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Comprehensive Review of how PCS Centers became the Internationally known PCS Edventures by the Founder

Comprehensive Review of how PCS Centers became the Internationally known PCS Edventures by the Founder

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Published by Patrick McShane
In 1983 I was the Founding Father of a specialized school system that became known as PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning in Boise, Idaho. By 1994 failing health forced me out of the picture and into a nursing home. Against all predictions, I have survived and am back. This is the remarkable story of the early days 1983 through 1995. After 1995, when it became PCS Edventures with centers in all states of the US and 17 foreign countries, and more coming every month, with new robotic products being invented by PCS Edventures staff, and a website where students and watch their progress through the system, the world is in their hands, just I predicted possible in 1983, before there was an internet. I hope that this story serves as a reminder that when we empower our youth, we build a future that we can be proud of for generations to come. It is my belief that ALL students are Gifted and Talented. We are not teachers, we are Mentors. It is our task to help each child discover for themselves what their gifts and talents are and then how to use them to the best of their advantage. We must empower the child to turn on the light bulb for themselves, and not turn it on for them. Force fed education is child abuse because it chokes the life out of that child. Show the child how to feed himself/herself, and they will do just that.Imagination IS more important than Knowledge, and as one of my 9 year old boys once told me, "Yep! If you can think it, you can do it. I just thunk it and look, I did it!" This Binder contains a few photos of thise early days. I wish that we had taken more, but we were more concerned with doing and not documenting. Hopefully some of our former students will come forward with photos that they took while attending PCS. We also have a group for past, present, and possible future PCS students and families to share stories and remember golden days of lighting the light bulbs of wisdom and knowledge.
In 1983 I was the Founding Father of a specialized school system that became known as PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning in Boise, Idaho. By 1994 failing health forced me out of the picture and into a nursing home. Against all predictions, I have survived and am back. This is the remarkable story of the early days 1983 through 1995. After 1995, when it became PCS Edventures with centers in all states of the US and 17 foreign countries, and more coming every month, with new robotic products being invented by PCS Edventures staff, and a website where students and watch their progress through the system, the world is in their hands, just I predicted possible in 1983, before there was an internet. I hope that this story serves as a reminder that when we empower our youth, we build a future that we can be proud of for generations to come. It is my belief that ALL students are Gifted and Talented. We are not teachers, we are Mentors. It is our task to help each child discover for themselves what their gifts and talents are and then how to use them to the best of their advantage. We must empower the child to turn on the light bulb for themselves, and not turn it on for them. Force fed education is child abuse because it chokes the life out of that child. Show the child how to feed himself/herself, and they will do just that.Imagination IS more important than Knowledge, and as one of my 9 year old boys once told me, "Yep! If you can think it, you can do it. I just thunk it and look, I did it!" This Binder contains a few photos of thise early days. I wish that we had taken more, but we were more concerned with doing and not documenting. Hopefully some of our former students will come forward with photos that they took while attending PCS. We also have a group for past, present, and possible future PCS students and families to share stories and remember golden days of lighting the light bulbs of wisdom and knowledge.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Patrick McShane on Mar 20, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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01/30/2013

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Patrick - Age 9
Memorable Moments of thePCS - Humble Beginnings
In 1980 I returned to Idaho after spending three wonderful years working and living in theGalapagos Islands of Charles Darwin fame. I had been asked to go to the islands by thenotorious Captain Mike Gordon of Guyaquil, Ecuador. He had advertised for a diesel mechanic toservice his tour boats, refurbished rum runners from Belize, and keep them running in theGalapagos Islands. I responded to the request because the Galapagos was a place that I hadstudied about and always wanted to visit. Now I could not only visit but I could work there.Captain Mike paid for the flight and off I went to another grand adventure in my life. I workedfor about half a year as a guide and mechanic and then the National Park of Galapagos insistedthat anyone who worked as a guide had to be certified. Not certified, no guide. Sixty of theworlds leading specialists in all disciplines in the world of Natural Science attended a three monthcourse which was followed by a three day, written, examination. When the scores came out onlyfour of us were issued the “licencia para Guia Visitantes Parque Nacional Galapagos” to “SeanPatrick M’Shane” “Cidula de Identidad: F241115” “Fecha 6 Octobra de 1,976” “Velida hasta 6Octobre 1,979” The group of four decided, for our own protection, to use a nickname whenserving as guides because we were also the only law enforcement for the entire archipelago.Returning home I decided to finish my teaching certification. When that was done, and I didn’tknow what, or where, I wanted to teach, I decided to work as a substitute in different schooldistricts. I taught everything from first grade to senior high school. I worked in Nampa, Wilder,Meridian, and a few other large and small districts within a fifty mile radius of my home. At thattime I was living with my parents, to keep expenses down. When summer rolled around Idecided to place an advertisement in the Idaho Free Press Tribune and offer my services toparents who had students that needed some extra help with their studies. Wow! I was swamped
 
 
and for a while I was driving all over the area spending an hour or two at the homes of thesestudents. While this was rewarding I knew that there was something better.One of the things that I learned early on during this period of ‘Wandering Tutor’ was thatstudents needed much more than they were being offered. They were bored to death. They hadtuned out and were rebelling against everything that smacked of education. Turning heads,parent heads as well, was a daunting task but I felt that I was up for It.I decided to remain in a fixed place and have the parents bring the kids to me. Mom and Dadfixed up a back room in their house and made it into a small school room. I had an Atari 800computer, a lot of LEGO Technic, school supplies, and a lot of ’interesting gadgets’ scattered allover the place. You should have seen the faces of the students as they entered this refreshingretreat from the adult world. This was their place. They could come and feel accepted for whomand what they were, without reservation. It wasn’t long before we knew that we were rapidlygrowing out of this small school room. Note: The photos of the computers in this document arenot actual photos of the computers that were in our facilities at the time I am writing about. Iwas much too bust using the computers than making any attempt to document what we wereusing. I started with Atari, especially the 1040St and 130XE. The Unix came next. I was also fondof the Apple Systems, they have their own special merits and contribution to the industry, as diesmost of the others I picture in this document. If I am showing a particular computer and model,then we made heavy use of that system for as long as it survived, and some are still workingafter 25 years.
Birth of PCS Schools
 
 
On one of these sessions I had two junior high boys and one junior high girl in the classroomfor a group session. I discovered that they learned much better and much more if they couldinteract while studying anything. In particular, when there was something of particular difficulty,a group brainstorming session was much more productive. With that in mind I started bringingsmall groups together and things got much more interesting. The kids loved it, my parents wentcrazy but supportive, and I knew something had to change or we were in a heap of trouble.The group had just triumphed over a difficult problem and we were just talking, kid talk. Thisconversation took place and this is as close to the actual words as I can recall: “Hey, Pat.”  “Yup.”  “Let’s start a school?”  “Ah…ok. Does anyone know what that would take to start a school?”  “Nope, but I bet we can figure that out if we just talked and put all of our ideas together.” Ibet we can do it, for sure.”  “Ok, lets talk.” Over the course of several sessions with this group we formatted what we thought was thefoundation for the school. Then this conversation took place: “What should we call our school?” Group discussion for about thirty minutes until this: “Let’s call it PCS School.”  “What does PCS School stand for.”  “It stands for
Patrick’s Computer School
.” Unanimous decision. That was the birth of what we now know as PCS.
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