05 December 2011

Team Small Dog finds themselves enrolled in school and we are not talking art school here, no siree, not in the age of Internet Agility School.

Team Small Dog finds themselves enrolled in school and we are not talking art school here, no siree, not in the age of Internet Agility School.

Not exactly sure how it happened, but the new thing right now is Internet Agility School. All of a sudden, there was email then there was the interwebs then facebook and now, Online Agility Class.

I'm not sure who started this. Did Scientology begin like this? Dog agility first started underground in a cave. Course maps scrawled on the wall with bison blood. Then dog agility instructors started to teach in back yards. Dogs jumped over brooms balanced on buckets. Then there were facilities. With fences and genuine dogwalks. Dog agility instructors wrote articles. Then they made videos. And taught seminars. Then they made DVD's. Of the seminars. And now, there is the Online School.

Susan' Garrett's class has enrolled something 44 million dogs and handlers. Besides teaching most excellent recalling, it is propelling Susan Garrett on her way to for sure dog agility millionairism. She'll be able to have pagents with live giraffes soon, whenever she wants.

Silvia Trkman and Daisy Peel and the Derretts and Canadian Sports Psychologist to Canadians John Cullen are among the others that I know of. There are probably lots, lots more, all coming at you with Important Information for Championmaking. Probably some of YOU now have your own Online Dog Agility School and you didn't even tell me.

I currently have found myself enrolled in Ultimate Handling Starring Greg and Laura Derrett, and The Winning Process Starring John Cullen. Through the internet, the Derretts are teaching me better handling rule following, and John Cullen is going to teach me to make my mental game my strongest assett.

Already, I'm tardy and overwhelmed by spreadsheets and videos and course maps and check lists and lists. We didn't have stuff like that in art school. We had erasers and band saws.

And I've only just started. There is Excel and there are a lot of words to read. Many videos to watch on my slow computer. I don't have all the materials for my first assignment. My instructors are working HARD to make these classes that people can actually learn from.

Probably even people like me.

I never have exactly understood why I got called unTeachable when I was in graduate school. Is this even still relevant? That was before cell phones. We had phones with long, long, long cords plugged into contraband phone jacks in graduate school. No one taught me how to do that, I just figured it out on my own. And look where it got me. What did I get a degree in? How come all my friends are frolicking at Miami Art Basel and have museum retrospectives and are chairs of art departments? And I am what?

Nevermind. So far, I am blown away by the organization. Lists. Detail oriented methodicalness. All things I would say are not my strong point. Not even a point. I am impressed that I have a cute bag to put my shoes in and that I remember to bring shoes. And that I can find my keys. The super incredible organization and worksheets and course maps and rules so far made me really tired and I already took a break to make a burrito. And then have some chips. And maybe now I'm off to wash some pants. And draw a picture.

Online agility school is a whole new thing. I am thinking, perhaps, if me and the dogs survive it, that just being this organized could be an important champion skill? Like just being able to find a pen to write stuff down with could be a start?

I will keep you posted. Stay tuned for more news from school.


Anonymous said...

As a slow learner, who often needs a personal teacher, right in front of me, showing me what to do multiple times, I am suffering thru online school. Will I become organized? Will I learn anything? Heck, will I survive?

I wait to hear more from you, to help me with this new technology.


team small dog said...

Carol-One thing I would say about Laura and Greg's school, is that you can watch the videos over and over and see, oh yeah-she's switching the toy to THAT hand, even though the step by step words say, Switch the toy to THAT hand.

So if you weren't tardy to class (like I was) you could go one video exercise at a time, watch the video, print out the rules, try the exercise, and so on and so on.

If you are really unorganized, that might be hard. But they have set it up SUPER organized so you might be able to if you were to break it down like that, piece by piece. No skipping ahead. Stay linear, following the rules.

Anonymous said...

First of all, let me apologize to those of you who do appreciate this new evangelical approach to spreading the Gospel of Agility. Besides the fact that I'm too old to aspire to Agility Championess any more, I just don't get this. If I'm going to pay big bucks of my fixed retirement income to some Supreme Champion of the Agility Universe, then said SCOTAU needs to get down off his/her Throne and present his/her Royal Butt in person. I want immediate feedback, even if it's "You suck", then I want to know how to do it better. Right now! I have no desire to help somebody make their next million while they sit home in their jammies and recycle old videos of previous seminars.

