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Trade Schools

Computers have changed everything, including trade schools. Traditionally, a student enrolled in a trade school to get practical experience that could be put to immediate use on a job. He went to school and got his hands dirty. This is still the case but computers have made it possible to attend trade school without ever setting foot on campus.

It's the computers that have made this learning opportunity possible. As a rule, trade schools teach a professional trade, many of which do require person-to-person interactions, demonstrations, and display of skills.

Computers now enhance that personal interaction but they've also expanded the scope of learning opportunities that trade schools offer today. With a computer's audio and visual capabilities, a carpentry student in Peoria can easily demonstrate his understanding of the subject to his instructor, who just might happen to be in Paducah. Or Peoria.

And that instructor, be he in Paducah, Peoria, or elsewhere, can use his computer to send course requirements, instructions, demonstrations, tests, and grades to all his students, wherever they happen to be. Using a school-sponsored website, email, faxes, and a computer's audio-visual components, students and instructors no longer require communications done face to face.

Trade schools often make sure students quickly learn the basics of the subject matter and get some hands-on classroom or internet-based proficiencies demonstrated and then they send them out into the workforce, to complete the coursework in a real job setting. These practical classes are required of many courses traditionally offered at a trade school and learning via the internet doesn't alter that requirement.

When actual classroom attendance is required but the internet-based student lives far, far from the school's physical location, arrangements can usually be made so the student can gain the education and experience at a similar trade school nearer to home. Many trade schools are affiliated, with branches throughout the country, so making these arrangements for distance is relatively simple.

Carpentry is just an example here of the ways trade schools have adapted to the popularity of computers and the internet. Almost every subject offered in the traditional trade school involves some class work that can be done online instead of in person.

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