BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Technology has changed the way people interact. Internet is now easily accessible using mobile phones costing as cheap as ₦10,000. Service providers have helped provide easy access to internet through special offers in order for people to access internet. Teenagers are among the most avid users of technology in general and social network sites in particular (Lenhart, Madden, Macgill & Smith (2007b). Recent reports find that youth spend nearly 10 hours per day using some form of technology with socially networked media playing a large role in their daily lives (Rideout, Foehr & Robert 2010).
Neelamalar & Chitra (2009), state that members of social sites can easily form groups (called communities) and share their opinions among themselves through discussions threads, forums and polls. On their research on the impact of social network on youth they found out that 95% who are members in one or more social media spend varying amount of time from less than an hour to five hours every day in social media. They also found out that 95% of the youth find the social media as a platform for reconnecting with lost friends, maintaining existing relationships and sharing knowledge, ideas and opinions.
Most learning institutions have gone a step further and blocked access to social media through their networks but it is important to acknowledge that students own phones and other gadgets which they can use at home. It is therefore necessary for both educators and parents to recognize the fact that there is high usage of social media by senior high students and it is vital to find out what is the impact of social media on these students’ academic performance.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Technological shift from analogue to digital has immensely changed the way people communicate in society. It is something that cannot be wished away. Many teenagers have joined and many more are still joining Social media. Sunitha and Narayan (2010) observe that social networking has become part of the daily life experience for increasing number of people. They further raise concerns such as how do these social media fit into the lives of these teenagers and what they are learning from their participation. Is whatever being learnt and shared on these social networking services for academic purposes?
Social Networking websites content is least monitored and these sites though popular with teenagers, do have many issues such as addiction and even online bullying which can have adverse effects on their academic performance.
Banquil and Chua (2009) came up with a conclusion that social media do affect one‘s academics adversely and cause a gradual drop of grades of students. They attribute this to the student investing his or her time in social media instead of their studies. It is therefore vital to investigate whether apart from communicating if there is any other role that these social media play in school going teenagers‘ life. It is with the above background that this study sought to find out the effects of social media usage by students in high school on their academic performance.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate the impacts of social media on student‘s academic performance in high schools in urban areas.
- To find out the kind of information high school students seek on online social media.
- To establish what other purpose, apart from communication, students use social media
- To establish whether online social media are used by students to improve their academic
- What kind of information do high school students seek on the online social media?
- What other purpose apart from communication do students use social media for?
- Are online social media used by students to improve their academic performance?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research will cover high schools in Uyo, Akwa ibom state. It will only focus on social media use by students in high schools. Respondents of this study will be students, teachers in senior highs and parents.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Limitation of this study will be that students who are going to be covered come from families with different financial backgrounds. They therefore have different capabilities in acquiring technological devices such as laptops, i-pads and even smartphones. Students from well off families have better access to internet and more sophisticated gadgets and thus able to do more online than those from disadvantaged families. This study will be limited to students in high schools in Uyo in Akwa ibom state.
In order to carry out this research, the researcher will conduct his research will conduct relevant literature of past authors. In order to ensure authenticity, the researcher will consult literature that was produced with the past ten years. The literature review will follow the outline below.
· Conceptual framework
· Theoretical Framework
· Empirical review
This research employed descriptive survey research design.. It is as a plan that describes how, when and where data are to be collected and analyzed (Parahoo, 1997). Descriptive survey research design is a method of collecting information by interviewing or administering a questionnaire to a sample of individuals (Orodho, 2003).This design aims to study existing relationships, prevailing practices, beliefs and attitudes held, processes and effect of developing trends. It can be used when collecting information about people, attitudes, opinions, habits or any of the variety of education or social issues (Orodho & Kombo, 2002).
This study aimed at collecting information from teachers and students in high schools in Uyo on the impacts of social media on academic performance. Primary sources of data were used. Primary sources of data include questionnaires and interviews. This research design was relevant to this study because the researcher used interview and questionnaire to collect information which are the same instruments used in this research design.
This study was carried out in Uyo, Akwa ibom state. The sample was drawn from high schools in Uyo which was picked through non probability sampling technique.
The research population for this study was drawn from high schools in Uyo. This is in line with the contention by Kothari (2004) who defines the target population as the total number of respondents in the total environment of interest. The target population of this study was students in high schools in Uyo Akwa ibom state. There are 66 high schools in Uyo. The approximate population of students in high schools in Uyo is 26,400 students. Senior high students were the key respondents in this study because they are the ones using social media and the main concern of this study. The researcher picked this population with the assumption that students attending the high schools in Uyo come from economically able backgrounds thus have more access to internet.
Sample and Sampling Technique
An ideal sample should be large enough so that the researcher can be confident, within specified limits that a different sample of the same size if drawn using same procedures can give approximately similar results (Wiersman;1995).This research employed non probability sampling method. Under this sampling method, the researcher makes the deliberate choice of an informant due to the qualities the informant possesses. The researcher decides what needs to be known and sets out to find people who can and are willing to provide the information by virtue of knowledge or experience (Bernard 2002, Lewis & Sheppard 2006). This method ensured that the sample picked is truly representative of the population being studied.
The sample size for this study was 250 respondents. This sample size was settled on after considering the time and resources available for this study. There are 66 senior highs in Uyo each having an approximate population of 400 students translating to an approximate total population of 26,400 students. Using purposive sampling 10 schools (5 day schools and 5 boarding schools) were picked and in each school 5 students from each form drawn through purposive sampling. The researcher used academic performance to pick the schools. Therefore each school produced 20 students. The researcher picked two best performing students, one average performing student and two poor performing students from each form in the schools sampled. Also through purposive sampling the researcher interviewed 1 teacher from each school picked totaling to 10 teachers. 40 Parents were also interviewed and they were also picked through purposive sampling. The parents picked were from the Parents Teachers Association, class representative and general parents.
This study used non-probability sampling method to pick the sample. Respondents were purposively sampled in order to get in depth data. This research was carried out in 10 high schools picked through simple random method. In each school 20 students were picked for the study. The students in each school were distributed evenly in the four classes, that is. Instruments
Mugenda and Mugenda (1999), explains that a researcher needs to develop instruments with which to collect the necessary information. This study used questionnaire and interview as instruments of study. A questionnaire consists of a number of questions printed or typed in a definite order on a form or set of forms (Kothari, 2004).The interview method of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses (Kothari, 2004).
The questionnaires were administered to respondents who then duly filled them on their own to provide the required data for the study. The researcher also conducted structured interviews. Kothari (2004) states that structured interviews involve the use of a set of predetermined questions of highly standardized techniques of recording. Thus, the interviewer in a structured interview follows a rigid procedure laid down, asking questions in a form and order prescribed. This technique is the best for descriptive studies such as this one and also because it is economical and provides a safe basis for generalization.
Data Collection Procedure
The researcher visited all the schools under study and administered questionnaires‘ to students picked through purposive sampling. The questionnaires were then collected by the researcher for data analysis. The researcher also interviewed teachers and parents and recorded the findings. The questionnaires together with the interview findings were then carefully analyzed in order to come up with proper report.
Data Processing and Analysis
According to Babbie (2004) quantitative analysis is the numerical representation and manipulation of observations for the purpose of describing and explaining the phenomena that those observations reflect. The feedback collected from the respondents‘ questionnaires was coded, entered and analyzed using a computer through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 16) programs that the findings of the study can be uncovered. Findings from the interviews conducted were also used to answer the research questions for this study.