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INTERNET AND EDUCATION
This study was carried out in three senior secondary schools randomly selected from Orile Agege and Ifako Ijaiye Local Community Development Areas of Lagos State. The study is to highlight the comprehensive data analysis of the effect of internet on the education of some secondary It school students.
A total of 90 students and 10 teachers/instructors were interviewed in three schools through questionnaire and one-on-one interviews. The study has been able to find out how the students arc acquainted with knowledge from the most innovative technological advancement - the internet.
Also the study has been able to determine the students access to both the mobile phone and computer system which are their link to the internet and how often and effective they make use of them.
Finally, there is no doubt that this study will actually inspire other students to take more interest in the use of the internet and make good use of its positive sides to impact on the society.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It has been emphasised that the internet is a universal phenomenon. The world has been reduced into a global village with the incursion of the internet. The internet which began in the late 1970s has been a major eye opener to the people of the world. The experience of internet is a fresh awakening to events, issues, activities and economy of the world. It is a departure from lack of knowledge, insensitivity and obvious archaic ways of doing things.
The internet, like the name implies 'international network' (the large system of connected computers around the world which allow people to share information and communicate with each other), has opened doors of diverse engagements to different classes of people in the world. No profession is excluded in the build-up or development of internet. Relationships both economically and mutually have extended and improved tremendously. The level of awareness, creativity and insight is enlarged.
We cannot talk about the internet without a remarkable reference to the computer. The computer is an electronic device that processes data in accordance with programmed instructions or directives. It is what you give or feed the computer that determines its output. The overall activity of a computer can be summarized thus: 'Garbage In Garbage Out' (GIGO). With the coming of the computer, feats that had been difficult to achieve became easy and neater in output.
A computer has the visible and invisible peripherals that aid its activities. The visible or physical components also known as hardware are the monitor (screen), keyboard and central processing units (CPU). The software or invisible parts are the programs installed in the memory (R OM), these programs determine the effective workings of the computer. The speed (how fast it works), the things it can do, etc., all depend on the software in it. Most computers perform specialized functions depending on the area of specialization of its user. Some function dependably in typesetting, accounting, graphic designing, music mixing/editing and soon.
The usage and wide acceptance of computer created an inroad for the coming of internet. Accessibility to the internet is only possible with the use of computer and most recently with innovations like the laptops, phones with web installations. Nowadays, to access the internet is at the tip of the finger once you are connected, so to say.
The internet is composed of many inter-connected computer networks. Each network may link tens, hundreds or even thousands of computers, enabling them to share information and processing power. The internet has made it possible for people allover the world to communicate with one another effectively and inexpensively. The internet has brought new opportunities to government, business and education. Many individuals use the internet for communicating through electronic mail (e-mail), retrieving news, researching information, shopping, paying bills, banking, listening to music. watching movies, playing games and even making telephone calls. Educational institutions use the internet for research and to deliver online courses and course materials to students.
Currently, the number of users of the internet can only be estimated. The World Wide Web (www) was developed in the 80s by British physicist and computer scientist, Timothy Berners-Lee (he received the Millennium Technology Prize in 2004 for this great feat), this replaced file transfer as the application used for most internet traffic. The internet is the highway system· over which web traffic and traffic from other applications move.
It must be noted that the internet plays a significant role in education. Education is the process of teaching and learning in a school or college, or the knowledge that you get from this. In the contemporary age, education and internet are closely related because we can see that students of different ages make use of the internet to aid their works in terms of getting information, formulae, research, etc. both cannot be separated these days.
Historically, education was achieved orally and through observation and imitation. Youngsters learned informally from their parents, extended family and grandparents. At later stages in life, children received instruction of a more structured and formal nature, imparted by people not necessarily related, in the context of initiation, religion or ritual. Since the beginning of human existence, each generation has sought to pass on cultural and social values. tradition, morality, religion and skills to the next generation though one form of education or the other which is part of the past and present teaching and learning process.
With the gradual rise of more complex civilizations in the river valleys of Egypt and Babylonia, knowledge became too complicated to transmit directly from person to person and from generation to generation. For man to be able to function in complex societies, he needed some way of accumulating, recording and preserving his cultural heritage. So, with the rise of trade, government and formal religion came the invention of writing.
With the development of writing in about 3500 BC in ancient civilizations around the world, it became possible for stories, poetry, knowledge, beliefs and customs to be recorded and passed on more accurately to people out of earshot and to future generations.
During this period, the scribes of the court and the priests of the temple were designated as teachers to teach the children either in the vast majority who learn exclusively by an informal apprenticeship or the tiny minority who received formal schooling. The method ofl earning then was memorization and the motivation was the fear of harsh physical discipline.
Before the 1900 A D in most African countries south of the Sahara, children received traditional informal education on matters such as artistic performances, ceremonies, rituals, games, festivals, dancing, singing and drawing. Boys and girls were taught separately to help prepare each sex for their adult roles. All members of the community contributed to the educational upbringing of the child. The high point of the African educational experience was the ritual passage ceremony from childhood to adulthood.
