Mobula Ray madness at Gili Lankanfushi

What’s that…? A bird? A dolphin? No it’s a ray! A mobula ray can be seen leaping over one metre out of the water and making an impressive splash for reasons only known to itself.

Even with its large size the mobula ray is an elusive animal with the largest brain to body ratio of any fish. It has a complicated classification record and life history, making it not only a mystery to divers and snorkelers, but also researchers. It is from the family called Mobulidae, which also includes oceanic and reef manta rays. They can be found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. Different species prefer different oceans; for example the giant mobula ray can be found relatively commonly in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, whereas the short-fin pygmy mobula ray can be found in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. Large aggregations can be encountered in Hawaii, Republic of Maldives and Mexico, but recently due to population decline these aggregations are getting smaller and less frequent.

Mobula rays are often referred to as devil rays, due to their horned appearance which results from their cephalic fins (fins on either side of their mouth) being rolled up. Despite their name devil rays are considered harmless and shy. Originally there were thought to be 12 distinct mobula ray species, but due to advances in molecular biology and genetic studies it has been concluded that there are only nine species and that manta rays are included in the mobula ray family. Currently two separate species of manta rays are recognised, but there could be a third: the black morph manta ray (Manta birostris sensu). This species is currently undergoing DNA examination by Dr. Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation.

The current classifcation of mobula rays. Picture: Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

From fossil records it has been concluded that mobula rays first appeared 25 million years ago with other species evolving over time. For example, the manta ray species appeared in fossil records five million years ago. Mobula rays originally evolved from stingrays, which is why some still possess the stinging spine at the base of their tail. Unlike their predecessor who have spiracles to aid their breathing mobula rays must constantly stay mobile to oxygenate their blood.

Mobula rays are the only species of vertebrate that have three working limbs (pectoral, pelvic and cephalic fins). The smallest species of mobula ray is around one metre in wingspan whereas the largest, the oceanic manta ray has an impressive eight metre wingspan. Mobula rays are known to perform amazing aerial displays, including high jumps, twists and belly flops. There is debate over the reasons behind this; theories include communication, courtship displays, escaping predation threats and removing parasites.

Mobula rays are ovoviviparous. This means that females produce eggs which are hatched internally so that they give birth to live young. Normally a single pup is delivered, but occasionally two can be born. Mobula rays have long gestation periods; for example the giant devil ray has a pregnancy period of two years. All species of pups are born relatively large; for example manta ray pups are around one metre in wingspan at birth. This is because there is no maternal bond between mother and pup, and so after birth the pup is left to fend for itself, usually its only defense against predation is its size. Some species, however do have the additional defense of a stinger.

It is estimated that mobula rays live between 40 – 50 years, with females reaching sexual maturity between eight to ten years and males at six years. There is a period of two – five years between each birth and females can have offspring for around 30 years. The mating seasons for these rays depends on the species and location. In Japan oceanic manta rays have been seen to mate in summer, whereas in the Maldives higher sexual encounters are seen in October, November, March and April. Mating occurs in warm water and generally around cleaning stations. Males will venture to cleaning stations in search of a receptive female. These females illustrate their reproductive readiness by releasing mating hormones into the water.

Courtship displays are long (sometimes lasting weeks) and very expressive. Up to 30 males surround the receptive female and compete to mate. They form mating trains whereby they follow the female, who performs elaborate acrobatics that the males must follow. The most impressive male will be selected and have mating rights. The male will then bite the left pectoral fin of the female to hold her in place. They will then go belly to belly and the male will insert one of his claspers into the female for fertilisation. This process takes place in a couple of seconds after which the male disappears. Mating brings together large numbers of rays as does feeding.

Mobula rays can be found individually, although they generally form large schools when food is in high concentration. They are considered planktivores, although they can feed on small fish and zooplankton. They consume food by using their cephalic fins to funnel the plankton into their wide mouth. Different feeding methods are used depending on food availability; for example benthic feeding can be seen in low food concentrations, whereas surface feeding using barrel rolls and feeding trains can be seen when concentrations of plankton are higher. Cyclone feeding is the rarest type of feeding and can only be seen when the plankton concentration is 80% or higher. Hanifaru bay in Baa Atoll (Maldives) is a world renowned manta feeding site and one of the few places on Earth where cyclone feeding can be seen. In manta season (June – November) sightings of 200 manta rays and a couple of whalesharks are common.

