The Usage and Impact of Internet Enabled Phones on Academic Concentration among Students of Tertiary Institutions: A Study at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria

By Ezemenaka, Emeka | International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, October 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

The Usage and Impact of Internet Enabled Phones on Academic Concentration among Students of Tertiary Institutions: A Study at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria


Ezemenaka, Emeka, International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology


ABSTRACT

The usage of Internet enabled phones has been a 21st century phenomenon that spreads for different purposes and functions. This study looks into the usage and perceived effect implications internet enabled phones have on the academic performance of the tertiary students using University of Ibadan students in Nigeria as a case study. The study was carried out in order to understand and bring to fore if the students' academic performance is affected due to the time channelled to the phone during class hours which has a general perception as a medium of distractions to students. The retrieval of the information gotten from this study was done with structured questionnaires administered to 200 students to obtain their personal opinions, while 15 in-depth interviews were conducted to have a grounded knowledge opinions of the students simultaneously with the data gathered during the course of this study. The analysis of the students' perception showed that the internet enabled phone usage does not affect the academic performance of the students but distractions by the usage of phone were notably admitted.

Keywords: Internet enabled phones, Usage, Effect, University students

INTRODUCTION

The use of technology is a global imperative due to its contributions to human existence and has enhanced the socio economic relations globally. Wireless communication has emerged as one of the fastest diffusing media on the planet, fuelling an emergent "mobile youth culture" (Castells, Fernandez-Ardevol, Qiu, and Sey, 2007). Thus, increased popularity of cell and smart phones in recent years has attracted research attention. Cell phones are seen as a mixed blessing. Teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient. Yet they also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use(Pew Research Center, 2010).

As cell phones have become more available, they are increasingly owned and used by teens. Further, as handsets become more loaded with capabilities ranging from video recording and sharing, to music playing and internet access, teens and young adults have an ever-increasing repertoire of use. Indeed, we are moving into an era when mobile devices are not just for talking and texting, but can also access the internet and all it has to offer (Pew Research Center,2010).

The cell phone is one of the most rapidly growing new technologies in the world (Rebello, 2010). In 2001, cell phone users were less than a billion worldwide with the majority of the users from the developed countries. By the end of 2010, however, cell phone subscriptions had reached five billion worldwide with subscriptions from developing countries outnumbering that of the developed countries (Kelly, 2009; Rebello 2010). Obviously, this increase includes a sharp increase in the number of cell phones used by the younger generations.

This area of interest was chosen because of the unregulated usage and over dependent attitude on these devices. Interestingly, this is obviously imperative as Geser, (2006) and Junco, Merson and Salter (2010) had observed that the youth have consistently displayed higher level of attachment to their cell phones which could serve as distractions to them because of the time channelled to the phones.

This study is using both theoretical and empirical knowledge to supply the reader with information to issues in the academic performance of students, using the undergraduate students' area of concentration. This study was carried out in order to make available the problems associated with students' usage of cell phones during academic period, and how it can serve as precautionary measures towards achieving good academic result for student. Other objectives of this study are identifying and reducing prejudices through awareness and mobilisation for positive change in the approaches towards the usage of internet enabled phones. In an attempt to discuss about the issue of this topic on phones and its usage via the internet, personal observations has been seen among student using the phones for visiting social platform, such as the Facebook, Twitter, 2go, Myspace and instant messengers (yahoo messengers, msn messengers and blackberry pinging instant messengers) during academic periods and off academic periods indicating that the internet phones have a strong effect on the students. …

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