Here at the APS Education Department, we strive to expand the accessibility of philatelic information to our members and potential members from around the globe. There are two key components within this venture, our C3a learning platform and you, a passionate collector and member.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, you have witnessed dramatic changes in how we are able to create and share our educational content. One of our most important changes is the transition to offering virtual, live events through C3a – the Collecting & Connecting Central Academy – and having this be a destination for previously created courses and presentations. The C3a learning platform has allowed years of philatelic courses and presentations to be accessed right alongside live presentations. We are at a time in the hobby where great amounts of information from a spectrum of collectors, enthusiasts and eras can be accessed at a moment’s notice.
In 2022 alone, we have added 25 live events and dozens of prerecorded items to the platform. These include courses such as Belgian Railway Stamps, Forensic Philately and Introduction to First Day Covers.
This growth in content coincides with a growth in use of the C3a platform. From 2020 to 2022, the number of users on the platform has almost doubled to about 2,700.
One of the strongest assets of C3a is the on-demand courses and presentations that have accumulated throughout the years. Members can now access close to 1,400 items on the platform.
Not only are there presentations from the past few years by the APS, but there are also items from various philatelic clubs and societies, such as the American Airmail Society and the American Topical Association. Some even come from well-known philatelists like Dr. Stanley Bierman who decades ago filmed his interviews of 19 famous philatelists. We also have all past live, virtual events that the APS has run, so you can access Summer Seminar 2021 and 2022 right from the comfort of your couch.
Currently we are going through the process of adding past presentations and courses that currently only exist on physical slideshows, DVDs, writing and exhibits. This gold mine of knowledge will eventually be on C3a and accessible to all. This is the ultimate goal of C3a, to be the go-to place for philatelic educational material both past and present.
The most important aspect of C3a is that it relies on collectors like yourself. All of our content is community created, whether created by the APS or donated by philatelists. We search for those who have presented at their local clubs, created exhibits of interesting topics, or just those who are passionate about a philatelic subject and are willing to put that into a presentation.
If you have previously given a presentation, whether at your local club, a philatelic organization, or the APS, we would love to upload your work to C3a. We are also looking for instructors for live, virtual events during 2023. These events can either be single-session presentations or can be a multi-session course spanning a few weeks. If you are interested in either of these options, please email me at [email protected] so that we can discuss your presentation and ideas!
To access C3a, you must go to the C3a Online page, under the Learn tab, on the APS’s website (https://stamps.org/learn/c3a-online-learning). There, you can see upcoming virtual events and you can click the Enter C3a button to access the platform.
You must have a stamps.org account to enter C3a, and your login for C3a will be the same as your login for stamps.org. Members receive an automatic discount on almost all items, both on-demand and live. There are also free items that are only accessible to members such as videos, ebooks, exhibits, presentations, and handouts/activities. Even some of the live events are free for members.
The content on the platform has a wide range meaning that almost everybody can find material to fit their taste.
Know someone who is interested in starting a collection, but has no idea where to get started? Don’t worry, we have courses taught by well-seasoned philatelists about starting and expanding collections and what tools and resources are needed for the job.
Know a young collector who might want to learn how philately and stamps connect to the world? We can help you there, too. There are videos, lessons, and activities which are suited for a younger audience (some of this material is only accessible by members of the Young Stamp Collectors of America).
If you have any questions regarding accessing C3a or on what material we currently have, again please email me at [email protected]!