Fbola(florida board of landscape architecture) is approaching a major transition in the way it will deliver the majority of its mandated continuing education for the remainder of this century. The Internet's electronic, 24/7 virtual classroom is rapidly becoming the preferred model for effective, low cost, mass education. This forum has been created to hopefully hasten this seachange from physical to electronic classroom learning as a way to dramatically improve the quality, cost and speed of upgrading a skillset over the life of a career. To post, register your email or just make your comments but please get involved, it's your future at stake here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All Native Nurseries plans for online CE courses asap

30 August, 2010 
Thanks for keeping me in the loop and we are already looking into online courses through the Assoc.of Fla. Native Nurseries (AFNN), Fla. Native Plant Society (FNPS)  and the Fla. Wildflower Foundation (FWF). I'm sure that the FNGLA will get on board as well. We all appreciate your efforts to streamline this process and help us to educate all who need to know where things are going in the future. All the best,

Brightman Logan
President, All Native Nurseries

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Michael Starks of Titan America speaks out on FBOLA and DBPR continuing education reform.pdf

Titan America Link

Memo to fbola providers-current and future

Providers are the lifeblood of mandated continuing education. They come in may forms, e.g., manufactures, service companies, institutions and organizations specializing in custom or unique content (LEEDS, etc) .We have grouped them into several categories for ease of understanding the complexity of this huge industry. They are:
  • MIX (Manufacturer"s Information Exchange)-exchange type sites representing 100"s of companies--AEC Daily, Ron Blank, etc.
  • IMIX (Individual Manufacturer's Information Exchange)--a solo setup, e.g. Autocad, Titan America
  • IP (Institutional Provider) -generalized tech, design and admin data. e.g. USGBC, Univ Ga., etc
  • FPDL (For Profit Distance Learner)--generalized ce content for a fee. e.g. Red Vector, CAE, etc.
The Link Below addresses some of the issues facing current and future providers and also talks about the explosive growth of the Interactive Internet and how it is dramatically impacting both continuing education and product promotion strategies.

New horizons in continuing education delivery and its win-win relationship with the revolution in product promotion.pdf

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introductory post from the Interim Chairman of FCEFLA

Hello, my name is Kent McCoy and I've been a registered landscape architect for over 40 years. Wow! makes me tired just thinking about it. I and a small core group of Florida landscape architects have formed a working team dubbed Friends of Continuing Education for Florida Landscape Architects (FCEFLA). We have several objectives in mind, namely:
  • Create a platform, e.g. this blog, to launch a spirited, no holds barred, discussion as to how continuing education for Florida's landscape architects can be upgraded to meet 21st century needs.
  • From this debate, formulate specific proposals for FBOLA (Fla Board of Landscape Architects) to evaluate and hopefully act on.
  • Over a longer time period utilize FCEFLA as an ongoing lobby or a pressure group to represent a vehicle for introducing cutting edge continuing education techniques, content and technology.

Unless you've been in deep space, you have had to notice several phenomena developing over the last few years that are greatly impacting a landscape architect's bottom line, lifestyle quality, and future prospects for realizing maximum potential. Specifically I'm referring to:
  • An ongoing economic calamity only rivaled by the great depression some 80 years ago which has left an estimated third of our profession either unemployed or barely ticking over. This sobering reality has put huge cost pressures on both landscape architects and their industry pardners causing them to re prioritize many aspects of their lives. In other words thousands of individuals in this industry are staying up nights desperately searching for ways to cut any scrap of fat out of their lives without getting to the bone ( a lot easier said than done as you well know).
  • A revolution in mass communications unlike anything we have seen in the past hundred years. The Internet eclipses all forms of past advancement in communications, making the telephone, telegraph, radio and television look like children's toys. Which in reality is exactly what they are given the nearly incomprehensible way we now interact with one another across the globe in milliseconds. Incredible opportunities abound on every street corner, particularly in miracle hubs like Silicon Valley California and Bangalore India.
  • An epic transformation of the workplace that is dramatically changing forever the nature and magnitude of  skill sets essential for economic survival. An example we here could all relate to would be a young graduate going to a job interview tomorrow with a T square, slide rule, rapid-o-graph pen set, non graphing calculator and hand drawn sketches of his best creations to date. When asked about his cad prowess, gis/esri background, blog-web savy, sketch up samps, leed quals, etc, he just sat there looking like a deer in the headlights. Hopefully this little analogy will dramatize how compelling continuing education is to personal survival in today's workplace and one can only wonder what the lad will need next year to get the same job! FBOLA(Fla Board of Landscape Architecture) has a solemn obligation to present and future landscape architects in Florida to fully utilize every shred of new technology available to accelerate and enhance job skills in a cut throat international environment that will only get a lot worse for those not on the cutting edge.

A recent pole we conducted among existing and potential providers, landscape architects, academics and our own extensive knowledge of the situation clearly demonstrated that the current environment at FBOLA is simply not nearly good enough for ALL registered landscape architects to realistically and effectively access the current 420 approved courses now shown on the FBOLA site. We make this statement based on the following major flaws, we and many other concerned participants have consistently observed:
  • Over 80% of the approved courses are not available online on a 24/7-365 day basis as they should be, given today's technology. Most of the courses are available on a sometime basis in a physical classroom or office generally hundreds of of miles away, involving expensive travel, lodging and meals , not to mention often outrageous fees associated with generally mediocre material everyone has seen before anyway.
  • Nearly half of the courses require some kind of professional affiliation for access, never mind whether their online or not. All of these professional associations are expensive to keep up. The ASLA for example charges a whopping $400 annual fee for national and state dues which enables you to  access whatever approved courses FBOLA may offer. A kind of Troll under the bridge, gotcha setup if ever there was one.
  • The only expedient route for an accumulation of mandated 16 hours is to take a "package" deal from one of the FPDL's (For Profit Distance Learners). This will set you back another $600 at least on top of association dues ,$400, lost time,say 8hrs, at $100/hr to take the whole 16hr package ($800)---Well, now your out $1600 alone, if you've got it in the first place, just to get in the front door of FBOLA, not to mention the $305 license fee for DBPR every 2 years. "Hey Honey, can we mortgage the kids to stay licensed this year? or what?"
  • Many existing, and even worse, potential new breed, providers complained to no end about the needless red tape associated with getting accepted and maintaining a course schedule on the FBOLA site. We had conversations with potential providers like Ron Blank, AEC Daily and Autocad and they told us the same scary tale of why they avoided  FBOLA and pursued other licensing boards with far less arcane and tedious requirements. In other words providers told us again and again that time is money and expediency was critical in making economic sense of the expense of online, 24/7, continuing education.
Please have a look at the 19 page report we have put together outlining what we think are very serious problems and what possible solutions may be out there. We don't pretend to have it all right (Or wrong) in our evaluation but we feel it is a first stab at the morass called the continuing education swamp in Florida.

On draining the swamp of continuing education for Florida's registered landscape architects