THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS

ABSTRACT

The study attempted to examine the impact of information communication technology (ICT) on students’ academic performance in mathematics in selected secondary schools in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, relevant and extensive literature was reviewed under subheadings. The survey research design was used to assess responses of the selected respondents, with the application of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. A total of 200 (two hundred) respondents were selected and used for this study, which represented the bulk of the population. Four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study, using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation and the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analysis, the following results emerged: there is a significant impact of information and communication technology on students’ performance in mathematics, there is a significant difference between the performance of students who are taught by teachers are computer literates and those taught by mathematics who are not computer literates, there is a significant relationship between the teaching methods of teachers who are computer literate and those who are not, and there is a significant gender difference in students’ academic performance based on their use of information and communication technology (ICT.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Mathematics and its applications have changed dramatically. The advent of calculation and computers as tools in mathematics have changed the way tmathematicians do mathematics and the way scientists, engineers, and social scientists use mathematics. Many individuals are proposing that it is time to re-evaluate the content of the Mathematics curriculum in order that it begins to reflect these changes (Arlmond, 2002).

Past Mathematics curricula have put a great deal of emphasis on manipulative skill because of its usefulness in calculus, or at least in traditional conceptions of calculus. However, computerized mathematical systems exist which perform the routine manipulations that students spend hours learning to carry out. If computers can do Mathematical manipulations like factoring, solving equations and so on, the importance of developing student skill in these areas ought to be reconsidered. Anya (2000) states that an issue that is raised by the advent of technology is one that parallels the issue of calculators and the learning of arithmetic skills, that is, how much proficiency is needed with paper-and-pencil symbol manipulation in order to be able to decide which manipulations are faster when done by hand and which ones ought to be left to microcomputer. A related issue which can only be answered by future research is the role of symbol manipulation skills in the development of conceptual understanding in Mathematics (Adams, 1994).

New technologically supported learning environment are being designed that focus on aspects of Mathematics teaching that have tended to be neglected in the past. For example, a project involving the use of computer tools (e.g. curve-fitting programs, generators of tables of values, symbolic manipulators, and function graphers) to develop students’ understanding of Mathematics concepts and their ability to solve problems requiring Mathematics, before they master symbol manipulation techniques has been researched by Fey (1989) and Heid (1990) with first-year Mathematics students.

Other projects have focused on the dynamic capabilities of graphing software to help the students make links among the tabular, graphic and Mathematical representations used in coordinate geometry. Still other research studies have emphasized the role of programming in enriching students’ concepts of variable and in developing their ability to construct formalized rules and to set up equations. Mathematics education is at the crossroads. With the advent of technology, continuing the old style of Mathematics curricula techniques is clearly questionable. Yet most school Mathematics curricula at the beginning of the 1990s integrate neither the power of Mathematics as a thinking tool for justification and generalization, nor the potential of technology to work hand-in-hand with Mathematics instruction. Both aspects warrant careful consideration by mathematics education researchers, Mathematics curriculum developers and teachers (George, 1998).

ICT enhances students’ performance in Mathematics both in secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria. For instance, students in science, particularly those studying Mathematics, find the use of information communication technology relevant in recalling facts and figures and in doing quick calculations which enhances their achievement in schools (Adeleke, 2000).

The greatest achievement in the twentieth century was the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for the use by all facets of human endeavours. Major challenges in technology have always caused changes in the society. In the middle of the 18th century, a series of interventions made it possible for people to “mass produce” items. The then agricultural world became industrial world. The methods of product transportation and communication were improved significantly and the elite group acquired many fortunes rapidly by using as a commodity and the organized banking system as the means of controlling the new industrialized society (Kaiya and Ndomi, 1999).

According to Osusanya and Oloyode (2003), with the rapid growth of industrialization, came the need for handling the ever increasing volume of information concerning parts and people. This formed the basis for the development of the computer. At present, powerful computers are used to store large volumes of information. Information and communication technology is the major employer of computers so much that the two are thought to be synonymous. Goyal (1998) pointed out that its growth and development is one of the most significant achievement of the present century.

As a matter of fact, there are several sites on the worldwide web (www) (like goggle and yahoo sites) which provide information on how the network is used for the teaching of various science or mathematics courses. The materials at the sites teach students to think laterally, longitudinally and across board. Results of the studies conducted on impact of computer used as aid to instruction on students’ attitudes and achievement in science, particularly in mathematics related courses showed general improvement (Adamsons, 2000).

