Q. Can I really get certified for this course on line?
A. The most important part of learning to dive is getting in the water with a qualified instructor, to develop and practice critical skills. That’s something you cannot do on a computer.
What you can do is eliminate the need to spend valuable time in a classroom setting, going through academic material you are perfectly capable of learning on your own, at your own pace and when it is most convenient.
This ability, by itself, saves considerable time. For some people, this makes the difference between being able to get certified or not.
Q. Can I learn as well on line as I could with a real live instructor?
A. Different people learn best in different ways. For some, it’s a traditional classroom setting. Others prefer to have a real-live textbook they can touch, feel and flip through. Most people, however, find that computer-based learning systems provide the best possible combination of convenience, enjoyment and effective learning.
What’s important to understand, however, is just that because you are learning in the comfort and convenience of your home or office, doesn’t mean you are on your own. The staff at your ERDI Facility will be monitoring your progress, and is available by phone or e-mail if you have questions.
Q. How can I tell if my computer is capable of letting me take part in on-line training?
A. If you can read this, you can take part in on-line training. Any desktop or laptop computer that has an Internet connection and is capable of running a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari or Firefox will work.
Some pages in the on-line course contain short video clips. To see these, you will need to have or install Apple’s QuickTime plug-in, which you can download free of charge from Apple’s website.
With the video clips, it also helps to have a high-speed connection. The video clips, however, are a “nice to have” feature — not a “need to have” one. If you have a dial-up connection, you can still take the course (although you may want to skip watching the videos). All the need-to-know information is provided in a non-video form as well.
Q. What if I normally use AOL to browse the Internet?
A. If you normally use AOL to browse the Internet, through a dial-up connection, you can continue to do so to participate in the on-line course; however, you should avoid using AOL’s built-in web browser when doing so.
AOL routes a lot of outside content through what are known as proxy servers. This can cause a substantial delay in your ability to access on-line course content.
What you should do instead is:
Use AOL to open a connection to the Internet.
Open another web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox or Safari, and use it to access the on-line course.
If you have a high-speed connection, then you already connect to the Internet through a provider other than AOL. Just use another web browser and bypass AOL entirely.
Q. What options will I have for completing my in-water training?
A. Depending on the course, you may have several options to complete the in-water phases of your training. Consult with your ERDI facility for available options.
Q. What costs will be involved, over and above the on-line course fee?
A. There are many variables to course fees. Some examples include: number of practical sessions, equipment needed, park/boat fees and additional training materials. Consult your ERDI facility for additional fees.
Q. What will happen if I leave my computer while logged into www.ERDIacademy.com
A. For security measures we have implemented a 20 minute session into the course. If you do not interact with the system by clicking a link for more then 20 minutes the course will log you off and send you back to the home page. At that time you will need to log back in to continue your training.
I have Windows Vista and I am experiencing difficulty with the QuickTime videos
There seem to be some minor issues with Vista and QuickTime. There should be a patch soon but you can do a few things in the meantime.
You can download the newest version of QuickTime if you haven’t already at www.apple.com/quicktime
Additionally there is a free codec at free-codecs.com which a number of vista users have been viewing QuickTime media with