Effect of Twitter Social Networking Site on the Achievement of Senior Secondary School Students in History
Background of the Study
The internet is a global system of interconnected computers that uses the standard internet protocol suite (TCPT/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide Castells, (1996) it is a network of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government computer networks linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. Castells, (2001) defines the internet as a worldwide interconnection of computers and computer networks that facilitates the sharing of exchange of information among users. Internet is a massive “network of networks”, a networking infrastructure which connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with each other as long as they are both connected to internet. “Information travels over the internet through a variety of language known as “Protocols”. The term “internet” is actually a short form for “internet networks”, which implies that internet is a network of computer networks. Computer accepts data, process it, stores it and give it out when required. It became possible for people to chat from ‘terminals’ which led to networking. The internet is fast becoming the dominant means of communications and commerce in the 21st century, it plays the main role in changing communication throughout the world and also impacting on global economic system.
The evolution of internet technology has led to its use as the best medium for communication. Whereby, two-third of the world’s population visits social networking or blogging sites, thus serving as a community and connection tool. Social networking sites (SNS) are online communities of internet users who want to communicate with other users about areas of mutual interest, whether from a personal business or academic perspective (William, Boyd, Densten, Chin, Diamond and Morgenthaler 2009). The millions of social networking sites have transformed the thought of global village into a reality whereby billions of people communicate through social networking sites. Numerous benefits have been obtained through distant communication through the use of social networking sites.
According to McLuhan, (1964) globalization has forever changed the world in which we live to a world that has become increasingly interconnected. McLuhan,  also asserts that the internet is perhaps the most prominent tool that has facilitated the interconnectedness. Internet network has shortened the communication distance by dimension of time and places together, giving birth to form of social networks. A study (Goldsborough, 2008) indicates an increasing stage in social network usage. This increase is considered as another important change of the world’s information history. Students were mainly considered the first group users of social networks, and most white-collar professionals now also use them (Kim, 2008). The Wikipedia (2011) narrates that the internet has enabled entirely new forms of social interaction, activities, and communication, thanks to its basic features such as wide spread use ability and access. There are many social networking sites, such as face book, twitter, MySpace, HI5, Nimbus, 2go, Blackberry chart (Bbchart), xanga, yahoo and Bebo which has created new ways to socialize and interact. However, the internet has achieved new relevance as a political tool, leading to internet censorship by some states. This is however rare, the presidential campaign of Howard dean in 2004 in the United States was notable for its success in soliciting donation via the internet.(Rehmeyer, 2007)
Social networking websites have expanded rapidly over the last few years and have created new and varied channels of communication via internet, whether through personal computer or mobile phones. Many people are now members of social networking websites. However, according to Simmels, (2001) people have used the idea of “social network” loosely for over a century to connote complex sets of relationships between members of social systems at all scales, from interpersonal to international. The type of social network helps determine a network’s usefulness to its individuals.
The network consist of local area network (LAN), connecting computers in the same building while wide area network (WANs) connecting several LANs in different locations. It connects both private, commercial, Government and Academic network including a grown number of home computer. Users gain different kinds of uses and gratifications/satisfactions from online social networking sites (SNS). Joinson (2008) explain that motives will determine the users and types of services offered in social networking sites (SNS). The main motives to use include learning about old friends (social searching), to gaining emotional support or as an information resource (social capital) and maintaining or re-connect relations (surveillance). Satisfaction refers to how much they will gain from such use. Social connection satisfaction will lead to the increased frequency of use and content satisfaction to the increased time spent on the SNS (social networking sites). It could be a good change that young Nigerians are embracing the I.C.T. (Information Communication Technology) trend but such change comes with its consequences, as many Nigerian students’ assignments and reading times suffer neglect while they spend more time chatting with their friends which affects their academic performances in history. But many Nigerian youths see it as a means to get into discussions with their peers and as a way to air their thoughts and hopefully to build relationships (nigerianobservernews.com). Those students who do not have access to the Internet use their mobile phones even while lectures are on-going and students can also access their Facebook accounts on their mobile phones using a mobile browser known as “OPERA MINI”. It means while lectures are on, some students still chat with their friends online which affects their concentration. The resultant effect is that it affects their performances academically. In the past, parents blamed mass failures on the inadequacies of teachers but as it is now, much attention should be given to what students do at their leisure, you will find out that most of them are on the internet cyber or busy with their mobile phone chatting with their friends. Some students cannot even do without accessing their account within an hour.
