Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Internet Access and Usage by Secondary School Students in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Internet Access and Usage by Secondary School Students in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Internet is a global network of computers linked together over large distance. According to Olatokun (2008), Internet in education has been used as a tool for researcher to communicate and try share their research data. Worldwide, the Internet has opened myriad new opportunities for students. In reality, it has brought a very open approach on learning where students are no longer depending on their instructors or textbooks as their only sources of information. The Internet allows cost effective in accessing and using both teaching and learning information resources, collaborative and distance education, more than it ever been imagined (Clyde,1995; Todd, 1997).The Internet has countless websites to help teachers develop or improve lessons plans, exchange ideas, obtain information which ultimately may improve their teaching skills. According to Bernard and Dulle (2008), limited of relevant information resources in the substandard school libraries lead to low level students' performance in academics. However, with the Internet in trend, students are not any more limited to what is in their libraries or may not wait for information resources to be brought into their libraries. As a result, the Internet widens horizon of students further than their local boundaries in terms of information searching. Access and effective use of Internet services in secondary schools gives added reading opportunities for students, which as a result improves understanding as well as reading skills which in turn supports students' academic performance (Olatokun, 2008).

In many African countries like Tanzania Internet penetration and usage by secondary students is hampered by numerous factors including poor telecom infrastructure, difficulties in accessing relevant learning materials, inadequate power supply, and computer literacy rates, high costs of ICTs gadgets like computer, insufficient English language proficiency and, low income among many other factors (Sife 2013, Kira and Mahumbwe, 2015). Accessibility of Internet services in many public places such as schools, universities, libraries, and colleges are still characterized by frequent breakdown of systems, slow connectivity, inadequate computers, unreliable power supply and inadequate computers (Sife, 2013).

However, while there is a great deal of knowledge regarding how Internet are being accessed and used in secondary schools in developed countries, there is not much information on how Internet is being used by students in developing countries such as Tanzania especially in secondary schools . Therefore the aim of this study was to assess the extent of Internet used by secondary school students in Tanzania. This information is crucial in ensuring that there is effective utilization of Internet within schools as Internet is recognized as the tool that will improve students' academic performance in education sector if utilized correctly.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Due to the growth and spread of cheaper and more user-friendly, computer technology and software (e.g., smart phones, portable computers, Microsoft Word etc), the use of the Internet by students has increased dramatically. The Internet allows students to widen their academic performance, experience, access important academic information and communicate with others within the academic community (Tella, 2007). Also, Holcomb et al. (2007) argued that the academic attainment by students depends on their capacity to comprehend, read and communicate at high levels using Internet technologies. Currently, there is an increasing body of trustworthy learning and teaching material accessible and available on the Internet (Harmon, 2007) and, as a source of information; it can be used like books, library resources, or even field trips (Wallace, 2004).

Despite the many noticeable advantages of the Internet in academic achievements to students, very little is known on the level of the use of Internet by secondary school students in Tanzania particularly in Morogoro Municipality. …

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