The State Of Pro App Training

The State Of Pro App Training

Once upon a time Apple had a robust and very busy Apple Authorized Training program. They certified training & testing centers. And trained and certified trainers. I've been an Apple Certified Trainer (ACT) since FCP version 4. And as a "Master Trainer" for the Final Cut Studio app bundle. But things were much different back then. Times have change, and classroom training is waining.

Time was when broadcast stations and media production houses and corporate departments spent a lot of money to send a whole team of editors to an Apple Authorized Training Center (AATC), or hired an ACT privately, to get their team up and running quickly. These folks were the 99% of the industry. In each class might be a student, maybe an event videographer, or a photographer looking to get into video work. But by far it was editors from local and national broadcasters.

My first Apple authorized training, in Atlanta back in 2006, had 3 editors from Fox News, 2 from Discovery Channel, 2 or 3 from CNN, and a guy from a local TV station. They paid about $1200-$1300 per person. Since then I've taught for no less than 5 different AACT companies (most had multiple locations) around the USA, the military, universities, major corporations, international broadcasters, and so much more. That was pretty normal back then.

My last Apple authorized training has 3 people in a continuing education class. 1 was an independent videographer, 1 was a student who wanted to use FCPX at his university, 1 was just a hobbiest, and that was in 2015. They paid about $300 per person. And that has pretty much been normal for the 3-4 years.

Side Note: Productions are also being done on lower budgets, shorter deadlines, with smaller, cheaper cameras, more cameras, and by less experienced crew, save a couple old timers on-set. So physically the crews and rigs and budgets are shrinking, due to economic reasons,as well as technological advances, and I guess this all goes hand in hand somehow.

Why is classroom training fading away? Because in part to the previous paragraph, but mostly, IMHO, we can get cheaper training, easier, in our own homes, on the road, in our office, online. Ripple Training is about the best Apple pro app training online now, and probably is also the best selling, I'd think. And they do quality work with their online training videos.


Is there anything wrong with, or lacking in online training? Yes and no.

No, because if you get quality training videos, you're getting the basic information you need. And it is very convenient.

Yes, because there are crap loads of crap training full of bad information, misinformation, done by folks who have no clue how to "educate" properly.

But beyond the quality (buyer beware) issue that exists everywhere these days, YES, there's a more substantial problem. Basically you miss out on the invaluable learning experience that only a classroom can give, when you share an educational experience with other warm bodied human beings. This is not a philosophical argument, but one based in science.

In a classroom, the trainer can respond to you personally, answer questions, adapt to the students face to face. Now, I have a degree in education, so I know a little about how people learn. I've had some real life academic classroom experience long before I became an ACT. Not all ACTs had that advantage back then, but I was grateful that I did.

Other students ask questions you'd never think of, and the information given actually can help you learn more, faster. And many, many studies show that a classroom setting contributes a great deal to a student understanding in depth faster, and retaining the knowledge easier and longer.

Plus, ACTs were (or were supposed to be) experienced professionals. Not only did we do hands-on training, we also had real life experience to relate to, that we could share and help our students learn more than just what was in the book. We went far beyond the limits of the text book material.

It was more expensive, and there were also travel expenses involved for many students. It was a standard 3 day course you had to take time off of work for (or your boss sent you and the company paid for it). In the end, you got TONS out of it. You got every penny out of it, and so much more.

Another huge advantage, you could email the trainer later with questions, someone you had a relationship with, someone you had lunch with for 3 days in-person, someone who you had connected with, which made for a more rich, informative, rewarding experience. At least that's how I handled my students. Not all ACTs back then lunched with students, not all gave out their email to answer questions later. But I and some others did.

Online, you get the basics, you don't get the experience of an in-person trainer and other students (some of whom were also experienced and had great information outside of the training materials). You don't get an instructor slowing down and explaining differently when you show signs of confusion. Or speeding up (or skipping over a section) when covering things you already know very well. You don't get to ask questions
in the moment. Emailing a question to a name you've never met in person, or established a relationship with, and getting a response a day or two or three later is not nearly the quality of learning that a classroom gives you, even over time after the class has ended. Very simple.

And you're not paying for that, and this is all understood up front with online video training. Correct?

So, fewer and fewer pro app in-person classes are being scheduled. Even fewer are getting the minimum registrations needed to actually be held. Fewer and fewer (if any) ACTs are being training and certified. Fewer and fewer people are learning the pro apps AND the industry as in depth as they once did.
Even the Apple authorized Motion 5 course has been totally killed off. How long before the whole Apple authorized training transforms into training videos? Or just killed off totally, since Apple is not in the video training business? I doubt they want to be, either.

Online is fine, you don't pay much, and you get some basic information and demonstrations. You get what you pay for. Today's industry is paying for less, getting less, and IMHO, delivering less (often, not always), in terms of quality, substance, and integrity.


The in-person classroom is about to die, for sure.

Online is the new method for technical learning. We will see over the next few years what influence that has over the film, broadcast and independent videography industries. I hope for positive changes as opposed to devolution, but it is all up to the integrity of the people working in the media production industry. Fingers crossed…