At IDMANN Institute, we believe it is NEVER too late to develop new skills and to pursue personal interests. Those new skills and interest promote personal, emotional, and psychological well-being.
IDMANN PLL borrows very heavily from the fundamental design of our broader course offerings at IDMANN Institute. It exposes students to what they need to know, and equips them with the tools, confidence, and judgment, to continuously discover more for themselves. We teach our students to question and to probe, and most of all, to develop their own unique perspective on the world around them. IDMANN PLL restarts this lifelong - and enjoyable - experience for our more mature students.
The individual courses are outlined below. (It should be pointed out that students are grouped based on interest and proficiency into the respective courses.)
PDT I: Professional Development
- Use Of The Computer & The Internet
- The goal of this module is to provide hands-on guidance from the very basics (of turning on a computer) to the details of how to use MOST of the common applications available today (including the Office Suites, conferencing, social media and similar applications).
- Each participant is expected to have a computer for their use.
- Instructors may assist participants with procuring a suitable device in their locality.
- Public Speaking Seminar:
- According to a recent survey, public speaking is the second most frightening experience to most people (close behind an intimate encounter with snakes). This course will prepare students (through a very practical process) for a lifetime of comfortable and confident public speaking.
- Participants will be required to write short pieces and then present them to their cohort. Under the guidance of an experienced instructor, the entire cohort will provide gentle feedback to each member with a view to encouraging better public speaking.
- This module is designed to allow sufficient time for each participant to take turns (over time) making their presentations and receiving feedback.
- Research Methods:
- This course will teach participants how to research a topic, draft a position paper on the topic, and present it to an audience. It combines elements of research methodology, technical writing and (ultimately) public speaking.
- Typically done in groups, participants are assigned a video or similar content to watch and then formulate a position based on the assigned material. The deliverable is their writing which they may then present in their public speaking seminar.
- Participants take turns (over time) reviewing their writing and receiving collective feedback from their peers.
- Creative Writing:
- Unlike the offering in Research Methods which focuses on technical writing and research discipline, the creative writing module seeks to develop the creative and literary capabilities of the participants.
- Participants receive guidance and feedback on their writing technique, and are supported to express their creative ideas by writing increasingly longer pieces under the guidance of their trained instructor.
- This module is designed to support participants who might be exploring writing novels, memoirs, plays, autobiographies and similar biographical documents.
- Web Design:
- Participants start with a basic idea of what they want to share with the world through their web site, and are then guided through the very rudiments of web design to create an internet presence they can share with family and friends. The goal is to enable them maintain that internet presence into the future. (IDMANN will provide hosting support for the respective web sites so as to facilitate access for the participants.)
PDT II: Personal Development
- Yoga, Exercise & Physical Fitness:
- The purpose of this program is self-evident as it combines elements of yoga with low-intensity exercise and physical fitness programs.
- Participants are expected to have suitable wireless headsets and webcams (with ample space) to enable full participation in the program.
- Money Management & Personal Finance:
- Most people on earth are described by experts as 'financial illiterates'. While this may be a harsh description, it does allude to the disconnect between people's use of money and their understanding of its fundamental workings.
- Many senior citizens are often the victims of financial malfeasance if not outright fraud.
- People start handling money at a relatively young age but are never taught what money is, how it really works, and how to manage it. Also the vital connection between spending habits and personal values is an understanding most people lack. This course will teach the students how to earn, manage, and retain their money so as to improve their personal finances.
- The course will also address the common financial decisions faced by most people. It will address debt, interest rates, loan repayments and basic financial calculations. The culture of consumer credit (and credit cards) will be explored alongside loans, mortgages, car loans (and resulting car notes) and similar matters of personal importance. In addition, the course will explore the personal culture of saving and how financial choices can impact other aspects of one's life.
- The module will also address financial security and risks including scams, frauds, identify theft, predatory lending and other schemes that target senior citizens and retirees.
- Consumer Science (Track I: Fashion, Personal Style & Garment making):
- This module introduces participants to garment making while encouraging them to explore and develop their own sense of style and fashion. No prior knowledge is assumed. Participants are expected to have access to a sewing machine since there is a heavy emphasis on hands-on practice.
- The training starts from understanding the tape rule and the basics of measurement through to different types of stitches and thread patterns.
- Participants then proceed to the basics of cutting and stitching patterns through to cutting fabric to make a shirt or blouse.
- The training is designed to be graduated with students evolving to making different kinds of garments - shirts, blouses, suits, trousers, jackets, gowns, etc.
- Though participants do not need to have a sewing machine at home, they need convenient access to one to be able to benefit from the training.
- Consumer Science (Track II: Food, Nutrition & Health):
- This module covers three critical areas for the maintenance of wellness. The introductory discussions on food establish the link between food, nutrition and health. Participants are guided to explore the undeniable importance of nutrition in wellness.
- The module then advances to engage participants in preparing various types of meals (typically for friends and family) with a distinct focus on the nutritional value of local meals and ways to ensure balance and variety in the nutritional experience.
