[Bf-education] Re: Trainer Certification Entry

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Sat Apr 21 12:45:14 CEST 2007


I agree with Jason's proposal to 'break the inertia' and just get this  
moving. The objections as mentioned by Pim or Dolf are really answered  
to in the proposal you can read in wiki. Here to summarize again:

Main objection: "How can one judge whether someone is a good educator".
Answer: We can't, and we won't claim that on the website. We will  
clearly explain what this first certification implies. We can also  
withdraw certificates any time, or refuse to renew it.

The certification process we start with is simply this:

- the certificate is by definition only valid when confirmed on  
- there you find a public webpage with names and a short profile of  
- we demand the certificate holders to link to that website too

Additionally we can define: for a limited period, only during 2007, we  
give out certifications, which all expire on july 1st 2008. By the end  
of 2007, or early 2008, we evaluate how it all worked out.

Proposal, I appoint Pim, Jason and Rui to be the first Certification  
board. The certification board has to agree in full consensis who gets  
certificates during 2007. They can also appoint more members, if  

Is this something we can live with for 2007?



On 20 Apr, 2007, at 21:39, Jason van Gumster wrote:

> Hi,
> All of these are good points, but I think the overwhelming thrust right
> now is that we're battling an enormous amount of static inertia.  These
> points, as well as the ones LetterRip brought up are fantastic
> suggestions for the certification program... once we get the ball
> rolling.  There are a couple specific things you wrote which I'd like
> to address:
>> To clarify: How can one judge whether someone is a good educator from
>> what they have written? Certainly they might be good at "online
>> education/documentation" but it says nothing about their skills in
>> front of the classroom. This is also my biggest question to all of
>> you. Where certification is concerned, how do we judge this? Is it
>> even possible for any of us to find out if someone we haven't seen
>> teach, is a good teacher?
> This is definitely an important question.  And it also raises another
> question: what are people going to use these certifications for?
> in-person training? web training?  I know that my primary interest is
> in training in meatspace.  I question how valuable it would be to have
> Blender Foundation Certified web tutorials.
> If the idea is to have more educators in classrooms, then this question
> about judging someone's teaching ability is definitely key.  I can
> think of only 3 solutions:
>   1. Assume the best based on evaluations of the applicant's online
>        material and [eventually] exam results.
>   2. Require applicants to video tape themselves in a teaching  
> situation
>   3. Something more complex and require a bit more infrastructure and
>        organization (I'll get to this one in a bit :)
>> I am personally also for a Certificate not being limited by time
>> constraints. Keeping track of teachers and making sure that they are
>> still active would be a real pain. I'd say once someone is certified,
>> they stay that way. But perhaps I see certification more as a
>> "degree" in stead of simply the "backing of the foundation".
> As mifune pointed out, I think this might be unrealistic considering
> the speed at which Blender is developed.  Maybe an annual renewal might
> be too short of a time, but indefinite certification seems like a bad
> call.
> Ideally, I think it would be good to get things moving by establishing
> a bare-bones generalized certification program, good for people
> creating online/video content as well as those teaching in a classroom
> setting.  These "ground-floor" people can form the basis of the
> Certification Team, charged with further developing the certification
> program.  Part of the evolution of this program will possibly involve
> creating specialized certifications for various skills and/or different
> forms of teaching (i.e. meatspace certification, tutorial
> certification, video certification, etc.).  For certifying educators
> who will be teaching in person, the ideal situation would be for our
> Certification Team to be large enough and geographically spread out
> enough that a team member could give a personal evaluation of an
> in-person applicant.  Of course, this is what I was talking about when
> I said complex and requiring more infrastructure... so that's
> definitely something for further down the road.
> But, all of this can't happen until we break this inertia.  Let's get a
> first group of certifications out.  I've got $50 ready to go :).  The
> only question I have is whether or not there should be a limited number
> of accepted certifications in this first round (or perhaps the $50 fee
> will be enough to dissuade all but those who are absolutely serious
> about this?).
> Okay... there's my long reply.
>   -Fweeb
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Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation ton at blender.org  

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