By Steve Umeme
Recently, LinkedIn sent me an email. It started, Dear Umeme, as an active contributor on LinkedIn, we want to hear your big ideas for 2018. Then it continued, heading into 2018, we wouldn’t be more excited to look ahead at the big ideas that will shape your industry and workplace. We want to know your predictions; what ideas, topics and conversations do you think will define 2018? Weigh in and see what others are saying …using #BigIdeas2018
Immediately I read the sign-off yours truly the LinkedIn team, one very outstanding idea popped up! CiSA (CAD in Schools-Africa)! I could easily reply with CiSA, but then that would be too much assumption. So, why would I consider this a big idea?
If you were to ask a good trainer to show you how to use #Autodesk #AutoCAD software, he would run the software, click on a tool in the software and then carry out a task using that tool. He would then ask you to try a similar task with that tool. He would repeat these procedures until you are able to use all the tools and commands of AutoCAD. In between, the good trainer would demonstrate for you some projects carried out using a combination of such tools in AutoCAD.
Now, imagine a software program that does all that (and much more) for you!
This is what #DemosCAD (a.k.a. Demos ‘AutoCAD’) does. It is a software program that, among other capabilities, lets current and prospective users of Autodesk products become instantly productive with Autodesk AutoCAD software by demonstrating each and every tool of AutoCAD within an environment similar to that of AutoCAD. It is thus an AutoCAD version that equips AutoCAD users with skills on how to use Autodesk AutoCAD software. Oh! Boy! Isn’t this the definition of genius?!
Now imagine what impact that would have when this software, DemosCAD is accessed by learners in TVETs, Universities and even High schools? This would take Computer Aided Design to a whole new level! You wouldn’t need lecturers sweating it out over tools they themselves are not familiar with. All the students will need to do is Click a tool and voila….. The command is demonstrated in simulation!
Already excited? Hold it right there! Here is the big idea itself;
CiSA (CAD in Schools-Africa) is an awareness program initiated by SkyTOP Technologies Ltd (www.skytoptechnologies.com) to inspire and capture the hearts and minds of the young generation in order to get them proficient and passionate to use CAD products. The program targets those who aspire to become architects, designers, engineers, builders, etc.
The CiSA program involves:
a. Holding discussions with policy-makers and stake-holders both in government and outside of government with a view to devising a framework that facilitates the program’s penetration into schools. These include relevant ministries responsible for secondary education or curriculum developers such as Institutes of Curriculum Development (ICDs) and the Directorates of Science and Technology (DSTs).
b. Engaging and interacting with School Managers and Principals with a view to finding out their level of preparedness in as far as the adoption of the CiSA program is concerned. This may include establishing whether the concerned school has a well equipped computer laboratory.
c. The CiSA program also includes the DemosCAD software- a product that not only showcases the many things that CAD tools are used for by professionals in the industry but also demonstrates the capabilities of Autodesk® AutoCAD® software and instances where various tools and commands of the software can be applied in real life.
CiSA has been recommended as a noble course by such institutions as UNESCO and Vision 2030 (Kenya), and described as an idea in sync with the changes envisioned in the proposed education reforms and the Kenya Constitution 2010.
The ultimate goal of the CiSA program is to see school-going children in Africa and other developing countries become masters of their destiny through constant exposure to modern learning tools that foster critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.
Salient features of DemosCAD are:
1.The Interface of DemosCAD resembles that of Autodesk AutoCAD software. This lets users learn how to work with the tools of AutoCAD without struggling to locate them in Autodesk AutoCAD software.
2. When you click on any command tool in DemosCAD, it instantly demonstrates how to carry out a task with that tool in Autodesk AutoCAD software. Where there are more functions for a particular tool, DemosCAD provides various ways of using that tool in Autodesk AutoCAD software.
3. Each of the tools in DemosCAD contains a project file that is linked to Autodesk AutoCAD software so users may try out similar tasks with AutoCAD software. Through such exercises, users are able to get more skilled in AutoCAD software.
4. DemosCAD also introduces users to other Industry-specific products from Autodesk. These include AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Architecture, Autodesk Civil 3D, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD Map, etc. This is to let users understand how those products work with AutoCAD so they can make informed decisions that are appropriate to their needs.
5. Through DemosCAD, users may link up with Autodesk Authorized Re sellers and Trainers should they wish to acquire Autodesk products or need assistance from an Autodesk resource.
6. The AutoCAD User Guide- a publication from Autodesk that contains information about using AutoCAD software- has also been integrated in DemosCAD to help users acquire additional skills and knowledge in the use of AutoCAD software.
7. The auto-complete commands feature in DemosCAD lets users easily search for any AutoCAD command by just typing in the command line to learn how that command is used in Autodesk AutoCAD software. This saves on time.
Now this doesn’t end there! DemosCAD is coming up as a website where you get to access anytime anywhere at your convenience! Who says learning for CAD users is confined in the lecture halls and classrooms? I dare you say that again and I will call the authorities on you!
Without playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play is incalculable – click a tool today!
Now this is the #BigIdea2018 that will keep professionals talking for 2018 and decades to come.
If you are an engineering student desiring to go pro – click a tool
You are a tutor and afraid to embarrass yourself in the lecture halls – click a tool
You are an engineer needing more insight – click a tool
You are curious and want to know how shit works – click a tool
You are specific with the design you want for your country home – click a tool
You are on transit but need to revise for your exams – click a tool
Ravings students can still click a tool
Hata kwa wedding – click a tool
DemosCAD is the next big thing for CAD consumers.
Audit & Compliance Manager,
SkyTOP Technologies limited.