It has also been found that devil rays can dive to depths of two kilometers for over an hour to find plankton, making them some of the deepest diving animals in the world. As the temperature at this depth is low the rays must come up and bask in the sun to rewarm and oxygenate their blood. Some rays have a dark band between their eyes which helps warm their brains faster. The oceanic manta ray also has a counter-current heat exchange system which allows them more control over their body temperature than other fish, making them effectively warm-blooded and enabling their deep dives.

Mobula ray populations are declining because they are vulnerable to overfishing, boat traffic, habitat decline, pollution, by-catch and entanglement. They also have limited reproductive capacity, limited habitat range and are slow growing. The biggest threat to mobula rays are targeted fisheries. They are hunted for their gill rakers which are used in ‘medicine’. There is NO evidence to suggest that gill rakers help with any ailments, in fact it is suggested that gill raker ‘medicines’ may actually pose a significant health risk to those taking it, especially pregnant mothers. In a study mobula ray gill raker samples were chemically analysed and arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead were detected in all samples. Arsenic levels where found to be 20 times higher than permissible levels and cadmium triple permissible levels. A study found a 163% increase in profitability in gill raker markets in China over a three year period, highlighting that this trade is getting worse. A mobula ray population reduction of 50% has been observed in some areas.

In the Maldives all mobula ray species are protected. More countries are also now protecting their mobula rays due to the tourism potential. For example, in 2011 in the Maldives mobula rays were worth eight million dollars to the dive tourism industry – rays are certainly worth significantly more alive than dead.

Over the last two months we have had many sightings of the short-fin pygmy devil ray on snorkels, dives, from the jetties and the villas. Although we cannot be sure why we have had a sudden increase in mobula ray sightings we have hypothesised that it could be due to upwelling currents bringing in plankton which the mobula rays are then feeding on. Either way we are very lucky and we hope to share the experience with you!

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

I am a marine biologist and scuba diver from England. I have had the privilege of working in Greece, Seychelles and Maldives. I have worked in an aquaculture research centre where I focused on hormonal manipulation of a pelagic fish species. In addition, I have experience with coral restoration projects including frames and ropes; habitat restoration – crown of thorns, drupella and invasive plant species removal; educational activities and social media updates including blogs. I have also monitored population dynamics of bird, turtle, shark and cetacean species to aid in their conservation. I started my career working in the Maldives and I have done a round trip via Greece, England and Seychelles, I hope to increase my skills set and knowledge further whilst I am at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives.

Diving in the fast line, DPV diving in the Maldives

Seeing the concerned and rather worried faces of divers before a DPV (Dive Propulsion Vehicle) dive, is part of the “game”. In contrast to this, seeing the smiles from ear to ear after the dive is just priceless.

PADI in conjunction with BluEmotion have conducted a series of very successful DPV workshops over the last few months. These workshops were powered by SUEX, an Italian manufacturer of reliable and affordable DPV’s, which are distributed and serviced by BluEmotion in the Maldives.

From the north to the south of the Maldives, a total of 13 workshops have been conducted and over 40 new PADI DPV instructors have been trained. Results show that these workshops have been highly successful and have created a new source of revenue for many dive operators.

by Virgilio Gabriele

Testimonies from some workshop participants include:

Manuel Tobolars, General Manager of Dive Butler Maldives:

“We are super pleased with the DPV’s and have in less than two months got our investment back. Staff are also excited as it gives them an alternative option to dive and ways to explore the surrounding reefs”

by Jessica Ogliar Badessi

Hussein Shifau, Dive Centre Manager Bandos Island Resort:

“We weren’t sure in the beginning if we should invest in DPV’s. However we made a move to purchase three machines and haven’t regretted this investment at all. We have issued over 30 DPV certifications at Bandos in less than three months, and we have actually just placed an order for another three units.”

