Get PADI News on your iPhone or iPad

A PADI Instructor News reader (you know who you are) recently asked:
how can I get PADI Instructor News updates on my iPad?
Great question!

First, download a reader from the app store such as Feeddler or Flipboard.

Caveat: this is not an official endorsement a particular app.  Feeddler and Flipboard are two free options. NewsRack, and Reeder are other options. Please do your homework to decide which of the many apps is right for you.

If you already have a Google account (such as gmail) you may be able to login with those credentials. Otherwise, it will prompt you to set up a new account.

Android Users
There is an unofficial Google Reader app, Feedly, and Pulse are highly-recommended (by tech-bloggers).

When your Apple or Android app installation is complete, input the feed address below to subscribe to PADI Instructor News updates:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/padiinstructornews

Depending on the app you use, a little icon will appear on your screen when a new article has posted. If you subscribe to more than one website, you’ll see a list of sites and an icon indicating new info.

Email subscribers may need to click through to view the screengrabsin this article. Please pardon the low-fi appearance. I had to snap pictures of my iPod Touch with my cell phone camera.

PADI eCard – What You Need to Know

PADI Diver Certification Cards for iPhone, Android and Blackberry

PADI eCard Fast Facts

PADI eCard certification on a smart phone

  • PADI’s new eCard is a digital diver certification card that lives on an Android, iPhone or Blackberry device accessed via the PADI app (a free download).
  •  The PADI eCard is proof of certification (just like a plastic card).
  •  The eCard is available for purchase through PADI’s website for $37US, or through a PADI Dive Center or Instructor (member cost = one online PIC credit).
  •  The eCard is available as a replacement card only for now.
    For at least the remainder of 2012, the student’s initial certification card must be plastic. That said, the student can order eCard in 1-3 business days of the certification being submitted.
  • One eCard = one certification.
    For example: if a student wants their Master Scuba Diver and their Nitrox certs as eCards, the cost is either:
  • $37 x 2 eCards if ordered through padi.com
  • Two online PIC credits if ordered through a PADI instructor or dive center
Ready to sell ecards to your students?

While you personally may not be interested in an eCard, your students might. Think about how many divers you’ve certified over the years and consider the following stats:

Check out our step-by-step instructions for buying eCards using PIC online credits

Free eCard for renewed PADI Pro’s

PADI Professionals renewed for 2012 can receive an eCard of their highest core level. To get your eCard, download the PADI App at padi.com/mobile-apps. Use your PADI Pro website login credentials to access your eCard.

Ordering additional pro-level ecards

Additional pro-level eCards can be purchased for $27 via the My Account section of the PADI Pro’s website.

  1. After logging in, click My Account.
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
  3. Click “Replace My Membership Cards” to get started

The pro-level eCard price is the same price as a plastic card ($27). That said, if you order a plastic replacement card and eCard at the same time, there is a combo price of $40. This is for pro-levels only.

For a Project AWARE version of your eCard(s), an additional $10 donation per card is required.

Having trouble pulling up the eCard on your smartphone?

  • Try uninstalling and re-installing the PADI App
  • Change your PADI Pro login credentials to eliminate any spaces or special characters
  • Read our FAQ for device compatibility.
    Call the membership dept of your local PADI Office.
    (PADI Americas membership dept =  800 729 7234 ext. 2495, or +1 949 858 7234 ext. 2495).

New PIC Online Tool for PADI Stores

Sub-User Accounts for PADI Pro’s Site

The sub-user (aka delegate) accounts allow store employees to access the Online Processing Center without having access to everything on the PADI Pro’s Site. A delegate account can send digital codes and certify students / DSDs, but that’s it.

Up to twenty delegate accounts may be added to a store’s account; however, only three may be active at any one time.

Here’s How to Get Started

PADI PIC Online delegate account set up

  • Log in to the PADI Pro’s Site as the store
  • Choose My Account from the main menu.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the My Account screen
  • Choose  “Administrator Delegate Function”
  • Accept the Terms of Use

Add a New User

  • On the Add/Delete Users page, click “Add New Delegate”
  • Input the new user information (the person does not have to be a PADI Member)
  • There is a limit of three active sub-users. You can create up to 100 delegate accounts, but only three can be active at one time. You can choose who is active or inactive on the fly.IMPORTANT: If the user is a PADI Member, the email address used for the delegate login CANNOT be the same as their email address used for their regular PADI Pro login. A different email must be used.
Add additional users to PADI PIC Online account

Test the New User Account
Log out of the PADI Pro’s Site
Log back in as sub-user to test the new account.

