COMPUTER USE AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

In recent years, computers have been used extensively for various reasons by wide user groups. School-age children use computers for entertainment, communication, and education, etc. Over the past few years, due to improvements in technology, computers and related technologies have become cheaper and more sophisticated.

That is why households are both able and willing to buy computers for their children. They hope to give them the chance to become advanced computer users. Lauman M. (2000) stated that “not only is the number of computers in education growing exponentially, but also the number of computers in the home is growing at a rapid rate”. Despite the increase in the number of computers and related technologies, everyone does not have the same access to these technologies: “Media availability varies depending on such things as child’s age, gender, race/ethnicity, family socioeconomic status, and so forth” Roberts S., Greenwald R., and Lame, R. (1999). The economic level of the countries might also affect the availability of media for school-age children either at school or at home.

Parents believe that using computers may increase their children’s academic achievement and future job opportunities (Ortiz, 2011); therefore they buy computers with an internet connection to help their children succeed in school (Turow K., 1999). Today’s computer revolution provides cheaper and better home computers that allow students to practice what they have learned at school (Stock and Fishman, 2010). Although there is an agreement among researchers that computers are useful for learning opportunities, Becker C. (2000) found that students are more likely to use home computers for entertainment than for school related purposes. There are countless things that can be done with computer applications, and some of these applications might have latent impacts on children’s development. For instance, computer games might be considered a waste of time by some parents. However, they may have positive effects on children’s cognitive development (Hamlen K., 2011; Li and Atkins, 2004). By spending time with the computers, children can learn how to “read and utilize the information on computer screens” (Subrahmanyam, 2001). Using computers can also improve children’s visual attention because some applications require users to keep track of or control many activities at the same time.

In commerce and manufacturing, multinational corporations, and individual households, computer technology has fundamentally altered how business is conducted and how people communicate. In the field of education, computers have become a common fixture in this country’s schools.

Many researchers have found computer laboratory to be central to the teaching of science in secondary schools (Abrams and Waridersee, 1995). They are computer workshops where practical activities are conducted to enhance meaningful learning of computer concepts, theories and assertions (Seweje R., 2000). Since practical work in the laboratory is vital to school teaching, laboratory have been found to be a primary vehicle for promoting formal reasoning skills and students’ understanding, thereby enhancing desired learning outcomes in students (Jeske, 1990; Ogunleye, 2002).

Students often fail to acquire computer laboratory skills, because their teachers were unable to conduct practical as they would like to, and this always had inevitable consequences for students’ learning. All these shows the importance attached to computer laboratories in schools and it is this importance that prompted the researcher to examine computer laboratory and students’ performance in secondary schools.

The results from a number of published studies on the relationship between computer use and academic achievement in relation to computer laboratory indicate that this technology can bolster student outcomes. Hence, this study is interested in carrying out comparative analysis of computer laboratory in relation to the academic performance of secondary school students.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The problem under consideration in this study is that of uses of computer laboratory. The uses of computer laboratory seem to have been saddled with a mammoth of problems ranging from inadequate funding, brain drain, nepotism and other possible social menaces. These vices appear to be destroying the once cherished and admired standard of service in the administration of public secondary schools.

The researcher has embarked on the study with the hope that some solutions will be arrived at on computer laboratory.

1.3 The Purpose of Study

This study is designed to make a comparative analysis of computer use and its relation to computer laboratory in senior secondary schools.

Hence, the specific purposes of this study are:

1. To analyze the differential importance of computers use at home or school on education achievements.

2. To provides new evidence of the effect of modern technologies on the performance of computer students.

1.4 Research Questions

The study intends to answer the following research questions;

1. Does any significant relationship exist between computer usage and students performance in computer laboratory?

2. Does computer laboratory have impact on students’ educational achievements?

3. Does modern technologies in computer laboratory have significant impact on academic performance of students in computer laboratory?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:

1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between computer usage and students performance in computer laboratory.

2. Ho: There is no significant relationship between computer laboratory and students’ educational achievements.

3. Ho: There is no significant relationship between modern technologies in computer laboratory and academic performance of students in computer laboratory.