by Virgilio Gabriele

The workshop will be complimentary and will be conducted by PADI Regional Manager Matt Wenger, who will be working with experts from BluEmotion who specialise in the use of DPVs in the Maldives. These workshops are aimed at your PADI staff and will include:

  • How to effectively teach this course
  • Marketing techniques for increasing certifications
  • How to integrate the use of DPVs into your business model
  • Pricing strategies
  • How to set up and run a DPV wing of your dive business
  • Specific details on the Suex DPV and their use
  • The opportunity to register as a PADI DPV Centre of Excellence and receive special prices on Suex products in order to facilitate an easy and economical way of integrating this equipment into your existing business
  • PADI instructors whom aren’t yet DPV instructors will have the opportunity to be trained, free of charge

If you would like to be included in this project, please send an email to matt.wenger@padi.com so that we can plan the event We will then be in contact with you to confirm specific details of your personalised training.

 

Coral Lines Findings 2018

Our 2018 Coral Line update brings together different success stories, in the form of expanding the nursery, creating a workshop, and most importantly seeing a steady survival rate of our coral fragments.

IMPROVEMENTS

After four years, the Coral Lines Project was in need of expansion. Therefore, in May 2018 we added six new metal frames alongside the existing nursery.  This will allow us to continue the project into the future without the limitation of space.  We have phased out the use of plastic cable ties and now attach the lines to the frames by tying the end of the rope to each frame. We also up-graded the project by retagging all 204 lines to ensure identification is up to date. During this process, we removed all coral lines with no living colonies. Now we will have a much clearer view of the project into the future.

In March 2018, the Marine Biology team conducted training on how to implement and manage a coral line project. We invited interested researchers from resorts and local islands to Gili Lankanfushi to participate in a Coral Line Workshop.  The full day tutorial taught others to create their own project using a step-by-step process.  Some of the Workshop attendees have now begun their own coral rehabilitation projects on local islands.From November 2017, we began a coral recruitment project which will measure the coral larvae settlement and survival. This project is ongoing today with results expected in three months.Finally, in February 2018, we moved our Marine Biology blog and Coral Lines blog onto the Gili Lankanfushi Resort official website so it is more easily accessed by our guests and interested readers. As of June 2017, this blog is now published by PADI and reaches five million readers.

SURVIVAL

We have planted 204 lines in the nursery over a four year period and after a recent survey of re-tagging and removing dead coral lines we have found that 158 lines still remain in the nursery. Out of the 9928 colonies planted, 6713 remain alive.

 

 

There has been a steady increase in colonies added to the project with an overall survival rate of 68% which remains the same as our findings in May 2017.  The rate of survival is less than pre-bleaching in 2016.  However, it far exceeds the survival rate of coral on the house reef which was found to be between 5% – 10% after a recent coral cover survey.

GROWTH RATE

Every three months after planting a line, we measure the widest point of the coral fragments to determine growth rate and note the fragments survival level. We measure each line for a period of one year.The species found to be most resilient post bleaching were A.aspera, A. pulchra and A.muricata. Although P.lichen does not show a huge increase in growth it has a high survival rate. Whereas, A. digitifera has a particularly high mortality rate (90%) and we have consequently not planted any more of these.

GROWTH FORMS

Species of coral can more simply be grouped into ‘growth forms’. We are mostly using bushy and digitate species as these are the growth forms that have survived best on the lines.We have an abundance of Porites lichen on the house reef which we have just started using on our lines when it is broken off in storms.  This accounts for a 2% increase in submassive form 4% in 2017 to 6% in 2018.

TRANSPLANTATION

In June 2017, we transplanted 15 fragments of A.humilis onto our house reef.  It was our biggest transplantation post bleaching.  The line survived for around two months but bleached due to predation despite our attempts to remove all coral predators.Due to the fragility of coral, our rehabilitation plans are very flexible, and subject to a long monitoring period.  We adapt our approach and long term management to ensure we keep up with the changing environment of the reef. So far in 2018, the ocean surface temperature has not been stable enough to transplant our lines on the reef but we will continue monitoring the situation.

