I find it interesting that instructional videos are rarely, if ever, used in maritime schools and training centres in the Philippines, the world’s top crew-supplying nation. When I first explored the world of coffee, I learned plenty by watching films about how coffee is harvested and roasted, the proper way to store coffee beans and the different methods of brewing. Seamen and maritime cadets should benefit as well from this great training tool.

Nothing, of course, will substitute for real-life, hands-on training. But film is such a potent medium that it should not be overlooked by maritime trainers. Videos can serve to introduce students to a subject that is unfamiliar to them or explain certain procedures vividly, step by step. Consider this video on how to use an espresso machine, which I have watched a couple of times:


The obvious advantage of using training videos is that they can be played back again and again until the new knowledge seeps in. You cannot do this with a classroom lecture — unless the instructor is willing to have it recorded with an iPhone and his face later on plastered on Facebook or Twitter. Not less important, videos can clearly show the outcome expected when a certain procedure is performed. This could help maritime training institutions in gradually shifting from knowledge-based to competency-based learning.

There is only one downside. At US$250 apiece, maritime training videos don’t come cheap. They can be a real financial burden on training institutions in developing countries, many of which are grappling with the high cost of simulators and other training gear. Though an avid believer in training films, I personally would rather purchase a copy of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ from Amazon. More than two hours of top-rate entertainment — and it would cost me less than US$20. ~Barista Uno

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