More than a year ago I first mentioned that I was considering creating an online course for PLCs. At the time I had just discovered Udemy through another PLC course that was hosted there, but I became a bit disillusioned after reading some of the instructors’ comments on the site. It seemed like instructors didn’t have much control over the pricing of the course, at least if they wanted any help in marketing.
Six months later I was well into development on an advanced course that I considered either teaching in person or writing into another book. Most of the course was in the form of a very long sample program with lots of practical examples.
Then back in June I had an opportunity to create a custom class for my friends down in Miami at ABD. Having a deadline really helped kickstart the creation of lots of written material; I taught the class in August with a partially completed manual and it went pretty well. Back then the manual was about 40 pages and now it is close to 120, and I haven’t really even started the advanced stuff.
After doing a lot of investigation, I finally decided to publish my new courses on Thinkific, an online Learning Management System (LMS) host. I created my account last week and started the next step in my own learning process. In my excitement to get something up so I could start playing with the site and my Camtasia software, I named it “The Automation Academy” because it sounded like a cool name.
Of course since it sounded cool, it was already taken by a couple of other companies, one of which does the same thing I am trying to do (though they are in India). I really don’t want to take somebody else’s name, so now I have the challenge of coming up with a good name.
The name is not for the individual course, it is for all of the courses I hope to put on the site. An example is at the top of this post, where I have put an intro using my Camtasia software.
So here is a list of the courses I hope to have on the site:
- PLC Hardware and Programming (5 Modules)
- Advanced PLC Programming Techniques (8+ Modules)
- Industrial Mathematics and Data (1 Module)
- Industrial Electricity (1 Module)
- Sensors and Actuators (2 Modules)
- Machine Vision (2 Modules)
- Pneumatics (1 Module)
This is just a start, but I need a cool name for the site itself. Also, I am thinking of maybe making it a kind of themed thing, so I’ve listed some of the crazier concepts I’ve had. Here are a few I have considered:
- The Automation Safari (wearing a bush hat)
- The Automation Asylum (wearing a straight jacket, my wife thinks I’m crazy for this one)
- The Automation Dojo (wearing a karate uniform)
- The Automation Gauntlet (thanks Jonathan Arteaga)
Anybody have any other good suggestions? One of the challenges is keeping people interested in what can seem to many like a difficult and dry subject. Some kind of theme might help put a bit more excitement into the classes. Before you think I’ve gone off the deep end with some of these concepts, I don’t plan on being in front of the camera much anyway. Most of the material will be on-screen graphics and software.
My daughter owns a branding company, so I have some help in putting together what I hope turns into an exciting course.
So what do you think? Any suggestions? (Other than plastic surgery :-))