Academic Performance: Because of the social media platform’s widespread adoption by students, there is a great deal of interest in how SNS (social networking site) use is related to academic performance in history subject. A small number of prior studies have examined the relationship between SNS use and college grades; however, these studies have been limited by their measures, sampling designs and failure to include prior academic ability as a control variable. For instance, previous studies used non-continuous measures of time spent on SNS and self-reported grades. According to the freedictionary.com, performance is the act of performing; of doing something successfully; using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it. Hence, academic performance must be managed efficiently keeping in view all the factors that can positively or negatively affect educational performance of students in history. Academic performance has been largely discussed in earlier literature in education and educational psychology (Rouis, Limayem and Salehi-Sangari, 2011). According to Warnemuende and Samson (2005), mostly, people expect that children will succeed as students just as we expect ourselves to succeed as parents.
When they do not, we are confused, disappointed, angry, and afraid. Whether the lack of success is in academic skills, social behavior, or both, the recognition that our youngster is not doing well causes pain. Poor academic performance according to Aremu (2003) is a performance that is adjudged by the examinee/testee and some other significant as falling below an expected standard. Poor academic performance has been observed in school subjects especially mathematics and English language and also History among History secondary school students (Adesemowo, 2005). Aremu (2000) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and politics.
Use of technology such as internet is one of the most important factors that can influence educational performance of students positively or adversely. Shah, Kwak ,Holbert (2001) proposed that student users are affected by the internet and this impact is determined by the type of internet usage. They are positively affected by the informative use of internet while having drastic impact of recreational use of internet on them. Also, Oskoueiand Chaudhary (2010) proposed that internet is advantageous to both students and teachers if used as a tool of knowledge creation and dissemination. Englander, Terregrossa, Wang (2010) asserted that internet usage is negatively associated with academic performance of student users and destructive impact of internet usage is far more momentous than its advantages. The differential scholastic achievement of students in Nigeria has been and is still a source of concern, and research interest to educators, government and parents. (Asikhia,2010). This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country.
It has been argued by Rosen (2010) that twitter affects achievement by causing psychological disorder via addiction to the access of the social network. Also twitter affects achievement because the network is open to all. Through the use of twitter by History students, they are able to assess their class work and learn more from the internet. The use of this social networking site by the students will help improve their achievement in the class. Research has found that using twitter in senior secondary school courses like History helps the History students communicate with each other and faculty, promotes informal learning, allows shy students a forum for increased participation, increases students engagement and improves overall course grade. As Historians, twitter helps in keeping them braise of the happening trends, they are updated and are always current. The social network overuse certainly has some negative impact that may counterbalance the potential benefits and poses grave consequences to the academic performance of its victims. Students spend quality time to comment, update, read and share posts on social networks.