- The module also explores the cultural aspects of food and nutrition by encouraging participants from different countries and regions to share their culinary experiences. Participants are encouraged to attempt cooking food from other parts of the world as reflected by their colleagues and course mates. The nutritional and cultural value of these food choices are included in the discussion.
- Gardening & Horticulture:
- This popular course supports both beginners and advanced participants in starting, growing and managing their horticultural endeavors.
- Participants are grouped based on their interests and level of proficiency in gardening.
- Digital Art:
- 'Digital art' is a broad term that covers a variety of specialties - painting, drawing, animation, textile design, even sculpting by way of 3-d printing. No single course can cover all of these. However, in this module, participants will be introduced to the evolving field of digital art.
- Participants will also be introduced to the business of art and the many ways people monetize their artistic creations.
- Subsequently, the focus shall be on drawing and painting which form the basis for other forms of artistic expression. Using free software, participants shall be introduced to graphic design and will be guided as they begin to convey their artistic creations.
- Participants are strongly encouraged to acquire graphics pen tablets as those will be used extensively in class, and would be of considerable benefit beyond the class including the routine use of computers and other digital devices.
- Construction, Open Spaces & The Built Environment:
- This module helps participants develop a fundamental appreciation of the environment in which they live.
- Participants learn the basics of how buildings are erected, from the basics of foundations to roof types, and on to interiors. The important considerations that go into choosing interiors, as well as the consequences of those choices, will be explored in the module.
- Participants are exposed to considerations that go into creating and managing parks, gardens and open spaces, as well as the tensions in maintaining open spaces in the midst of urbanization and rapid development.
- Participants are encouraged to use physical models to help bring their concepts and ideas to life under the guidance of a trained instructor.
- Participants may purchase (or make) modeling components locally, or may opt to order an affordable kit through the course instructor. Details will be provided at the time of registration.
- Electrical, Electronic & Digital Technologies:
- The core design of this module is very hands-on. Participants are introduced to basic electrical and electronic concepts (with a focus on accessible, everyday items and devices) and then learn to assemble their simple devices using kits.
- The tutorials are proficiency-appropriate and are intended to demystify electrical and electronic devices by exposing participants to their inner workings.
- Participants may purchase components locally or may opt to order an assembly kit through the course instructor. Details will be provided at the time of registration.
PDT III: Cultural Development
- International Language Practicum
- Most people desire to learn a second language but are unable to do so within the context of a busy adult life. This module in IDMANN PLL enables participants to start (or restart) that journey in a comfortable and supportive environment, surrounded by other participants of comparable skill, all from the comfort of their homes.
- Participants may wish to learn a language because of personal relationships or cultural ties. Other participants may feel a certain affinity for a certain culture and want to reinforce that connection by learning the language. No matter the motivation, this course provides an introduction to a number of languages. Our focus is on languages that have significant geographic and/or cultural span but are typically under-represented in many educational systems.
- This module draws directly from the International Language Program (ILP) at IDMANN Academy which provides students a graduated experience in learning new languages. Participants at various levels of attainment are guided by seasoned instructors to learn a new language and to understand the cultural nuance of the language.
- Participants can pick from available languages offerings at the time of enrollment. These include:
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Creole (Haitian)
- Patois (Jamaican)
- Most events are now memorialized as photographs. With the cell phone camera becoming essentially ubiquitous, most people have become photographers by default. And yet, most people do not understand the basics of photography, or how to develop their skills as photographers.
- In this module participants will be taught the essentials of photography, from composition to lighting to photo editing. The commercial aspects of photography will also be discussed, especially for those who might consider this a serious hobby or even part-time engagement option.
- No prior training or experience is assumed in the delivery of the course.
- Even though cell phone photography will be discussed, participants are expected to use a DSLR for this module as most of the training will focus on the use of the DSLR for photography.
- This special program supports students who wish to learn to play (or improve their skills on) the piano. Led by highly experienced music instructors, this special module provides students the foundation they need in music theory and supports them all the way to keyboard performance.
- This module is designed to support students adults seeking to develop or improve their skills on the keyboard. Participants at all levels of mastery (from having never played a note on a keyboard to experienced performers seeking to improve aspects of their technical craft) are welcome. Course content is adjusted appropriately to meet the needs of a particular participant or cohort.
- Since the sessions are online, participants are expected to be able to use a computer and participate effectively and independently in an online session.
- No prior training or experience is assumed in the delivery of the course.
- Each participant is expected to have ready access to a piano for the sessions, and to practice thereafter.
- Assistance will be provided in setting up the remote piano and conferencing environment.
Special programs like music, garment-making and photography (due to their very unique nature) involve additional expense on the part of participants (typically for needed equipment). Participants interested in signing up for the special programs are strongly advised to contact IDMANN Institute for an outline of what the additional expenses (at home) might be. For instance, the photography class expects that the student have a DSLR camera. Though it is a very long term investment in photographic gear for the student, it is still a significant cost and intending participants should be aware of these costs. Similarly, the piano class requires that participants have access to a piano. Families that do not already have a piano at home may be well advised on their options since each participants requires their own piano for the classes. In general, our program advisors can provide some guidance on ways to reduce these unavoidable costs.