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USES OF COMPUTERS
Computers have changed our society. Computers are found in the majority of homes and most homes have more than one. Many people carry around smart phones or tablets which are in essence mini-computers. We use computers for everything from education and science, to business and entertainment.
The 2012 survey of Online Learning shows that 32 percent of higher education students now take at least one online class. This adds up to about 6.7 million just during the fall semester. Online classes have increased in number over the years as students have had a difficult time arranging their classes to match their busy schedules. To accommodate these students schools offering online education has nearly doubled over the last decade.
E--Learning. One of the main reasons that online learning has become so popular is its convenience. Today it is possible to rent text books online. Not only has this helped collage students financially, but it makes these text books much more portable. Many people have been apprehensive of E--Learning, worried about students who need extra help or who have questions throughout the course. Most online classes have contact information or Skype so that the students can chat with other students or the professor who can offer advice. Taking exams on the computer is also common, and the tests can be graded within minutes.
Research. Research has become increasingly easier with the amount of information on the internet. Using the computer to gather information and data instead of searching the library for books will not only save time, but will more accurate and up to date. A student can have several tabs open at once and go through scholarly books and papers at the same time to find quotes and information to write their own reports. Contact information for most scholars is online so the authors can be questioned, and do their research more fully.
Educational Computer Programs. Many parents have become concerned with the amount of time their children spend online, so many companies have produced educational computer games and programs. Some of the more common games and sites are:
- Math Blaster
Science and Medicine
Thanks to today's technology and computers, science research and medical treatments have greatly progressed. With modern medical equipment, doctors and surgeons can perform surgeries that would have killed patients only decades ago. For example, many surgeries use lasers which are run by computers. Surgeries to remove tumors or insert pacemakers, and radiology procedures, to name just a few, all use computer technology.
Medical Equipment. X-rays and other computer equipment are vital for early detection of medical problems. Many kinds of software are available for monitoring (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level etc.), and medicating. Even IV pumps which are routinely used in most hospital rooms are connected to computer programs.
Medical Information. Presently, all medical records are stored on computers. This information is sometimes vital to doctors who need easy and quick access to these records. Prescriptions are also stored online, so that the prescriptions can be printed off with a moments notice. Thanks to computers, these records can also be faxed or even mailed to other doctors or pharmacies who may need the history
Collaboratory. Collaboratory is a new word coined by William Wuff in 1989. Wikipedia states Wuff's definition of the word which is: “a center without walls, in which the nation’s researchers can perform their research without regard to physical location, interacting with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational resources, [and] accessing information in digital libraries.” This lets any researcher around the world discuss and share information that is of importance to them.
While some businesses do a lot of their work and sales on the computer such as Costco, J. C. Penney, and Target, many companies are found only online and no where else. Some of these companies are, Amazon, EBay, Fandango, or Netflix.
Sales and Marketing. Computers have changed the face of business. The first use of computers in business is for sales marketing. The internet is a kind of advertising channel. Three of the most common ways to advertise online are with banner ads, in-text ads and emails. Banner ads and in text ads are found on various web pages but have hyperlinks directly to the advertiser's web page. Email advertisements are sent directly to the consumer's email address. Unlike television commercials, internet advertising reaches millions of people. Market research and distribute to many more people than before.
Business Management. Business Management also benefits from the use of computers. All record keeping and accounting for a business are done on the computer. All of the data needed to run a business, both regarding the business and regarding the customers/consumers can be stored and managed on the computer. All the details for running the office portion of a business are also managed with computer, from inventory to ordering supplies to phoning clients and patients.
Banking. Banking is another form of business that is done almost solely by computer. Money can be deposited and withdrawn electronically. Consumers can pay almost all of their bills electronically. Smart phones and smart cards have made it so that consumer don't even have to carry cash. Even buying and trading stocks and bonds can be carried out online.
Recreation and Entertainment
The most common use of the internet is for recreation. There are so many different forms of entertainment found online that it can often be a distraction. Gaming is one of the more common activities for both children and adults. There are thousands of games that can be found and played online, while many others needed to be downloaded as apps on portable devices. Shopping is a common activity for the computer. You can go to sites that are just found online or companies that will have buildings nearby.
Social Media. Social media sites are getting more and more popular as people get smart phones and can access these sites all day and talk to friends and family. Some of the most popular social media sites are:
- Linked in
- Google plus
Food. Non-perishable food can easily be purchased online. A consumer can find any address or menu for whatever restaurant they wish to go to, and they can even read or watch reviews for these places. A person can reserve places at these restaurants or place orders for food. Not only can anyone go shopping and find practically every restaurant online, but there are sites for finding and saving any recipe. Allrecipes.com and Wegottaeat.com are some of the more popular sites for recipes.
Streaming. Online streaming is available to everyone with internet. You can stream anything from music to movies to TV shows using sites like Hulu plus and Netflix. Music and shows are also available through youtube and itunes. Though some of these sites are expensive, there are also several with more affordable prices.
Forty years ago, hardly anyone had computers in their homes. Today, society is completely dependent on computer technology and most teenagers even carry a mini computer in their hands in the form of a smart phone or tablet. And there is no end in sight. As computers become smaller and more fine-tuned, they will be able to perform more and more of our daily tasks. The uses of computers will only increase.