PIC

Once logged in as the sub-user, the only menu item available will be PIC Online

Important info:

  • Delegate users cannot purchase PIC online / digital codes from the Pro’s Site because they don’t have access to the online shopping cart.
  • Please use only Chrome or Firefox when interacting with PADI’s websites. Adding a delegate user is not optimized to work with Safari or a mobile device.
  • Your delegate will have access to the entire Online Processing Center (OLPC) including PIC online Processing and sending / certifying eLearning and Touch students. At this time there is no way to limit access to certain parts of the OLPC.

Updating Your About Us page to Attract New Customers

The About Us Page = A Dating Profile for Your Business

The About Us page is the #2 most-visited page for most new customers. Unfortunately, many businesses  haven’t updated their About Us page in years. Today we’ll  take a quick look at what makes a good About Us page and why it’s an important to attract new customers.

The About Us page is like a dating profile for your business. The customer will read about you online and decide if they want to start a business relationship.  58% of Americans research a business online before making a purchase.  Just like online dating: people want to check you out before meeting in person.

 

When you’re ready to take a whack at revising your About Us page, use the questions and ideas below to inspire your writing. For those of you with a Facebook page –  consider updating the “Info” section of your FB page as well.

  • Why did you start your dive business?
  • Why do you love what you do?
  • How do you do this better than anyone else?
  • How are you different than the other stores in town
    (ex. we follow green business practices).
  • Where are you located?
  • Why should divers buy equipment from you?
  • How and when can you be contacted?
  • Link to customer testimonials and notable clients
  • Link to your Facebook page
  • Link to your staff page

Don’t Hurt My Eyeballs
Several short paragraphs are better than one long paragraph. After 4-5 lines of text, people stop reading and start scanning. Break up large blocks of information using bullet points when possible, and edit paragraphs to no more than four lines of text.

Brag a Little
Create a bullet-ed list to of community or industry awards you’ve received and any notable clients (such as the local fire department) – click here for an example. Also include quotes from happy customers, or a link to your testimonials page if you have one – example.

Photos:

  • Include a picture of your building to help people find you.
  • Include a group photo of smiling divers or staff
    (research shows – photos of people are more appealing than photos of things)
  • Bonus Points: add a video

Randomness = Good
As a non-diver, I need to know that you’re professional and won’t drown me, but scuba is also supposed to be fun.

Put something on your page so I know you’re going to show me a good time. This could be a fun photo or just in the way you words things – click here for an example.

For additional ideas, read INC Magazine’s article: How to Design a Great About Us page.

PADI Undersea Journal 4th Quarter 2010

If you’re a digital subscriber to The Undersea Journal –  the 4th Quarter edition is ready for download. Check your email for the link and be the first instructor in your neighborhood to read about the new Divemaster program.

If you’re not a digital subscriber, you can opt in today and get the 1st Quarter 2011 issue before everyone else gets it in the mail. The digital option is free.

Here’s how it works:

You’ll receive an email when the latest Undersea Journal is available for download. Click and download the magazine to your computer.

What you get is not a .pdf, it’s an electronic version of the magazine distributed by Zinio – and yes they have an iPhone app and an iPad app.

The digital magazines are saved in your online library for future reference. You can print, zoom, screengrab and scroll between pages.

Not sure if you’ll like an electronic magazine?

You can download a magazine for free to try it out. Zinio has a variety of choices such as Business Week and PC Mag. FYI you have to create an account to get the free magazine.

If you’re ready to go digital with Sport Diver or The Undersea Journal, here’s how to do it:

1. Log on to the PADI Pro’s Site
2. Click on My Account
3. Scroll down to the bottom
4. Click on My Preferences
5. Click next to the picture of each magazine to opt in for a digital copy.

You won’t be able to get the 4th Quarter 2010 edition electronically. If you sign up within the next few weeks, your first electronic copy will be 1st Quarter 2011.


Once you opt in for the electronic option we will no longer send you a paper copy of the magazine. You can, however, switch back to paper. Address labels are run approximately six weeks before the magazines get mailed, so there’s a chance you’ll get one more paper copy after opting in for the electronic option depending on when you opt in.

Currently it’s not possible to receive both an electronic and a paper copy – just one or the other.