Okay,off my soapbox and sorry for the rant. But this is one of my "hot buttons", if you can't tell already. Good luck to those of you who are enrolled in such a class. I truly do hope you rise to Agility Stardom. And no, that's not me just being snarky, it's a very sincere wish for your success.

Virginia in Texas (Otterpop's #1 Fan and Gustavo Groupie! Who hates being "linear" and "following the rules".)

maryclover said...

Virginia, not to stir the pot, but I'm stirring the pot. Sometimes the kind of training one needs is not readily available where one resides. I am on my third Internet class and I have to say I could never have done this on my own.

We have spectacular, world class trainers in my area, but none of them do a puppy foundation class for future agility dogs. There is a great one online which I was able to take and develop skills in my pup. Could I have done this on my own? Possibly, but with the class I was able to post videos and get feedback (sometimes in a matter of minutes) on what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. It prevented from making quite a few mistakes.

So far, I'm not seeing recycled seminar videos. As a matter of fact I am a participant in a foundation class I formerly audited and from that class to this one the videos have changed based on feedback from that first class.

I've been to seminars with SCOTAU and crammed a hell of a lot into 2 days, but when most of that has leached away from agility brain overload, I'd like to be able to go back, look at my videos and ask some questions. You just can't do that with a seminar, but you can do it with an online class.

TSD have fun! As long as your instructors are organized, you don't really have to be. I'm sure they will adapt to whatever you end up showing them. At least that has been my experience. Kinda just like an in person class does.


Alaska said...

Yup, I too am getting different value from watching the videos than from live seminars. I can watch the video over and over, go try it with my dog, come back and watch again, rewind, slow it down, watch videos out of order, etc., I find that my own behavior (as a handler, as a trainer) is slowly starting to actually converge on that of the person whose videos I am watching. This NEVER happened in live seminars, where I simply took the presenter's advice and applied it to what I was doing. Through the online class, I have the eerie sense that I am actually becoming more like the presenter (as far as skills go).

Another thing you tend to get in an online class is a lot more feedback, spread over a longer time, and thus more opportunity to process it. In a live seminar, you get just a few chances to try something and just a few shots of feedback, where in the online classes you have weeks to try things, run into trouble, ask questions, try again, ask new questions, etc. And you can do a better job of learning from the performances and questions of your classmates than in a live seminar, since you are not worried about your dog at your side or your own turn about to come.

One is not necessarily better than the other, but they are definitely different and definitely both have value.

Thanks for compiling links to all those classes. One thing I hope you will comment on is how effective the use of the technology is in the ones you are taking, as I see a lot of variation there, even when the underlying skills of the presenter (as a handler, as a teacher) are comparable.

Elf said...

After carefully reading your post and the well-thought-out responses from various fans, I have this important question: You had band saws in art school?

team small dog said...

I am pretty sure all art schools have band saws as well as table saws.

I think the way Ultimate Agility is set up is great if you learn slowly. If you go thru from the beginning, it's very methodical and builds on the first lessons.

I of course, haven't been doing that exactly. I am not very linear. So I have been skipping around. I have a pretty good understanding of GDHS since it's all I've ever known in my agility life, so everything I've skipped to has made good sense. But I'm already finding stuff in here where I'm thinking, aha, I see the light.

What is pretty amazing to me is how organized it is, and also how everything is totally spelled out in words, diagrams, then the videos which also use words and diagrams. So if you learn better by watching or reading or looking at pictures or some combination of all of the above, bingo. This works for you.

If you were ever thinking, why this or such huh rear cross, HELLO, the answer is probably in here. There is a LOT of information in here. My god. And you can just go back and re-read and re-watch whenever you want. While you're eating a donut if you want. In a snuggie.

Anonymous said...

what if LD and GD read your blog and see your post about the unspeakable thing you did in nancy's class? will they kick you out?
i wondered about the band saw, too. but then i went to a college with a small art department.

jodi, eh? said...

In Canada, all art colleges have band saws as we all have to build shelters for our fire wood to keep warm in the winter.