FUTURE PLANS

Many of our lines are so large and heavy after four years of growth that we have had to hang the lines over the frames in order to keep them off the floor.  In these cases, we would like the lines to hang from frame to frame and therefore we plan to attach flotation devices at intervals along the line to reduce the total overall weight.

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

I am a marine zoologist from the UK who has worked throughout the tropics researching mega fauna and reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. I have experience monitoring and restoring coral and surveying manta, turtle and dolphin populations. I began my career as a science communicator before moving into research and management roles, this is why I incorporate outreach and education into every project I work on and I hope to continue this at Gili Lankanfushi

How Environmentally Friendly is Your Business?

Are you as green and environmentally friendly as you could be?  Could your business have a better impact on our planet?

As business owners and managers we are often very busy and the idea of focusing time and efforts on doing more for our environment could be something that falls down the priority list.  However, this is fast becoming a vital part of our everyday operations.

The need to reduce single use plastic and debris in our oceans is now a mainstream topic and necessity in all corners of our planet.  We can all do our part, both personally and professionally.

To ensure scuba diving is an activity that future generations are going to want and be able to get involved with, we need to protect our oceans.  As scuba diving professionals, integral pieces of the industry and ambassadors for our oceans, it is our duty to fight, campaign and care for the planet, educating our students and divers along the way.

 

Skin Diver and Turtle

At the PADI office we are working hard to do our best for the environment with initiatives across all areas, including:

  • Packaging – Packing peanuts are made from corn starch and our shipping boxes have fewer chemicals and contain 49% recycled material.
  • Recycling – Recycling stations are set up throughout our offices, electronics are sent to off-site recycling centres and bulk packing cartons are reused.
  • Digital Forms – Digital Signatures are being implemented to reduce the need for paper forms.
  • Lights – Automatic Lights are used throughout our office buildings, ensuring they switch off when not needed.
  • PADI Team – We now have an internal Green Team to drive eco-friendly corporate practices. Staff are offered two paid volunteer days per year and company-sponsored environmental events and clean-ups are organised.
  • Carpool – Staff are encouraged to share transportation to and from the office.

There is plenty more in the pipeline to be released very soon, so watch this space!

Sometimes it is a little difficult to know where to begin when making changes to our business and home practices, to help you with these transitions and initiatives, take a look at the PADI Green Star Award!  This gives you a great guideline to follow and targets to works towards.

If you are able to achieve enough points across the workbook then you will be awarded with the PADI Green Star, giving you another logo and accolade to market and be proud of.

For more information on achieving the PADI Green Star Award, please contact your Regional Manager – Matt Clements – matt.clements@padi.com or Emma Hewitt – emma.hewitt@padi.com or visit padi.com

Events – Scuba Pride 2018!

 

Continuing from my last post about events that PADI are supporting, I would like to bring your attention to Scuba Pride 2018!

Scuba Pride which is taking place at Vivian Quarry in Parc Padarn, Llanberis on the 21st of July.  (Please click here for more information). Also, there is NUPG Scuba Pride Photo Competition taking place on the 22nd of July.  

Vivian Quarry is in a prime location to venture out to the stunning Snowdonia National Park. Duttons divers is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centre and a Project AWARE 100% Partner Centre based in North Wales.  

Speaking with PADI Course Director Clare Dutton (Vivian Quarry and Duttons divers), they have 12 stands in total who are already confirmed. They will also have the face painting, bbq, competitions and will also have a mini ‘fairground’ – coconut shy, other small games around the quarry for fun. 

Throughout the day they will be offering various try dives – discover scuba, discover the Menai (The Menai Strait is a narrow stretch of shallow tidal water about 25 km long, which separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales), Sidemount diving, Full Face Mask and Twinsets.

Hopefully, manufacturers maybe offering trials of their equipment and will have slots in the training cage we have on site.

Clare has said that they will have some t-shirts that have been designed for the scuba pride event. If you would like to purchase one, please let her know. They are £15 each with profits going to LGBT North Wales.

