I would also like to thank my friend, Shawn O’Neill, for helping me write this post.
Historically speaking, our education system has been improving. The bottom is coming up – we have a lot more people who are now maturing into adults with a really strong educational background.
However, in business terms, the product has not improved, but the distribution has. Our educational system has been stuck in and around the Victorian era, where the educational background was focused primarily on rote memorization. That background was based on a limited design, first established in the Middle Ages, when resources were drastically more limited than they are today. The classroom system, with the teacher at the front reading from the book, came about because until about 200 years ago, books were extremely expensive to copy. If you wanted another manuscript, it had to be done by hand, and in many cases following the fall of the Roman Empire, the lecture was all there was, and knowledge was passed on through memorization and retelling.
We have gotten trapped into a way of thinking, where we have to get better books, and better teachers, and better chalk boards. These things are all great to have, and we’ve gotten to the point where everyone gets a copy of the book, and our campuses have the best computers, and that is a wonderful example of society’s technological progress.
However, we still go into a classroom where someone reads to us from the book that we already have, and those expensive computers and CAD systems will never leave the confines of the classroom or the workplace.
The reason for this is because, at present, there are very few people who are affluent enough to afford the licensing and hardware requirements necessary to make 3D models. There are fewer still who went through an educational system that prized individual and personal growth over procedure and rote memorization.
If we really want to encourage meaningful small business growth in the millenial generation, then at least two things need to change. The first is that the American educational system should begin to shift towards placing emphasis on self-actualization and personal responsibility over procedure and memorization.
The second is that our CAD packages needs to be inexpensive, and run on low cost, low-power hardware. This will allow for traditionally unreachable persons of the world’s population to get access to the tools that are so integral to success in our modern society. To do otherwise would be perpetuating a system of false scarcity, and would seem to be folly in the highest degree.
Cheap computers and good internet connections are easy to get, especially in America (recent attempts by telecomm companies companies to avoid improving infrastructure nothwithstanding), and in many developing countries, technological development is leapfrogging developed countries’ timelines, and jumping straight from telephone to smarthphone, or in some cases, nothing to smartphone. CAD packages that run on these systems will be able to reach more individuals faster than the workstation model ever will.
The world is changing, and we need to change the way we teach and the tools we use in kind.