PADI eLearning Gift Pass FAQ

Now that summer’s here, I’ve been getting quite a few calls and emails asking, “how do I buy eLearning for a student?” Below I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

What is an eLearning Gift Pass Good for?

  • For independent instructors not affiliated with a store – this is the only way you can offer eLearning.
  • For PADI Dive Centers, an eLearning Gift Pass allows you to seamlessly include eLearning as part of your regular course price (read some sample scenarios) and ensures that the customer affiliates with your store.

Anyone can buy an eLearning Gift Pass (aka Access Pass). As a PADI Member, it’s important that you purchase through the new PADI Pros site (as opposed to regular padi.com). Here’s how:

  1. Logon to the PADI Pros site (the new one)
  2. From the main menu click Online Services – then choose Access Zone from the drop-down menu
  3. On the new page, click Purchase (left side of the screen)
  4. If you’ve never purchased a code before, click Sign up for a New PADI On-Line Account. Otherwise, sign in and continue to Step 5.Creating a new PADI On-Line Account*
    • Proceed through the registration. It may seem like you personally are signing up for eLearning but keep going.
    • When it asks for your name, use the store name if you’re a store
      (example: First Name “Scuba Steve’s” Last Name: “Dive Center”)
    • Once you’ve created the account, click on the “Home” link to return to the page and click the Purchase button.
  5. Choose how many eLearning classes you want and what kind. The codes can not be changed after you buy them, so pick carefully!
  6. Hit Total and pay with a credit card.**

* To buy eLearning codes, you must create a login just for this site. The Access Zone login is separate from PADI Pros and eLearning.

** For now, the codes must be purchased through the website, we can’t sell you eLearning credits like we can PIC online.


Ready to email codes to your students?
From the PADI Pros’ Site, choose Access Zone, then click on the Manage Access Passes button (bottom right). After signing in, it will take you to a page where you can view and send out the codes to your students.

Later this summer we’ll be offering consumers customizable options with themes and an option for the purchaser to write a personal message on the Gift Pass.

Digital Option for The Undersea Journal and Sport Diver

You can now sign up to receive Sport Diver and / or The Undersea Journal electronically. This is a free service for PADI Members.

Switch to the electronic versions and you’ll receive an email when the latest issue is available online. What you’ll get is an electronic version of the magazine provided through a system called Zinio it’s not a .pdf.

Not sure if you’ll like an electronic magazine?

Here’s a link where you can download a magazine for free to try it out. FYI you have to create an account to get the free magazine. Looks like there’s also an iPhone app.

If it were me – I’d continue getting the paper copy of Sport Diver and go digital with the UJ.

Sport Diver magazine is a great marketing piece. Leave it at the dentist, the gym, anywhere it might find a curious reader. Attach a business card or two to the inside cover and on the back cover. You never know, right?

This is just my personal opinion, I’m as crunchy granola as they come and of course the more we can do to reduce our paper consumption the better.

If you’re ready to go digital with Sport Diver or The Undersea Journal, here’s how to do it:

  1. Log on to padi.com/mypadi
  2. Click on My Account
  3. From the bulleted list choose My Preferences
  4. Look for the sub-header Publications?
  5. Click the box for digital

Once you choose the electronic option we will no longer send you a paper copy of the magazine. Address labels are run approximately six weeks before the magazines get mailed, so there’s a chance you’ll get one more paper copy after opting in for the electronic option. Currently it’s not possible to receive both an electronic and a paper copy – just one or the other.

Scuba Diving Video Game for Wii

Last week Endless Ocean was released for Nintendo Wii.

The game is receiving fairly good reviews, but most of the kudos are for the graphics – not the action. The object of the game is to swim around and gather information about the underwater world. Sometimes you’re leading underwater tours, sometimes you’re just collecting data.

The game designers populated the world with an impressive variety of sea life: hundreds of fish, hard and soft corals, etc. The only downside is that you ID the critter by rubbing it with an over-sized hand. Clearly the designers were not AWARE divers. Also, the world of Endless Ocean is a world without gear clips. Watching the characters’ hoses going everywhere makes my inner divemaster very agitated.

I poked around on the web and found some more gameplay videos. Looks like there’s a night diving scenario and a cave dive. It’s all tropical diving from what I can tell. Personally, I would have included an advanced level where the character has to do a California shore dive on day with 4-6 ft. swells.

(Megan)