Here’s an interesting “take” on the advantages of in-person, group and hands-on learning of permaculture vs. the proliferation of online courses. See, for example, Jeff Lawton.
Some online classes – whatever the subject – are well done and effective when presented via the internet. There is also some knowledge that is too complex and nuanced to be transmitted electronically.
Go to the original to read, for it has all the links. And BTW: this site recommends only one on-line course:
For permaculture students that have attended one design certificate course in person, and are ready to deepen their understanding of permaculture, here is one viable online course, offered by Andrew Millison (Permaculture Diplomat) through the Oregon State University. One of our advisers, Jason Gerhardt, has evaluated this online offering personally, and recommended it as a viable option for your second PDC. There are no other online courses that we support, and many come with a slew of complaints for low quality!
(OMG, synchronicity time! I wrote down Keith’s name and he just showed up at my door! Told me he has a book for me “All of the Above,” and will come by to give pruning lessons soon.)
What interested me most was the comments below the post, which run the gamut, and offer a number of other angles of perspective on how permaculture is or is not, and should or should not be taught! I especially liked the comments that mention how not only PDC courses (whether on-line or in person) teach “systems thinking,” and that not only in-person PDC courses do community-building. What in-person PDC courses do do, however, is combine systems thinking, hands-on projects, and community building with the permaculture ethic: “Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share.”
Here’s a sample of the comments. A very spirited discussion. Very worth reading through all of them.