Nigeria has progressed steadily in the development of education. Here, the education system is supervised by the state and the first six years of primary education are compulsory in Nigeria. Higher education has developed considerably over the years, which has resulted in a healthy literacy rate this is the responsibility of both the federal and state governments.
Christian missionaries introduced the· western education system in Nigeria in the mid-19th century. By 1990, three fundamentally distinct education systems existed in Nigeria - the indigenous system, the Quranic schools and formal European-style of educational institutions.
Notably, we have three basic types of education namely formal, informal and non-formal education.
Informal education happens outside the classroom, in after-school programs, community based organizations, museums, libraries or at home. The setting of this type of education is to make children useful to parents at home. Informal education is a truly life-long process whereby every individual acquires skills, values, attitudes and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media.
Formal education is the process of training and developing people in knowledge, skills, mind and character in a structural and certified program. It is classroom-based and provided by trained teachers. In Nigeria formal education is traceable to the efforts of European missionaries around 1842. At this time, education was regarded as of fundamental importance to the spread of Christianity.
Formal education runs from primary school through the university and including, in additional to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programmes and institutions for full-time technical and professional training.
Non-formal education is any organized educational activity outside the established formal system whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives.
The major distinction between these three forms of education is largely administrative whileformal education is linked with schools and training institutions, non-formal is linked with community, groups and other organizations and informal covers what is left e.g, interactions with friends, family and work colleagues.
Of these three, formal and informal is the most appreciable and the researcher is concentrating the study on formal education where the internet is considered for use.
Secondary school students now use the internet through search engines like Google and other internet applications like Bolt, Opera Mini, etc. To get information on topics that are not too clear in class. By digesting the information they get, they have a clearer knowledge of the subject at hand. On the other hand, secondary school students are now addicted to the internet with the use of social networking sites like Facebook; Twitter, To Go, etc. Musical/video sites like You tube, itune, etc, These sites are great distractions to students and other youths because it does not allow them to concentrate on their studies fully.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Notwithstanding the fact that secondary school students cannot be restricted from using the internet, this research project is meant to address issues, such as, is the use of the internet a blessing or a curse? Is there anyway secondary school students can be encouraged to use the internet to achieve positive goals educationally instead of exploring the negative sites to their detriment.
We are meant to know through this study if their Intelligence Quoficient is developed with the use of the internet and if their thinking is improved in anyway. Also, how this global networking innovation has helped them more in their dedication to their studies and made them responsible to themselves, their community and the society at large.
Internet to some people is a distraction while to others, it is an attraction. It is in the researcher's interest to find out what stands.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The Internet plays a significant role in the lives of young people today. Previous research point to advantages as well as disadvantages of the use of the Internet in a formal educational context. The aim of this study is to unveil the impact of the internet in the lives of some secondary school students. Its advantages arid disadvantages as it concerns their education.
The objectives are:
1. To reveal how the internet has supported the education of secondary school students through the various sites available to them.
2. The promotion of the learning and knowledge of secondary school pupils with the use of internet.
3. Also, the study will give us an insight into how these set of people have negatively used the internet to their disadvantage. Thereby, the internet has become an hindrance to their learning process with their venturing or going to sites that do not have good or positive impact on them.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to be beneficial to secondary school students most especially, educationists, proprietors of secondary schools and also parents. They are meant to discover the positive and negative effects of the internet on, the students.
This research is relevant to the society, secondary schools and other players like educationists and academicians, who handle this category of students.
The relevance cannot be under-estimated because many people, especially parents may not know that some students have turned to bad eggs with their knowledge of the internet. This bad influence which they are passing or have transferred to their other age mates make the situation worse.
Instead of looking for sites that would be beneficial to them and their education, they go in search or obscene sites to watch or download sexual scenes/cuts that are not meant for them or their age range or messaging sites and chatting all day long.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Three major secondary schools in Agege Local Government Area will be considered in the course of this study. They arc Vetland Senior Grammar School, Lagooz College and Jellylas Group of Schools, Agege, Lagos. These three schools are amongst the highly respected schools in this community with full internet facilities for the students and their teachers.
Questionnaires and interviews will be used to get the reaction of the students and their teachers to the subject. About 90 students and 10 teachers will be considered in this study. A comprehensive and well-designed questionnaire is planned to cover all the necessary aspects.
Open-ended and close-ended questions would be asked so as to get adequate and appropriate responses.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher would have loved to do more, that is, cover more grounds, visit more schools, unfortunately financial constraints is an obstacle. Added to this is time factor as there was limited time to administer and collect the questionnaires issued out.
The school authorities were suspicious of the intent of the research as they felt it could affect their image.
Also, some of the students insisted on permission from their parents before responding evenafter getting the school permission.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ARPA - Advanced Research Projects Agency
TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
VOIP - Voice over Internet Protocol
SMS - Short Message Service
ROM - Read Only Memory
RAM - Random Access Memory
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