Local 16 is offering Lynda.com training to its members. I found it extremely valuable, and tried to complete as many classes as possible in the time allotted. There are a lot of classes that are relevant to our field, and I wanted to give you some feedback on my experiences.
Great 4 hour in-depth class which covers every aspect of Apple Keynote. Many skills are applicable to Powerpoint as well. Great for Graphics, Good for Video.
This class discusses using Apple Compressor, and video compression in general. Good explanations of resolutions, frame-rates, codecs, formats, file container, wrappers. Good for Video Engineers/Camera.
Good discussion of basic Audio recording considerations. Basic mic placement, practical for video capture. Good for intro Audio, Video.
PowerPoint 2010: Audio and Video in Depth
This is an advanced Powerpoint instructional video. There is a lot of information about compatibility, and troubleshooting video and audio playback. Some basic scripting for external applications. Somewhat esoteric knowledge, but I learned a few tricks that I know will come in handy in the field. Good for Graphics/Video(not a beginner class).
This course describes in detail how to set up a video shoot for an interview, but the concepts apply to our craft as well. Some of the ideas are really useful, like sightlines, staging, and Exposure Triangle. It can also serve as a very Basic Lighting course. Good for Video, Camera or Intro Lighting.
This is a great introductory course for shooting with DSLR cameras. The workflow for these cameras is different, and their functionality is limited in some strange ways. Even seasoned Journeymen Cameramen could benefit from this class, as Blackmagic Cameras don't work at all like Studio Cameras. Would be good as a basic Intro Video/Cameras.
This was my favorite of the Lighting Classes. It clearly explains how to light indoor and outdoor shots for video production. It also talks about techniques to achieve different moods through lighting. Good for Video/Camera/Lighting.
This is a good 1 hour class about basic copyright, and usage of audio, stills, and video. Could help the union avoid infringement issues. Good for Graphics/Audio/Video.
This is a broad course, which doesn't focus much on technical aspects. It shows all the basic considerations of making a video, describing all phases of pre/post-production. Ok for Into Video/Camera.
All in all, lynda.com is a pretty amazing resource for IATSE members to draw upon. They follow product releases and give up-to-date training for a number of applications we will continue to need to support. They also have some basic stagecraft training which would benefit our members as well.
Classes seem relatively good, although I would prefer that there were some form of testing integrated into their 'certifications'. FYI-A certification from lynda doesn't necessarily prove knowledge of a subject, it just proves your played through all the videos.
Lynda.com is a FAR better experience than the online education experiences I've had on OSHA, and Infocomm. I support our members furthering their education via online resources like Lynda.com. You may want to explore https://www.udemy.com/courses/ which has similar courses, but is not a paid subscription model(some classes are free) and may be more cost effective training if a member only needs a particular class.
Thanks to the union for this opportunity to further my education, and let me know if you are going to be taking these classes and want advice.