The Internet basically offers us a virtually unlimited supply of reading material on just about any subject that you could imagine. As a rule, each of us chooses certain websites where we regularly visit, and certain writers that we enjoy reading.
One person whom I have read very regularly over the years is John C. Dvorak. I have been reading Dvorak since way before he was on the Web. He has been a regular columnist for PC Magazine for years now, and other magazines too. Dvorak is the kind of guy that people either love or hate, but few have no opinion about him, if they know who he is. I happen to enjoy his writing, and agree with a great deal of what he writes.
This morning, I was reading Dvorak’s latest column, which is entitled Build Computers in Schools! I found the article to be spot on, and a great idea! Basically, John is advocating that instead of school going out and purchasing a ton of new computers, the students should build their own computers. At first, it sounds a bit silly, but think about it. Remember back in the 70’s and before, schools offered a lot of trade type of programs like machine shop, auto shop, welding and such. These types of courses offered students who were unlikely to attend college an avenue that they could follow that would lead to working skills that would give them productive jobs.
Well, why can’t schools today offer “computer shop” where kids would use surplus parts from old used computers to build new machines for their own use in school? They could buy new components too, or use old stuff. Maybe they can find surplus CD Rom drives, hard drives and such, but buy a new processor and mother board. John suggested that there could be metal shop classes who could manufacture the PC Cases. Art classes could take on part of the process too, by painting the PC’s with unique colors, designs and such. All kinds of different shop classes could do their own little thing to make the PC even better, or more stylish. It really sounds like a great idea.
It also helps teach the kids how computers work, what the components look like and how they function. If a student gets this kind of education, later in life if they want to upgrade their hard drive on their personal PC, they will know how to do it. There are so many things that the kids could learn!
Also, a lot of people complain about how the USA really doesn’t produce anything these days. It’s really true. But, if you get the schools back into offering things like metal shop, auto shop and such, this is the bases for getting manufacturing going again in the USA, something that is severely lacking in the country. Adding computer shop to the mix only updates the whole “trade education” into the 21st Century. How could this not be beneficial?
Anyway, for me, I believe this is a great idea, an idea that’s time has come! What do you think?