The implications of social networking sites in education in nigeria

The implications of social networking sites in education in nigeria

(Parte 1 de 3)

ijcrb.webs.com INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS

COPY RIGHT © 2011 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 93

NOVEMBER 2011 VOL 3, NO 7

Abstract

It has been discovered that the internet through the use of social network sites (SNSs) by youths and adults has constituted a form of distortion to the attention due to be paid to organisational duties and academic responsibilities. Although several research have reported on the usefulness of the internet as a means of creating entertainment, news, social network, academic interaction, commerce, and conclude that it could also take our valuable time just for futile surfing on the net. However, SNS have created a new social dimension where individuals can develop increased level of awareness and students on their part have become more knowledgeable worldwide. The objective of this study is to investigate the reasons students engage in the use of SNSs and also find out the implications on their academic performance. A multi-method approach is used in gathering relevant information from students of University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used in analyzing the data collected. Findings from this study confirm that majority of respondents clearly agreed that social networking sites have a positive impact on their academic performance. However, from this study the researcher could infer that although youths nowadays, use SNS for a variety of activities (academic and non-academic).University authorities are saddled with the responsibilities to inculcate into the students the habit of using SNS for most of their academic activities. Keywords: Nigeria, Social Networking Sites, Students, Academic performance, University of Ibadan.

1. INTRODUCTION Motivated technology inventors introduced a variety of sophisticated internet services with different objectives in mind and put up these services together into sites that aimed to connect people.In recent times, there are hundreds of social networking sites that can attract millions of people, with varied technological affordances. Nearly all sites are to enable persons to avail pre-existing connections and initiate friendships between strangers. As a result of the constantly increasing number of people who use or have access to the Internet world over, social networking websites have been discovered to be a must have for the people to stay in touch with each other. It also enable people keep in touch with old friends, make new friends, dispense new data or product, and many more aspects of our everyday lives, and there are many internet users who would love to make new friends online. Social networking websites are easier to use and navigate, because it does not require advanced knowledge and experience of the internet. Social networking sites are made up of a wide array of different formats and topics; this means that just about anyone can connect. However, there are other social networking sites out there that have a specific focus. This focus may be on a specific religion, political following, or hobby. Majority of specialized social

1Ajagbe Akintunde Musibau, 2Eluwa Stephen Eyinnaya and 3Duncan Edward E. 4Mkomange Claud Wantrudis and 5Lasisi Ayodele Nojeem 1Department of Management and 2Faculty of Built Environment. 4Department of Mathematics and Statistics 5Faculty of Computer Science and Information Systems. 1,2,5Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia. 4Mzumbe University Tanzania and 3University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana.

ijcrb.webs.com INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS

COPY RIGHT © 2011 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 94

NOVEMBER 2011 VOL 3, NO 7 networking sites restrict the individuals that can take part in their network; thus, making your experience more pleasurable [1]. At the moment, social networking sites form the bulk of most catalogues of highly cherished Internet organizations. This is because just about everyone who uses the Internet is an associate of at least one and often many online social networks. With such universal acceptance, it is no wonder that social networks have a significant influence on the way people live and interact [2]. As on education sector, social networks are also being used by teachers and students especially in the West as a communication device. Professors and teachers use forums and groups to extend classroom discussion. Some of them usually use Twitter to communicate announcements and information to their students. It is a bi-directional process as students too are using these mediums to share comment to their teachers [2]. The evolution of the term Social networks is not a magnificent improvement because most researchers believe people have been interacting with one another since the internet came into being. The pioneer social network sites was SixDegrees.com and was introduced in the year 1997,although it closed shop after three years of existence as a result of poor awareness on the use of multiple social networks by those who were initially exposed to the internet, there was little room for maneuvers [3] . In the year 1999 the Livejournal was designed in order to facilitate one way connections of journals between friends. After this was the introduction of Cyworld in the year 2001, and then followed by Lunar Storm in Sweden during the same period [4] . Cyworld a Korean virtual world site was introduced in 1999 followed by the inclusion of their social network sites properties in 2001 which is autonomous from other sites. Similarly, LunarStorm a Swedish web community customized its brand name as SNS in 2000, which includes friends’ lists, guestbooks and diary pages [5]. Nearly all social networking websites are often designed to include certain type of community for instance the college community being emulated by Facebook.com or a music/party community emulated by MySpace.com. While nearly all SNSs center on rising broadly and exponentially, others clearly seek limited audiences and some like little world with beautiful people and deliberately confining access to come out carefully and selected. Working web sites and their worldwide scale usage, whatever one feels about social networking websites is immaterial because social networking websites are on a fame rise and have come to stay. Although some agencies prevent the usage of SNSs sites by their employees such as the Canadian government which banned its employees from Facebook [6]; the USA military which prohibits its soldiers from accessing MySpace [7]. In addition the US congress is considering a bill banning youths from accessing SNSs in schools and libraries [8]. With the rapid development of social networking web sites and their worldwide scale usage, whatever one feels about social networking websites is immaterial because social networking websites are on a fame rise and have come to stay.

According to Boyd and Ellison, (2007) [9],”Social network sites are web based services that enable individuals to construct a semi-profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share connections, views and go through their list of connections and those made by others within the system, although the nature and nomenclature of these connections has variation”.