Telecommunication is a special kind of communication in which information is conveyed over a long distance. Information communication technology (ICT) also refers to the more efficient and effective way of storing, accessing and updating information than processes involving paper. In the recent time, students have benefited from the use of information communication technology (ICT) such as computer, television, telephone and the internet as a veritable source of information in their academic career or pursuit, especially in science and mathematics related disciplines. Uzoma (1999), stated that students, mostly adolescents use the information communication technology especially the internet to gather vital educational information or materials, register their courses of study, check their results of JAMB, NECO, GCE, POST UME and so on.

Onuoha (2000), posited that the advent of information technology has made education more simple and easy for students especially, the adolescents in secondary schools who offer mathematics in our school system. Onuoha claimed that information communication technology has helped students in many ways such as project writing and collection of necessary information leading to effective studies. This has enabled many students to achieve high academic achievement in school. He further stated that information communication technology has created a remarkable balance and effectiveness in the daily activities of students who are in the habits of using the computer and the internet to carry out faster storage and retrieval of information in the academic environment or school.

As Adelekunnu (1994) puts it, the training given to children in order to help them meet the demands of the society in which they live is called socialization. According to him, information communication technology (ICT) can be used to assist students to get along with others, achieving self-reliance and educational success. Also, it can help them to achieve professional success and to adhere to societal values and norms. With information technology, students achieve high academic laurels in schools, generally in science, and particularly in mathematics related subjects.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In recent times, many students have been caught using Global System Mobile Network (GSM) phones to carry out or perpetrate examination malpractices; especially in calculation-based courses like Mathematics and other science related ones to connect friends and associates in crime.

Both adults and students are found to use the GSM phones to tell assorted kinds of lies and deceit in the larger society and this has made corruption to be well rooted in the society in which we live. The more advanced manner in which television programmes are aired are commendable, but many of the programmes show very bad and aggressive films and the children watch them after which they start acting what they have seen and this has affected the child’s psyche negatively. No doubt, the emergence of information communication technology has made students in calculation-based courses like Mathematics to be lazy and more dependant on calculator. Most mathematics students can no longer do simple arithmetic without consulting the calculator and the internet and so on.

This study attempts to examine the impact of information communications technology (ICT) on the performance of students in Mathematics at the secondary school level.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The objectives of the study include to:

1. Examine the impact of information communication technology on students’ achievement in Mathematics.

2. The difference between the academic performance of students taught by mathematics teachers who are computer literate and those who are not.

3. To assess whether there is a relationship between the teaching method and students’ academic performance due to use of ICT.

4. To examine whether there is gender difference in students’ academic performance in mathematics due to the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in this study:

1. Does information and communication technology have an impact on students’ achievement in Mathematics?

2. Is there any difference between the academic performance of students taught by mathematics teachers who are computer literate and those who are not?

3. Is there any relationship between the teaching method of teachers in Mathematics who are computer literate and those who are not?

4. Is there any gender difference in students’ academic performance in mathematics due to the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT)?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The undermentioned hypotheses would be tested in this study.

1. There will be no significant impact of information communication technology on students’ achievement in Mathematics.

2. There is no significant difference between the academic performance of students taught by mathematics teachers who are computer literate and those who are not.

3. There is no significant relationship between the teaching method of teachers in Mathematics who are computer literate and those who are not.

4. There is no gender difference in students’ academic performance in mathematics due to the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be beneficial to the following:

Students: Students would benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study because it would help them to be able to be more aware of the information communication technology in the school. This study will enable students to get more involved in the utilization of information communication technology due to the benefits derivable from it.

Teachers: They would find this study beneficial because with the findings and recommendations of this study, teachers would avail themselves of the opportunity to get involved in the use of information communication technology because of the numerous benefits that can be derived from it. With the study also, information communication technology and their functions.

Family: Parents would benefit from this study because it would enable them to know the benefits their children/wards derived from using the information communication technology in their academic work or activities. Parents themselves, will avail themselves of the opportunity of knowing the importance of information communication technology through this study and those who do not use information communication technology would start to use it as it is beneficial to all human activities.

The School Authority: This study would assist the school authority to be able to know more about information communication technology and its functions especially in the life of the full-time student. The recommendations of this study would enable the school authority to expand its policy on the availability and usage of information communication technology in the school system in Nigeria.

The Society: The society would benefit from this study, because it will assist the society to be information communication technology friendly due to the advantages it has. This study will afford the society to know more about information communication technology and its functions in the world today.

Scope of the Study

This study covered the impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on students’ academic performance in mathematics in selected secondary schools in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State.