The Influence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students (A Case Study of Abeokuta South Local Government)
1.1 Background to the Study
Information and Communication Technology has become a necessity in different sectors and education in particular because it has drastically changed the way we think, live, and even our environment (Ogunsola, 2005). In this 21st century, learning and reading of Educational materials become assessable through ICT.
ICT is the acronym for Information and Communication Technology. It is defined according to Van Daamme (2003) as combination of computer, video and networks and also services which are based on them. Moreover, Basset (2000), Abia (2004) and UNESCO (2004) identified ICT tolls to include technologies such as desktop, laptop, internet facilities, computer game console, DVD player and recorder, peripherals and connections to the internet that are intended to fulfill information processing and communication functions.
In the learning processes, therefore, being able to effectively use ICT tools should be high on the list of what students at all levels of out education should know while teacher should use it in any instructional transaction. Olokoba et al (2014) identifies two broad ways in which Information and Communication Technology can be effectively used in education. These are: ICT for Education and ICT in Education.
ICT for education refers to the development of Information and Communication Technology specifically for teaching/learning purposes. These include technological teaching aids use by teachers such as computer, software dictionary, projector among others while ICT in education involves the technology in the teaching process, more specifically often for the training of teachers in the use of technology for teaching.
Although this study focus on students’ academic performance as a result of ICT influence, it is imperative to say that without teaching and learning there cannot be attempt to measure performance. The teacher, therefore, plays a significant role in this regard. On the other hand, the teacher training institutes not only provide avenue for teachers to be well equipped for future challenges in educational sector but also adopted ICT as a method of teaching as well as offering ICT related academic programmes. In Nigeria, different educational institutions have adopted ICT as a method of teaching. Some state governments also encourage the use of ICT tools to facilitate learning in secondary schools by incorporating ICT related tools such as “Opon Imo” (E-learning tablets), which is a self-study aid and a robust electronic device with uniform learning content schools in Osun state.
It is therefore opined that students who use ICTs gain deeper understanding of complex topics and concepts and are more likely to recall information and use it to solve problems outside the classroom (Apple computer 2002). In addition, students extend and deepen their knowledge, investigation and inquiring according to their needs and interest when access to information is available on multiple levels. (CEO forum on education and technology, 2001). Hence it is time to practically assess the students accessibility to ICT and its influence on the performance of students.
Generally, it should be noted at this juncture that there appears to be three main approaches to assess and enhance students performance through ICT (UNESCO, 2004).
First, integrated approach refers to planning the use of ICT within the subject to enhance particular concepts and skills and improve students’ performance. It involves selecting the appropriate ICT tools and then integrating their use in relevant classroom lessons often as teaching aid.
Second enhancement approach refers to planning the use of an ICT tools which will enhance the existing topic through some aspect of the lessons and tasks. The teacher, for example, can play a significant role to enhance students performance by helping students visualize problems, using an electronic white board, projector, computer software among others during class discussion and lesson.
Third, complementary approach: This refers to using an ICT tools to empower the students’ learning. For example enabling them to improve their class work by taking notes on the computer, or by sending homework by email to the teacher from home or by processing their homework.
All the three approaches can influence performance, but the effects may be difference. In the integrated approach, students’ learning is enhanced because they are confronted with challenges to their existing knowledge and given deeper insights into the subjects being studied. The enhancement approach could improve students’ learning through presenting knowledge in new ways, promoting debates among students, and encouraging them to formulate their own explanations. The complementary approach draws on the approach that suggests that learning can be enhanced by reducing the mundane and repetitive aspects of tasks such as writing essays, homework by hand, freeing the learners to focus on more challenging and subject-focused tasks (UNESCO, 2004). These different types of approach require the students to have an extensive knowledge of ICT especially for complementary purposes.
However, it has been examined by scholars that different problems confront the use of ICT tools in education. Among the scholars who have studied these problems are Uhunwangbo (2009) and Aremu (2012). These problems as posited include the epileptic power supply, misuse of computer and internet for pornography and engaging in internet fraud, lack of computer and person internet facilities in Nigerian Secondary schools, etc. Also, many of the ICT building in Nigeria secondary schools are often used as visitors sitting rooms or staff rooms. As a result, many of them are not well equipped with ICT tools. This had led to poor utilization of ICT in the language base teaching and other subjects in Nigeria rather (Aremu 2010, Egbe 2009) than fulfilling its function effectively as the tool for teaching and learning, organization and management of schools data among others.
Despite all these problems, students themselves can still accessed educational materials through the utilization of their private mobile cell phones, computer and internet. The use of ICT packages which are useful in the teaching of languages; English, Yoruba among others aboung in recent times. These include:
– Computer-Aided Language Learning (C.A.L.L)
– Computer-Based Language Training (C.B.L.T)
– Computer-Aided Language Assessment (C.A.L.A) etc.
These are software which were develop to train a wide range of students on the acquisition of skills in a target language without the teacher or the tutor being present. They combine text, audio, graphic video and animation with having a meaningful interaction with students.
It is clear from these points that ICT can help teachers to teach and students to learn and perform more effectively if used appropriately for specific purposes in specific contexts.
1.2 Statement of the problem
This study is centered on how ICT has influenced students’ academic performance progressively and retrogressively in comparative study. It is also gear toward examining the specific ICT tools used by students in secondary schools and how these tools have greatly influence their studies.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study are to discuss the concepts of Information Communication Technologies and student academic performance and investigate the impact of Information Technology on each of the variables identified.
The primary objective of this study is to encourage more direct research and discussion on the issue of how ICT’s can contribute to students’ performance. The major interest are:
1. To measure how the use of ICT tools in teaching and learning has impacted on student’s performance.
2. To measure how the use of ICT tools have improved the student-teacher interactions in classrooms, as a factor that facilitates good performance.
3. The direct effects of ICT as well as the indirect effects through the traditional channels or methods of teaching, taking into consideration the students characteristics are elements that may have impact on outcome of education.
1.4 Research Questions
This study was designed to proffer solutions to the following research questions.
1. What are the influences of ICT on students?
2. Does ICT has negative influence on students’ academic performance?
3. What level of positive influence can ICT bring to students’ academic?
4. Are ICT facilities readily available in secondary schools in Abeokuta South?
5. To what extent do students and teachers utilize the ICT facilities in their schools?
6. Does ICT training available to student in Secondary School?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis were examined.
1. There is no significant difference in the extent of ICT usage for secondary school students by the respondents and availability of ICT facilities in schools.
2. There will not be any significant influence of ICT on academic performance of students in senior secondary school.
3. There is no significant difference between attitude of students towards usage of ICT for teaching.
4. Teachers and students do not significantly difference in ICT usage.