Few industries have changed so much in such a short time as the computer industry, and the pace of change shows no sign of slowing. The computer now has a role in almost every aspect of modern life, and it has radically affected the way people work, play, study and organize their lives.
As we enter the 21st century, computers are influencing ways of teaching and learning, as access to computers in schools is becoming more widespread and varied. Their use enables the learner to develop at his or her own pace and makes the whole learning process more flexible. In a teaching mode, computers provide a wide variety of information and practice material. They can also play a testing role in a range of subjects including Maths, English and Modern Languages. The one-to-one interaction students have with the computer, along with the immediate response to their answers, help to promote independent learning.
Outside the classroom, computers provide people with greater flexibility and freedom, and also allow them to organize their time in a more productive way. In the fast-changing world of business, employees are being physically removed from the workplace and the proximity of their colleagues, while remaining virtually connected via telephone, and the Internet. Laptop computers enable business-people who travel to have access to important information at the touch of a key. Connections through a modem allow them to transfer data anywhere in the world.
Computers are used to solve time-consuming data-management problems, such as payroll calculations, keeping stock records, bank account transactions, airline reservations, and scientific and engineering computations. Computers are also important in the collection, organization, storage, retrieval and interpretation of information. In fact, they are essential tools in almost every field of work from constructing models of the universe to predicting tomorrow's weather reports.