ASSESSMENT OF THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

CHAPTER ONE

                                     INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background to the Study

Social media includes an array of internet-based tools and services that are designed to advance community development through relationships and information distribution (Arnold and Paulus, 2010). They further state that the tools offer opportunities for personal manifestation as well as connections with other users. Junco, Helbergert and Loken (2011) state that social media encourages teamwork and information sharing. Social media can be used in academic settings to prop up student commitment and expedite better student learning (Kabilan, Ahmad and Abidin, 2010).  But it was noted by Skenazy (2009) that we think of phones as communication tools, but the reality is they may be just the contrary. The views of Davidson (2011) propose that people are adapting to fresh communication norms in an increasing digital world, learning to hastily attend to, process, and react to multiple and sometimes concurrent message. Given the several possible means that digital communication outfits will continue to impact practices of teaching and learning, instructional communication scholars should perform programmatic research to comprehend how these tools influence classroom communication and consequent learning outcomes (Schuck & Aubusson, 2010).

Kuppuswamy and Narayan (2010) argued that the social networks distracts the attention and concentration of the students toward learning and converts it towards non educational activities such as useless and unnecessary chatting; but these social networks websites can be useful for education based on sound pedagogical use online social networking sites to serve as tools for supporting student learning for different educational purposes. By this explanation, social networks can be investigated thoroughly in order to provide different learning opportunities, so as to simplify the student learning processes. Social networks access via mobile phones increased the active participation of secondary schools student in the social life even during school hours. This trend makes leaning and understanding to those categories of student very difficult task. Therefore, this study examined the effect of social networks and its consequences on student academic performance especially in secondary schools in Nigeria. The issue here is not whether it benefits the student to interact socially via electronic medium without any barrier, but how it affects their studies negatively or positively thereby decreasing or increasing their performance academically.

In connection to this, several studies have been carried out on the effects of social media on the students’ learning outcome in colleges and schools. The studies have recognized both positive and negative bearings of social media on students’ academic achievement in education (Espinosa, Laffey, Whittaker & Sheng, 2006). However the studies have not proven the effect of social media on students’ performance in secondary schools. This study will however investigate the use of social media in teaching and learning in secondary school in Nigeria.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

Recently, children of school age have been very much interested in utilizing various forms of social networking sites for their communication. Prominent among these sites is Facebook, followed by Twitter, in terms of patronage across different nations of the world. The youth who are the most active users of these social networking sites use the sites to connect friends, photos, videos and games. While some researchers claim that the use of SNS by students improves their academic achievement (Ovute & Ovute, 2015). Others argue that it has impacted negatively on the behaviour and academic achievement of the learners (Morgan, Grahan, & Hodges, 2012). It has been observed that most of the secondary school students in Nigeria, no longer take their studies seriously. This may be because, instead of focusing on their studies, they may either be busy chatting with their friends and acquaintances on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp or posting an update via Twitter. This ugly trend may distract the students from reading their books or being attentive during the teaching and learning process as they no longer have interest in learning. This is in line with the view of Csikszentmihalyi (1975) Flow Theory.

The origin of research on the flow theory came about when Csikszentmihalyi (1975) tried to understand why artists, especially painters, became immersed in their work to the extent that they would disregard their needs for food, water, and sleep. This theory emphasized on holistic sensation that individuals feel when they act with total involvement in activities that they are interested in doing. It implies absorption in a task such that the individual is attracted and carried away by the task being performed. Therefore this study shall investigate the use of social media in teaching and learning in secondary school in Nigeria.

1.3   Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to investigate the use of social media in teaching and learning in secondary school in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

i)             To establish the effects of social media on learning among secondary school students in Nigeria

ii)           To understand the importance of social media for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools in Nigeria

iii)         To identify the reasons for the use of social media for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools in Nigeria

1.4   Research Questions

This study shall seek answers to the following research questions:

i)             What are the effects of social media on learning among secondary school students in Nigeria?

ii)           What is the importance of social media for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools in Nigeria?

iii)         What are the reasons for the use of social media for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools in Nigeria?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

The research hypotheses to be tested include:

i)             There is no significance correlation between secondary school students’ academic performance and the use of social media

ii)           There is no significance relationship between the use of social media and secondary school teachers’ effective teaching

iii)         There is no significance influence on the use of social media by secondary school students and effective learning

1.6   Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefits to students, teachers, school authorities, curriculum planner, educational stakeholders and Ministries of Education at different level of government. The finding from this study will be of immense benefit because it will enhance the learning processes of the students and thereby improve on their overall academic performance, since it will increase the motivation of the students, add clarity to the topics taught and make learning more interesting. Also, the result from this study will help to re-emphasis the need for teachers of secondary schools on importance of social media in promoting teaching and learning. And this in no small measure provides a basis that compliments and supports the use of teaching skills and enhances effectiveness.

Findings from this study will further help to reveal and create awareness among the school authorities of the importance or otherwise of the impact of social media on teaching and learning in secondary schools. Furthermore, findings from this study will have much significance on the ministries of education at all government level in Nigeria. This is because it will serve as a source of information to the government that the provision of social media will enhance teaching and learning and as well as enhancing academic performance.

1.7   Scope of the Study

This study investigates the use of social media in teaching and learning in secondary school in Nigeria.  Therefore, the respondents to be covered will be senior secondary school students in Nigeria.

1.8   Limitation of the study

This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.

1.9   Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Academic performance: is defined as successful completion, through effort, of the acquisition of academic content and skills mostly determined by the grades or scores that the student gets in a test.

Effective learning: is learning which develops understanding of learning in the changing world. Effective learning involves individuals moving beyond making connections of new ideas to old ones into restructuring their thinking radically by changing the connections among the things they already know or even discard some long-held beliefs about the world.

Learning: is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information.

Teaching: teaching is the concerted sharing of knowledge and experience, which is usually organized within a discipline and more generally, the provision of stimulus to the psychological and intellectual growth of students by teachers.

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