

    Having come into the profession more recently than yourself -- I assumed the merit program was like Continuing Education credits for a doctor, nurse, or insurance agent.

    I'm not sure if it's still part of the program or not, but in the past, when the CPP program was initiated and was still young, there were recertification requirements that included continuing education credits. When you attended a program, you got educational credits, and those educational credits applied towards your CPP recertification. Those credits seem to have been replaced by merits.
    The CPP program does still have these recertification requirements that you mention. The educational credit units (ECU) are structured differently than merits. For instance, Imaging USA counts for 5 ECU (vs. the 2 merits you get). Your recertification occurs every 5 years, and depending on the number of ECUs you have built up, you can rely on those alone, or choose to submit more images and/or retake the exam, depending on your credit total.
    Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr.
    bphotoart :: email

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Webinar Merits Question (Another one) :)

    i'm not offended at all in any way.
    i was only pointing out to the newer members how things have changed in the merit system. i think it's the same all over, there is a dumbing down to all aspects of our society. an example: my parents born in 1910 & 1913 were in school till 8th grade, in those days, for their economics that was considered "an education"
    long story short, they spoke & wrote beautifyly, perfect grammer etc.
    i don't think a high school grad today in 12 years got the same standard of education that they did then in 8.
    believe me, i would take the path of least resistance by racking up supper monday merits also.
    Last edited by Joe_Galioto; 09-10-2009 at 08:08 PM.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Webinar Merits Question (Another one) :)

    I would like to throw my $.02 into the discussion. Rather than thinking of webinars as a "dumbing down", why not look at them as an innovative use of technology?

    I have offered portrait interpretation workshops around the country for the past few years, and I've found it increasingly difficult to get enough signups to make it profitable. I attribute this to the economy—many folks just don't have the resources to pay for the expense of travel, lodging, time, etc.

    A webinar eliminates these costs and places the convenience factor in the hands of the attendee. Webinars are in their infancy—the concept is still evolving and currently has its limitations—but the potential for distance learning is vast.

    Most webinars currently run about an hour, which is a very short amount of time to successfully "teach" a subject of any depth. They are mostly a one-way affair at this time: the presenter talks and the attendees listen.

    I did a Painter webinar last week for 158 attendees—158!—and it was to an international audience. That's reaching more interested parties than I ever do in face-to-face environments. A subject like Photoshop or Painter is a perfect subject for distance learning—the attendees watch the instructor's screen as he explains how to perform various techniques with the tools of the application. If the session is recorded, the attendees—as well as others—can replay/download the content for repeated play.

    As the technology evolves, offering classes in which video is used to display an environment like a studio will become increasingly common.

    As this technology develops (and it is at a rapid pace), the webinar concept will become more interactive, giving the students a greater ability to participate. Most attendees do not currently have a USB headset, which limits the amount of interactivity—they can only type a question in. If they were able to talk, it would enable a much richer immersion in the learning environment.

    The webinar companies are developing more interactive environments so that content can be easily exchanged among participants. This will enable realtime "I show you—you show me" situations between teacher and student. You can already hand off who's screen is being displayed to the class. This enables a student to show how they are performing a particular technique and allows the teacher to then offer improvements.

    We are in a transitional period of technology. Many of the "old" ways of doing things are being superseded or augmented with technology. The same thing has occurred with the transition from film to digital. Those of us that started in film are now members of a craft in which some have never touched film. The "oldtimers" perceive a loss of quality—which is certainly real—with this transition. But I see this as a just bump in the road as we evolve with the new tools.

    Some traditions—both good and bad—will certainly be lost or temporarily AWOL. Who wants to work in a dark room with hazardous chemicals? Concurrently, good composition, lighting, posing, etc., seem to be in short supply these days. By embracing the new technology, new tools like distance learning will begin to once again raise the quality bar during this time of transition.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to what is ahead.

    John Derry
    Cr. Photog.
    Pixels—it's all in how you arrange them!
    The PixlBlog
    Digital Paint Magazine

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