THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTERNET USAGE AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SOCIAL STUDIES SECONDARY STUDENTS IN AKOKO SOUTH-WEST, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
Background to the study
The Internet is a global network of computers linked together over large distances. It was created by the American military as a means of communication and has been in existence since the I950s Osunade,(2003). Up until the mid- to late eighties mainly commercial organisations and educational institutions used the Internet. This was due to high costs. The rapid development of technology has seen improvement in communication links and a lowering of costs. The implication is that the Internet is now more widely available to more people. The availability and the process by which an effort to use the Internet through an electronic communications system is carried out is referred to as Internet access. The UCLA Internet Report, 1999 that the Internet promises to have a far larger and more serious impacts on our society than the introduction of television; possibly as great an influence on history as the industrial revolution or the printing press. Ojedokun (2001) stated that, it has broken down barriers of communication and information access from anywhere in the world. It is fast, reliable and does not have restrictions on content or format. It also has a limitless range of facilities, which assist users to access almost infinite amounts of information. It offers the opportunity for access to up to- date research reports and knowledge globally. It has thus become an important component of electronic services in academic institutions.
Globally, the Internet has opened countless new opportunities for students. In fact, it has given a very open approach to education where students are no longer dependent on their teachers or textbooks as their only sources of information. With the Internet in vogue, students are no longer limited to what is in the school library, nor do they have to wait for books to come into the school library. Pew Internet and American Life Project (2005), Internet usage is a staple of students’ educational experience as they use it to communicate with teachers and classmates, to do assignment and to access library materials. For most of them it is a functional tool, one that has greatly changed the way they interact with others and with information as they go about their studies. Thus, the Internet broadens students’ horizons beyond their local boundaries (of home and neighbourhood school) and provides an environment in which its impact may be immeasurable. Li and Chung, (2006) and Barges, (2006) incite numerous privileges the Internet has ushered into the students’ world, such studies have established that there are some materials available on the Internet that may be offensive to some students. This might make the Internet be regarded as a strange place just because it is unregulated and unmonitored; its users can be somewhat anarchic and outspoken, to put it mildly. Although it is possible to create network servers that obstruct the avenues to these materials, motivated students quickly identify alternative paths. Thus, despite the numerous benefits of the Internet, there are also many drawbacks.
Osunade, (2003) also stated the fact that the Internet is not owned by anyone leaves no room for checks or censorship of available information. The upside to this is that information is freely available to everyone without restriction, but the downside is that valued information can be placed into the wrong hands, and school children can be unduly exposed to morally damaging information (e.g. pornography). The reason is not far-fetched; it is simply that there are no checks on the information on the net. Ema and Ajayi, (2006) is of the opinion that during the last two decades education institutions have invested heavily in information and communication technology (I.C.T.) particularly internet. The use of internet has had major impact in the secondary school context and in teaching and learning methods. One puzzling question is the effective of internet usage on student academic achievement and on the returns of education. Many academic researchers have tried to answer this question at theoretical and empirical levels. On one hand, student performance is hard to observe and there is still confusion about its definition. On the other hand, internet is evolving technologies and their effects are difficult to isolate from their environment.
However, Community bonding, regardless of its concept, it is synonymous to school bonding. The concept of student bonding is often seen as a way to help create a positive atmosphere that will promote participation in class (that is, making students more comfortable in the often “social risky” environment of the social studies classroom, Wichadee and orawwiwatnakul, (2012). One of the factors affecting students achievement in selected social studies concept is community bonding of how students is motivated by the community and how the community show care for the student. All this aid the achievement of students in selected social studies concept. Vadebosch (2015) and Phillips (2014) stated that the assessment of community bonding has continued to gain attention as school struggle with poor academic achievement, truancy, delinquency and high student drop rates. Though the findings of these scholars may be peculiar, however the situation is not different in Nigeria as researchers have focused student bonding to their school as a key factor in the success of schools to educate. Greenberg (2011) and Abbott (2001) is of the opinion that high levels of community bonding have been consistently associated with positive youth outcome, such as increased academic motivation, self efficacy, highest scores and low levels of problem behaviour (for example, substance use, risky sexual activity, truancy, bullying, fighting, stealing and vandalism). These scholars further asserted that communities are no longer constrained geographically in the twenty first century. The internet, television, telephone and particularly the mobile phones all mean that communities can exist beyond boundaries of location or time. Despite these realities, relatively little has been written on the potential influence internet usage and community bonding can have on secondary school students’ academic achievement in social studies.
A substantial body of research show that a schools’ social environment that is, ‘The community’ has broad influence on student learning and growth, including major aspect of their social, emotional and ethical development, when student find there school environment to be supportive and caring, and provide for them necessary facilities for the student to be able to have access to the internet, they are less likely to become involved in substance abuse, violence and other problem behaviours. Kamba, (2009) stated that secondary school student is more likely to develop positive attitudes towards themselves and pro-social attitudes and behaviours towards others. There is no standard definition for student achievement. The standard approach focuses on achievement and curricula, how students understand the subjects and obtain their certificate or their marks. However, a more extensive definitions deal with competencies, skills, and attitudes learned through the education experience. The narrow definition allows the observation of the outcomes of any change in secondary education, while the more complex strategy of observation and focus on the labour market. The outcomes of education are mainly validated in higher institutions. National Policy on Education NPE, Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) stated a number of several subjects can be identified in the curriculum of our schools at all levels of Nigeria education, the subjects are included with the expectation that when properly taught, a more effective learning will result and this will bring about the realization of the goal of Nigeria educations as stated in the national policy on education. At the primary and secondary levels, there are certain subjects that are classified as core subjects, while others are known as electives. Core subjects are those subjects whom students compulsorily offer while subject, called electives consist of subjects from whom students can freely make their choice, based on their preference and future career interest. At the junior secondary school level, social studies is one of the core subjects, which if effectively taught. lyewarun (1989) has the potential to influence the intellectual, social and personal growth and development of Nigeria youth.
