I have been in love with computers and technology in general since the first time my eyes fell on them. It was years back and it was at first sight. I love tinkering in it and have used multiple OSes just to satisfy my curiosity. I learned a bit of programming along the way as well. Even now, I love trying out new softwares and see what the limits of each of them are. During my whole journey, something was always missing- Hardware!
Never once in school or college was I taught about hardware and I do not mean a theory lecture. I was never given a set of transistors and asked to build something. I can forgive my college as my stream pertained otherwise but my school also never gave a thought to it.
A similar pattern can be seen across all schools and colleges. Even the students learning computer engineering are simply going through the software understanding and that most of the time its ancient.
The knowledge of hardware, even if exists, is mostly theoretical and to understand the limits of programming. I have seen best of computer engineers that have less understanding of hardware than an IT guy.
During the Desktop era, there was even a chance as to people trying to play with their hardware. Now, with laptops that have everything packed and mobiles, which are completely sealed even this option is taken away.
Raspberry Pi, if you have not heard, is an initiative that focuses on both software and hardware. It was developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. It is supposed to generate a curiosity in students regarding computers, help them tinker and make them comfortable about hardware along the way. Besides this, learn to program is always there.
I think this is very important, especially for Indian children. We always say that ours is not a manufacturing country. Maybe part of the reason is that as children we do not cozy up to the hardware part of the machines and this makes us stranger to them in the later periods.
We are seeing tablets being considered as the solution to global education. They can only be the first step. Data consumption gives you knowledge but it is content creation that should be the final outcome.
Also, Raspberry Pi or something on its lines is quite cost effective for schools to deploy than full-fledged computers.
What do you think?