William,[10] also defined “Social networking sites as online communities of Internet users who want to communicate with other users about areas of mutual interest, whether from a personal, business or academic perspective. The specific functionality of the various sites may differ, but in general, the sites allow users to provide information about them and communicate with others through email, chat rooms and other fora”.

The term "social network site” used to describe this phenomenon and "social networking sites" also appears in public discourse, and both are often used interchangeably. "Networking" emphasizes relationship initiation, often between strangers. While networking is possible on these sites, it is not the primary practice on many of them, nor is it what differentiates them from other forms of computer-mediated communication [9] .

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COPY RIGHT © 2011 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 95

NOVEMBER 2011 VOL 3, NO 7

A few of the Popular Social Networking Sites

Twitter began as an experiment in 2006 with very simple service that is rapidly becoming one of the most talkedabout social networking service providers. Twitter is a real-time communication platform. It allows users to create an account, post and receive messages to a network of contacts, as opposed to send bulk email messages. Users also can build their network of contacts, and invite others to receive Tweets, and can also follow other members' posts. Twitter makes it easy to opt into or out of networks. In addition, users can choose to stop following a specific person’s feed [1].

Friendster.com as a social networking site began its activities in the year 2002 as a social complement to Ryze. It allows users to contact with others, maintain those contacts, and share online content and media with those contacts. Friendster.com is also used for dating and discovering new events, bands and hobbies. Users may share videos, photos, messages and using their profile and their network to comments on each other.

MySpace.com according to Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, was launched in 2003. The users can create profile, list school friends in which they attend, upload photos and develop a calendar. Additionally, it intends bringing various users together for personal and professional interaction. According to [9], this network distinguished itself by frequently creating new ideas as clients continue to ask for innovative introduction and became the most talk about in the United States in June 2006.

Today, Facebook is one of the most populous social networking sites for students and even the general public [3].

It was developed by sophomore Mark Zuckerberg of Harvard University in 2004. The site was originally developed for college and university students as a way to attach with one another. Users spend about 20 minutes a day on the site and twothirds of users log in at least once a day [3]. In the year 2010 Facebook has more than 500 million active users, attracted 450 visitors and 2,0 photo-views in its first four hours online [12].

Orkut.com was introduced by one of the main employee of Google as an internet social network sites and allows

Google to take charge of its administration, it was however, named after him Orkut Buyukkokten.The essentials of this novel innovation is to allow members interact with new acquaintances while still maintaining their offline dealings. It does go further by authorizing the adoption of easy-to-set-up forum of members. From year 2006, Orkut has permitted its members to develop accounts without been invited. In Brazil, this is the most popular website, even more popular than Google Brazil. Although, at the global ranking Google is the seventh in position whereas in Brazil it is trailing behind Orkut [1].

3.STUDENTS USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES Social Networking Site is a communication tool for members. This kind of platform was designed as a way for friends, family, or strangers to have discussions and interactions or be in contact with each other. It allows members to explore new opportunities and experiences. Social Networking Sites allow students to express themselves, communicate, and collect profiles that highlight their talents and experiences.

The majority of users of the SNSs are youngsters who were named ‘Digital Natives’ [13] especially the most common are students in higher education. They often use SNSs to stay in touch with their offline friends or bolster existing connections rather than developing new affairs [14]. That exposed a significant message that the SNS could be a possible medium to gain more recognition of online learning than conventional e-Learning platform if the elaborately designed activities can be closely integrated into the features of SNSs. However, richly designed activities in instructional plans must be made prior to the adoption of SNSs in classroom since not all digital natives are eager to have such skills of using these technologies [15].

4WHY YOUTHS ENGAGE IN SNS

• To get technical and vocational skills which are very important for human development?

• Socializing with friends

• Doing a sort of collaborative study, research or academic work.

• Doing some kind of online marketing, business, seminar known as webinar etc.

• This is also an avenue of a citizen to bring the attention of the government to what is needed in your environment.

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COPY RIGHT © 2011 Institute of Interdisciplinary Business Research 96

NOVEMBER 2011 VOL 3, NO 7

5SIGNIFICANCE OF SNS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

The largest communications technology to date that have so far gained wide acceptability among the young generation and students as confirmed by [16] is the social network sites. Educational policy makers are fast realizing the importance of incorporating this into the educational faculties as a resource to support the educational communications between students and faculties, even though institutions of learning have tried preventing students from accessing technologies which is of less importance to their academic benefit. [17] Studied the issues surrounding the adoption of social network sites using the diffusion of innovation theory to test adoption among university students. They conclude from their findings that, the relative significance of using SNS not minding how hard it was to use; how compatible it were with the lifestyle of the users; how much has been registered about SNS by users; and whether social networking sites could be tested before consistent use, were issues that influence users; attitude towards intention to use.

However, Sen, [18] claims that in the advancement of technologies such as the cost of effective high speed broad band network connection in computers has been radically revolutionized the way of teaching and learning process. [19] Reported that in online learning approached-learning can be accomplished through the online facilities such as online forums, online blogs, online bulletin boards, emails, chatting etc. Depending on the category of social network sites been thought of, the novel idea has a lot of positive attributes and will encourage higher acceptance rates among students. An email is a familiar technology that lecturers already adopt in exchanging educational messages between them and students. However, the proposed use is a familiar communication tool. What is left is for management to engage in a well thought out strategy to inculcate this technology as an official way of communicating with students and faculties. However, social network technology is similar to webmail communication technology.

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