The introduction of social studies was due to the need for a more effective way of educating the citizens. This is to make citizens better informed on societal issues and problems as well as to equip them with the skills required for problem solving and effective citizenship Falade, (2007). This could be seen in the views of Sunal and Haas (2008) that: ‘when Social Studies focuses attention on students’ problems (social, economic, political and environment) students will naturally want to observe, ask questions, seek information, express observation and idea in drawings, argue out their views and act to change things. When students ‘do’ Social Studies, they draw on thinking skills and knowledge from the entire school curriculum as they construct an understanding of their social world and seek to solve the problems it presents’’. Therefore, Social Studies play critical roles in preparing learners to becoming active social participants in the ways of life of their society. Since Social Studies act as subject of enlightens expose Ondo students to the new development in world in area of computer technology which has become global demand in all area of education. This is now a vital subject among other school subjects primarily designed to be taught in Nigeria schools to address the right type of values, attitudes and behaviour, and to develop these aspects of character in a positive and productive way Ojo, (2008). Ekundayo (2003) stated that the development of values and attitudes occupies an integral place in Social Studies.
However, the effect of computer usage on learning social studies is currently in relation to the internet to facilitate teaching and learning. Ogunsola, (2005) stated that computers are technologies used in conveying, manipulation and storage of data by electronic means, they provide an array of powerful tools that may help in transforming the present isolated teacher-centered and text-bound classrooms into rich, student-focused, interactive knowledge environments To meet these challenges, secondary schools must embrace the new technologies and appropriate internet use for teaching and learning social studies students. Kamba, (2009) stated that the relationship between the use of internet and student performance in secondary schools is not clear, and there are contradictory results in the literature. Earlier economic research has failed to provide clear consensus concerning the effect on students’ achievement
Since student performance is mainly explained by a student’s characteristics, educational environment and teachers’ characteristics, the use of internet in teaching and learning social studies may have an impact on these determinants and consequently the outcome of education. The differences observed in the performance of students are thus related to the differentiated impact of internet usage on the standard determinants. The direct link between internet usage, community bonding and students’ achievement has been the focus of extensive literature during the last two decades. Several studies have tried to explain the role and the added value of the computer/internet technologies in classrooms and students achievement. The first body of literature explored the internet uses. Since the internet revolution, there has been a shift in the literature that focuses more on the impact of online activities. Use of internet, use of educative online platforms, and digital.
Statement of the problem
For many years, educational researchers have maintained an interest in the effective prediction of students` academic achievement at school. The prediction and explanation of academic achievement are topics of greatest importance in different educational levels. Studies have shown that prior academic achievement is an important predictor of performance at other levels of education. Similarly, cognitive ability was found as the strongest predictor of academic achievement. Valasidou and Bosiou, (2005) confirms that the correlation between cognitive ability and academic achievement tends to decline as students progress in the educational system.
The direct link between internet usage, community bonding and students’ achievement has been the focus of extensive literature during the last two decades. Some of them help students with their learning by improving the communication between them and the instructors. Leuven (2004) stated that there is no evidence for relationship between increased educational use of internet and students` academic achievement. In fact, they find a consistently negative and marginally significant relationship between internet usage and some student achievement measures. In support to these, some students may use internet usage to increase their leisure time and have less time to study. Online gaming and increased communication channels do not necessarily mean increased achievement. Based on all these, this study focuses to be examining internet usage and community bonding factors influencing secondary school achievement in social studies in Ondo State, Nigeria.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of study this is to;
Significance of the study
The outcome of this study aims at determining whether or not the use of internet has any significant influence on the academic achievement in social studies concept of selected secondary school students in Akoko South-West Ondo state. And also, to know the effects of community bonding on the academic achievement in social studies concept of selected secondary school students in Akoko South-West Ondo state.
Moreover, Education is the bedrock of any society. Nigeria as a developing nation needs a standard secondary schools that has available learning resources, that teachers can improvise learning resources easily and more often and also where teachers and student utilize learning resources on regular basis. It could be a guideline for incoming student is educative to them when writing and studying similar problems in school.
This research will be a contribution to body of literature in the area of the effect of personality traits on students’ academic performance/ achievement, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
Scope/ Delimitations of the study
This study will cover the level of internet usage and community bonding in selected secondary schools in Akoko south-west Ondo State, with a view of ascertaining its influence on students’ academic achievement in social studies.
Definition of terms
Internet: Internet in this study is defined as an electronic communications that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world. An internet is known to be a network of networks. It is also a communications system that connects computers and databases all over the world.
Internet Usage: Internet usage is the ways in which students use the internet, technologies in the (home, schools and other locations) towards their academic achievement/performance.
Community: (Merriam-Webster dictionary) a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighbourhood), also the people with common interests living in particular area.
Community Bonding: Community bonding in this concept is how students are motivated by the community and the community show care to the student to aids students’ academic achievement
Secondary Schools: According to Merriam Webster dictionary, secondary school is an intermediate school and college and usually offering general, technical, vocational, or college-preparatory courses. And also a school, often referred to as a high school, is a school which provides secondary education, between the ages of 11-19 depending on location, after primary school and before higher education
Students’ achievement: Students achievement is the outcome of education-the extent to which a student, as achieve their educational goals (Wikipedia, 2015). Academic achievement of student therefore consists of scores made from teacher-made test or examination.
Social Studies: social studies can be defined as the subject that emphasis on inculcating a certain distillate knowledge which will assist man in acquiring tools necessary for life. Such tools, he maintains, include knowledge, values, attitudes and skills needed to help the youth in solving both personal and community related problems.