The team at Vivian Quarry are excited about the event and to be supporting the LGBT community in Scuba diving. There have been lots of emails from various groups including the chairman of both LGBT North Wales and GLUG UK that have been advertising the event.

It is great to be able to support this event and PADI will be there to help make the event memorable.

Training Bulletin Live – Webinar Schedule 3Q2018

 

Please find below the dates for the next round of Training Bulletin live Webinars:

As always, we will be discussing the latest standards changes, providing background information on the updates and insight into how these can be integrated into your training. We will also be reviewing new products and providing business and marketing advice.

3rd Quarter 2018:

24/07/2018 English

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5200296764554544385

25/07/2018 French

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3258922068733254402

26/07/2018 Dutch

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8618494796977316355

31/07/2018 Spanish

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1916150090496379907

01/08/2018 German

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3026368762503644675

02/08/2018 Russian

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2237593414388355843

07/08/2018 Polish

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2851612384384964867

08/08/2018 Arabic

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8578559435144645379

09/08/2018 Portuguese

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1408031682440691715

14/08/2018 Scandanavish

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2393887892765126915

22/08/2018 Italian

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3836557099190807298

If you have any questions regarding the webinar you can email training.emea@padi.com. We look forward to speaking to you during the webinar.

PADI Adaptive Techniques

The PADI Adaptive Techniques program is an incredible way to facilitate scuba diving being achieved by all.

Around the world there are plenty of people who would love to get involved with scuba diving, but feel it is not something they would be able to do, either due to physical challenges or learning difficulties.  Thankfully there are now many companies and charities which are striving to prove this belief wrong.  Together with the PADI Adaptive Techniques program there are many who have broken through barriers and are the proud owners of PADI certification cards.

Recently, staff from the PADI EMEA Office and PADI Members from the UK completed the Deptherapy Education Course followed by the PADI Adaptive Techniques Instructor Course.  Everyone involved found it to be a very rewarding and eye opening course with some stating that it was the best diving course they had ever taken!

Kerrie Eade, PADI Course Director and owner of Ocean Turtle Diving said – “I can honestly say it was the most eye opening course I’ve ever taken – the depth of knowledge and integrity that Richard was able to share was extraordinary, and Terry delivered the course in a way which made it really clear… Brilliantly interactive right from the outset in the classroom session, to the pool and then on to open water.” 

To assist us on the course was Andy Searle, an army veteran who lost both legs during an IED explosion.  Andy’s passion for diving is palpable and his capabilities both in and next to the water are second to none.  Andy has completed his PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course, a number of PADI Speciality Courses and is on his way to completing his PADI Rescue Diver Course later this year!  Without question – Andy is inspirational and proof that ‘You Can!’

The new way of approaching students, dive sites and delivery of skills was both interesting and, at times, challenging for the PADI Adaptive Techniques Speciality Candidates.  The more experienced we become as Instructors the more we can become a little ‘stuck in our ways’ and only teach ‘our’ way, rather than finding out the best way the student will learn.

Kerrie Eade stated – “I cannot wait to teach this course myself, to train up other instructors to broaden their perspectives and look at old habits from a totally different angle.”

For more information on this course and how to get involved have a look at padi.com or contact your Regional Manager – Matt Clements matt.clements@padi.com or Emma Hewitt emma.hewitt@padi.com.

 

 

The New PADI Dive Shop Locator (Beta) is Live!

The updated PADI Dive Shop Locator is packed with new features that will make your business stand out.

Getting people to learn scuba diving (and continue on after they’re certified) is a team effort, and PADI® is always looking for ways to make Members’ businesses stand out and shine. The Dive Shop Locator (DSL) was created more than a decade ago so new divers could find dive training they could trust.

With the newly redesigned and repackaged PADI.com, it was time for the DSL to get a refresh. As the new PADI DSL Beta is unveiled, PADI Members will see a host of exciting features – all with the goal of making sure their business keeps growing. Here’s a quick FAQ of what you can expect from the new PADI Dive Shop Locator.

What are the key features to the new DSL?