Jomon et al. justifies that a statistically significant negative relationship exist between time spent by students on social networks and their academic performance. This research seeks to investigate the adverse effect of twitter social network usage on the achievement of senior secondary students in history, in Nsukka local government area. Most students have Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites, e-mails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while receiving lectures, doing homework or reading in the library. It is assumed that running a social networking site on the background on a student’s mobile while studying or doing homework could lower a student’s grade. The rapid adoption of social network sites by students in the countries round the world raises some important questions on the effects of its usage on the performance of students that use these sites. History (from Greek historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”) is the study of the past, particularly how it relates to humans. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. Events occurring prior to written record are considered prehistory. Throughout the world, studying history is an essential element of a good liberal arts education. Knowledge of history is indispensable to understanding who we are and where we fit in the world. As a discipline, history is the study of the past. In other words, historians study and interpret the past. In order to do this, they must find evidence about the past, ask questions of that evidence, and come up with explanations that make sense of what the evidence says about the peoples, events, places, and time periods under consideration. Because it is impossible for a single historian to study the history of all peoples, events, places, and time periods, historians develop specialties within the discipline. Historians may study the history of particular groups of people (example: women’s history or African-American history), they may study particular events (example: history of the Vietnam War or the Crusades), they may study the history of a single country or region (example: Pacific Northwest history or Chinese history), or they may confine their interest to a limited time period (example: early American history or Medieval history). In addition to limiting the scope of their historical study, historians also take different approaches to their inquiries. For example, they may decide to look at the cultural or social relationships between the people they are studying, at the intellectual or religious debates within a particular society or group, at the political or economic history of a country or region, or at the history of the environment or science and technology during a pivotal time frame. Because different historians take different approaches to their research and writing, and because individual historians bring different perspectives and different questions to their work, historical interpretations are constantly changing and evolving. The study of history is therefore dynamic and forever new. Far from being the study of facts and dates, understanding history means understanding how to read and interpret the past. It is through reading and interpreting our various pasts that we can know and understand the present and the future.
This study is therefore interested in finding out how twitter as a social network affects the achievement of senior secondary school students in History in Nsukka Local Government area. The study therefore will expose how the use of the social network affects the achievement of the students who use the networking site. This will help parent and guardians also the teachers in various schools to always watch the activities of the children under their care to improve their (students) achievement in the area of study.
Statement of the Problem
Twitter as a social network is not widely used among many of the students, because the social site to them is not teen’s friendly but is rather a matured social networking, but it is not like face book. The world today is a global market in which the internet is the most important sort of information. Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. The educational system in Nigeria is faced with so many challenges which have certainly brought about a rapidly decline in the quality of education. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies. Students addictiveness to social networking students. Frequency of exposure to social network, social media network that the students are more exposed to and the influence of social media as a medium of interaction between students has been part of discussion in recent times and which have impacted on their academic performance.
Instead of students reading their books, they spend their time chatting and making friends via the social media and this might definitely have influence on their academic performance, because when you do not read, there is no way you can perform well academically. It is a common sight to see a student chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like church, mosque, and lecture venues. Some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting. The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation, as students no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and receive messages.
Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important ventures like studying and writing might be affected in the process. This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition. In recent times, social media has been a major stay in the minds of students and the world at large thereby causing a lot of drastic measure by students, teachers and even educational administrators at large. It is therefore of great importance to explore some of the trending issues facing students achievement as a result of social media. Whether these opportunities promote studies is a question that needs to be answered. Thus the problem this study investigate is the effect of twitter social networking on the achievement of senior secondary school history students in Nsukka local government area.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of twitter social networking site on the achievement of senior secondary school students in history, specifically, this study seeks to;
• To examine the level of student addictiveness to social media and the influence on their academic achievement.
• To determine the social media network that the students are more exposed to and the influence on their achievement.
• To ascertain how the use of social networking site (twitter) has influence the academic performance of the senior secondary school students in history in Nsukka local government area.
• To ascertain the difference in students usage of social media network by class.
• To ascertain how class level has influence on students usage of social media network.
The following research questions were formulated to guide this study:
• To what extent would student addictiveness to social network influence their achievement in history?
• Does the social media network that the students are more exposed to influence their achievement?
• How has the use of twitter social networking affect the achievement of the senior secondary students in history?
• Is there class level differences in the student’s usage of social networking?
• In what way do younger and older students influence the use of social networking?
Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the teachers, parents and students. First of all, this study will help the teachers of the school to know the influence social networking site has on their students, so as to assist them to enlighten and create awareness to the students on the possible effect it has on them. Secondly, it is of significant to parents in the sense that they will know the possible effects these social networking sites usage has on their children, so as to serve as watch-dog to their children on the usage of the social networking site. Thirdly, it will enable the students of the senior level so that they will be aware that, apart from the social benefits of this social networking site, using the sites more than necessary will pose possible dangers to their academic achievement.
Scope of the Study
The focus of this research work is to primarily study the effect of twitter social networking on the achievement of senior secondary school students in history in Nsukka local government area.