The ultimate guide to PADI’s digital products

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The ultimate guide to PADI’s digital products

With advancements in technology, now almost all of us carry around a clever device in our pocket that enables us to interact with life in a way we never have before. This digital revolution has affected so many aspects of life and how we do things, and diver training is no exception. Whilst physical books do still exist for some courses and languages; student manuals and training materials are being replaced with interactive digital training tools across the industry. With advancements in technology, these products are developing quickly, and the functionality and content are improving all the time.


Why choose eLearning?

Save your luggage space: The first, most obvious benefit for us as divers is that we no longer have to carry around bulky books and training materials. Did you know one PADI Advanced Open Water Diver manual weighs 0.8kg?! The last thing any of us want when we are travelling is more stuff to carry and potentially lose. With a digital manual, you just don’t need to worry as you will always know where to access your course materials for reference any time you like.



Better for the environment: Aside from eliminating the need for us to carry our own heavy books around, digital materials also don’t need to be shipped to the user – so no more delivery of heavy boxes to Dive Centres and Resorts means less carbon footprint for the industry, and since books are often shrink-wrapped, digital materials mean less plastic too! Additionally, since digital products can be “virtually transferred” there’s no need to wait for delivery of stock, so you don’t need to delay your training and you can get started right away!

Save yourself time on holiday: The final benefit of digital training materials is that courses are now open to the possibility of independent study via interactive eLearning before divers even come to Koh Tao. You can study at your own pace in a way that suits you. Ultimately, this will save you spending as much of your precious vacation time in the classroom and more time to enjoy being out with the fishes!



This blog will focus on eLearning specifically, especially PADI Open Water Diver level, but it’s worth remembering that Master Divers offers the full range of PADI course options for our divers. So if you prefer the standard course schedule with an Instructor face to face throughout, we absolutely can offer that too. Good news: Where available, we use digital materials for those courses too, so you can still enjoy many of the same benefits that our eLearning students do!


How is the Standard Open Water course and the eLearning Open Water course different?

With both options, the course materials are digital and include a digital copy of the student materials as well as a certification credit that your instructor uses to process your certification at the end of the course. This means that you don’t need to pay any additional fees to PADI at the end of the course.

The PADI eLearning course materials include embedded diver training videos and assessments allowing you to complete the entire academic (knowledge reviews, quizzes and final exam) section before you even get here. With the standard option, you watch the training videos in class and your instructor delivers knowledge development presentations before you go ahead and complete the knowledge reviews, quizzes and exam.



1. Timeframe

eLearning reduces the training time here in Koh Tao as you will have completed some of the training before you get here. If you select eLearning you must be sure you have adequate time to complete eLearning before you arrive for the rest of your course. PADI recommend 12 – 15 hours home study is needed to complete Open Water eLearning. So it is something we need to plan a little ahead for. If you do not complete your eLearning before arriving, there could well be delays to your schedule. Here’s how each option can look:


Green sessions are classroom and academics; blue sessions are in the water. The yellow session may be scheduled for extra academics if necessary (*sample schedule only; times vary)


2. Confidence

Regardless of any timeframe, if you are nervous about learning to dive, it may be tempting to select eLearning as it would allow you to take time to learn and absorb concepts at your own pace. However, our experience actually points to the opposite being true… If you are made of questions about how your course will work and are a little apprehensive, we would recommend the standard course. There is no substitute for a real-life instructor to support your training from the start if you need a little extra reassurance. Your instructor can answer any questions or concerns you have right at the start, and can adapt the course with real-life examples related to your location, thus giving you specifics for the environment you are about to enter. The other benefit if you are a bit nervous is that you have several hours with your instructor to build a rapport and establish trust before going in the water for the first time.


What is available?          

The most popular eLearning course by far is the PADI Open Water Diver course, but there are eLearning options are also available for PADI Advanced, Rescue, Divemaster and Instructor Development. For certain courses such as PADI Rescue Diver, where there is a lot of new material and concepts to understand, students who have complete eLearning may also be asked to attend instructor presentations to consolidate knowledge.  Which courses and available languages is always growing so for the latest update you can access a full list of available courses online or contact us!



Technical Requirements

The product can work on any device: mobile, tablet or computer. However if you have the choice, we would recommend the tablet version of eLearning because the operation is a little smoother and the user experience feels a bit better. The display on a mobile device is less preferable simply because it is a bit smaller.

At the time of writing minimum system requirements are as follows. (For updates check here or contact us.)

  • Mobile / Tablet Requirements: iOS 10 or later / Android 5.1.1 or later / Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 web viewer
  • Browser requirements: Mac: latest Safari & Chrome / Windows: latest Firefox & Chrome


Want to get started with your PADI Open Water Diver, contact us about eLearning and you can start right away!


Photo credit: PADI

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