Check out the value and sheer number of these new features of the PADI DSL Beta.

  • Better User Experience – The user journey matches what users expect from a location-based search experience from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Maps. This includes cleaner page layouts and information hierarchy, intuitive task flows and visual consistency.
  • Enhanced Map View – Adjustments to the way search looks at geography has improved the look and feel of the visual indicator dive shop flags to clearly indicate the type of dive center shown on the map (e.g. a PADI 5 Star).
  • Improved Filtering – New filters use more descriptive terminology and intuitive filter groupings.
  • Faster Loading Speed/Performance – The new PADI DSL is a quicker experience regardless of whether your area has high or low bandwidth.
  • More Detailed Dive Shop Pages – Each dive shop has a unique URL and page. This will allow the pages to be “deeplinked,” which helps marketing teams and members share the URL via email and on websites, and allows pages to be indexed by search engines like Google.
  • Better Mobile Experience – The new DSL is a fully mobile friendly and responsive experience.
  • Improved Search – Users will have the ability to search by almost any (reasonable) dive-related phrase to locate a dive shop or location.
  • More Clearly Delineated Ads – Sponsored ads are displayed within the search results list and map, making them more visible to end-users.
  • Filter by Freediving Centers– Individual dive shop pages and filter menu includes the ability to filter by freediving centers.
  • Visibility for PADI 5 Star – Search results show all shops but, list 5 Star Dive Centers and Resorts more prominently.

What is a “Beta” and how will this work?

The Dive Shop Locator is an important tool that divers find and connect with dive centers and resorts. To fully understand how any new design affects this process, the PADI team will make both the current and new design available to users and allow them to switch between each experience and leave feedback. For the next two to three months, the team will monitor interact with each, adjusting each design as needed and sharing the learnings.

How long will the DSL Beta run?

The DSL Beta will initially run for eight to 12 weeks, but will be flexible so that enough data can be collected to make the DSL the best it can be.

Quick wins to target new markets

Easy steps every dive centre can take to attract customers from China

With Chinese tourism making up more than 30% of all visitors to the Maldives, every dive centre benefits from ensuring that these potential customers know about the PADI courses being offered.Did you know that PADI has a dedicated Chinese marketing tool kit especially for you? You can access it free of charge by logging into the PADI Pro Site, and then clicking this link:

http://padi.co/cnkit

There are a huge number of resources available to you.

Each link in the tool box has two options. The option on the left is ‘simplified’ Chinese. The option on the right is ‘traditional’ Chinese.Tourists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are most likely to speak Traditional Chinese, whilst those from China, Malaysia and Singapore are most likely to speak Simplified Chinese. Depending upon the tourists in your area you may choose to use one or both versions.The more you tools use, the better the results will be. However, if you are short of time, here are a few key steps to take:

  • Exterior signage is a key step to show visitors that you are able to cater to their needs. The marketing tool kit includes a PADI Open Water Diver course poster and banner that you can download – this represents a great starting point.
  • If you work with a hotel or guest house, you can use the specific images to create brochures or hand-outs for guests
  • There are dedicated promotional videos available for you to use on TV screens in your centre, or at welcome events for arriving guests.
  • If you need help employing Chinese instructors, you can advertise jobs on the Chinese PADI Pro Site – simply log into the PADI Pro Site and click the link below:

https://www2.padi.com/mypadi/pros/my-pro-development/jobs/mainpage.aspx

You’ll find the Chinese employment board at the bottom of the screen.

If you need further assistance in accessing the Chinese diver market, contact your regional manager at matt.wenger@padi.com

PADI eLearning brukergrensesnitt oppdatering

For å kunne gi PADI dykkere en elegant kundeopplevelse fra det øyeblikket de kjøper produktet til siste slutt er PADI i gang med en digital opprustning. PADI har alltid vært verdensledende på dykkerutdanning og har alltid vært svært dedikert til å ha de beste undervisningsmaterialer tilgjengelig på markedet, distribuert gjennom det globale nettverket av PADI dykkesentre og profesjonelle. PADI Medlemmer har alltid kunne tilby verdens mest ettertraktede dykkersertifikater og har alltid hjulpet mennesker til å utforske verden under vann på en trygg og sikker måte. Hva er nytt? Det er blitt betydelig lettere å starte eventyret som dykker.. PADI ruller i disse dager ut noen store oppdateringer i eLearning læringsmiljøet.

I dag sender PADI medlemmer en kode fra «online processing center» til elevene sine for å gi eleven tilgang til eLearning produkter. Eleven/brukeren får en epost med en link som gir tilgang til produktet og muligheten til å kommunisere via email på et språk av elevens valg. Alt dette blir som før.

Nå når eleven klikker på linken i eposten blir de sendt direkte til en frèsh og nylig oppdatert side der de kan opprette brukerkontoer og få tilgang til sine produkter (hvis eleven allerede har en konto, logger eleven enkelt inn via den og får tilgang til nye materialer.) Hastigheten og effektiviteten av innlogging har også blitt betydelig forbedret.

Det nye og forbedrede læringsmiljøet er strømlinjeformet og lett å navigere. Man finner en menyknapp på toppen av siden som enkelt lar eleven navigere rundt på siden. Herfra kan man også lett få tilgang til PADI.com (ved å klikke på PADI.com valget under toppmenyen). Det er lett å skifte språk i det nye brukergrensesnittet og skulle man trenge det finner man lett frem til hjelp funksjonen, her kan man finne telefon nummer for å ringe support hos PADI kontoret eller sende epost. Gjennom «forgot password» funksjonen kan tapt brukerinformasjon raskt gjenopprettes og eleven mottar en email for gjenoppretting av brukerkonto.
Informasjons ikoner på siden gir klar og tydelig informasjon og forenkler navigasjon rundt på siden. I dette smidige og enkle brukergrensesnittet er det vanskelig å bli forvirret.

Etter eleven har logget inn har får han/hun muligheten til å endre eller bekrefte sin adresse. Så fort dette er gjort endrer logoen i øvre venstre hjørne seg fra PADI til PADI eLearning®, dette bekrefter at eleven er innlogget i eLearning læringsmiljøet hvor alle deres kurs er å finne (en my courses undertekst bekrefter dette).
Enkle rene paneler gjør det lett å identifisere hvert kurs. Brukere kan klikke på panelbildet eller boksen «View course» for å enkelt få tilgang til alt materiell tilknyttet elevens sertifiseringspakke. Alt innhold er tydelig listet og sømløst tilgjengelig med brukervennlige linker. En av de store forbedringene på denne plattformen nå er at man har kun ett sett med innloggingsinformasjon for å komme inn på eLearning siden.

I eLearning materialene kan elevene se alle komponentene i sertifiseringspakken deres. Nettbrett utgave, lavoppløst manual, eRDPML og eTraining Dive Log komplett med link til ScubaEarth hvor loggboken er forankret (dette istedenfor å måtte gå en omvei rundt å logge seg på ScubaEarth). Naturligvis vil komponentinnholdet variere med hvilket kurs eleven er registrert for.

Summa summarum er det nye brukergrensesnittet mye renere, mer organisert og brukervennlig. Meny knappen følger elevene uansett hvor de navigerer på sidene og er alltid lett tilgjengelig. Alt ble nettopp mye lettere for elever som bruker eLearning. I tiden fremover har vi mye mer i vente, forvent at det rulles ut flere funksjoner snart.

Tekniske krav

Nettbrett og mobil
• iOS nettbrett og telefon med operativsystem 9 (begrenset støtte) 10 og 11. Gjellende versjon og to foregående versjoner
• Android nettbrett og telefon med operativsystem Nougat og Oreo. Gjeldende versjon og to foregående versjoner

Desktop/Web Viewer
• Mac OSX 10.10 eller nyere med de to siste nettleserversjoner av Safari, Chrome, eller Firefox
• Windows 7 eller 8.x med de to siste nettleserversjonene av Chrome, Firefox, eller Internet Explorer 11 og senere
• Desktop Web Viewer støttes ikke på nettbrett og telefoner