INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND READING INTEREST OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT IN IKOT EKPENE SENATORIAL DISTRICT
1.1 Background of the Study
Information Communication is often used as an extended synonym for Information Technology (IT). IT is a more general term that stresses the role of unified communication and integration of telecommunications, computers, middle wares as well as necessary software, storage and audio-visual systems which enable users to create, access, store, transmit and manipulate information. It also refers to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer through a single cabling and link system. ICT covers any product that stores, retrieves, manipulates, transmits or receives information electronically in a digital form. For example: personal computers, digital TV, email, CD-ROMs, databases, internet and video conferencing. ICT is a valuable tool that enhances teaching and learning. For students, ICT provides opportunities to communication more effectively and develop literacy skills including critical literacy. It is a valuable tool for researching, composing, responding, viewing and representing in English. It is regarded as an engine for growth and tool for empowerment, with profound implications for education, change and socio-economic development. Information and communication technology has cut across all facets of life including reading. Literacy in information and communication technology is fundamental to life in our modern technological society. Ezekwe and Moukebe, (2012) defined Information Communication Technology as the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer based information systems particularly software applications and computer hard wares. Allen (2004) stated that ICT has been drivers that re-engineered our society and commerce in recent years. The author added that they have presented opportunities for change that have led to unique benefits and that ICT plays important role in supporting literacy education in Nigeria in cultivating motivation, interest and affect in developing cognition and meta-cognition in the context of reading, writing, literature and character recognition
To equip the students to be literate, life-learners and global citizens in the 21st century, ICT must be integrated into reading to boost the reading interest of students..
Interest refers to the energizing of learner’s underlying needs or desires (Ames, 1992; Direck and Leggatt, 1998). Two distinct and at times competing form of interest have been supported by expertise research-individual and situational interest. Individual interest pertains to one’s long-term investment or deep seated involvement in the target field (Hidi, 1990, Schiefele, 1991). By contrast, situational interest refers to the momentary arousal or temporary attention that is triggered by conditions in the existing context.
Hidi, (1990) and Mitchell, (1993) argued that interest is central in determining the ways in which we select and process certain types of information in preference to others. Mitchell added that all types of interest tend to facilitate reader’s comprehension and recall. Well-established individual interest and their situational interest (elicited by text segments, topics and themes) contributed to increased comprehension and learning. Interest seems to motivate readers to go beyond the surface structure of the texts and focus on the main ideas and their underlying meaning. Krapp, (1999), Ryan et al. (1990) also concluded that interest leads to more elaborate and deeper processing of expository texts. Reader’s personal interest in reading becomes a driving force in their development as comprehension is achieved and energizes readers to read (Alexander, 2006). Reading is an essential tool for lifelong learning. It is important for everyone to develop the rudiments of reading and the culture of reading always so as to survive in life. Holte,(1998) agreed that reading adds quality to life and provides access to culture and cultural heritage. The author added that reading empowers and emancipates citizens and bring people together. It is one of the most important activities of life through which we enter into the life and experiences of others and extends our knowledge, scope of experience and enjoyment. It played critical roles to the overall development of an individual and the nation at large. Reading experience could be obtained from the library. The school library is a gateway to knowledge and would serve as a starting point or road map to reading and the promotion to reading culture. The library provides books and others resources which would help shape thoughts and influence the action of students throughout life with active supervision of an experienced librarian.
ICT in English curriculum has changed the nature of texts. Multimedia text challenges the notion of English Language and literacy as being about words, sentence and text types. The verbal aspect of communication is only part of what is being communicated in a multimedia text (Interactive Education, 2006). ICT has also changed the ways in which students’ access texts. ICT allows students to access an ever widening range of texts including non-linear texts. It enables them to extend their information sources to use search strategies to locate and read significant parts of texts quickly and accurately and to use the internet, CD-ROMs and web quests to help with research during an investigation (Peta, (2006). The author argued that reading multimedia texts therefore requires new ways of reading and new reading skills. These include the ability read to images, icons, hyperlinks, formatting, conventions and site maps.
ICT tools which help to boast reading interest include facebooks, computer game, text messaging, twitter and Whatsapp, etc.
Facebooks is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. Facebook is an online social networking service (Zuckerberg, 2004). Wilson, Gosling and Graham, (2015) posited that facebook name comes from a colloquialism for directory given to students, at some American universities. The main uses are to keep in touch with far away family and friends, share photos, information and news, chatting, finds school or college friendship, business promotion, entertainment, boredom killer, communicate and share information with others. Facebook is defined as a social platform that helps people share information communication more effectively with friends, family and co-workers. Originally started as a medium for college students’ interaction and enables peer feedback, having goodness of fit with social context and interaction (Mason, 2006 ). According to Facebook,(2011) facebook could be used as a tool for learning in ten different ways namely: book review, writers’ workshop, journal entries/blogs, news on current events, create news source for classroom, practice reading challenge and practice foreign language.
Computer game also known as personal computer (PC) games is an electronic game that involves human interaction with user interface to generate visual feedback on dance video device. Beavis, (2006) noted that computer games are multimodal texts with interactive narrative structures. These games have a significant role in the lives of many students and can be used as spring boards into related texts issues. The author added that computer game combines design and visual elements with traditional narrative techniques. McKnight, (2002) argued that computer games uses narrative conventions such as point of view, plot structure in new environments and make many allusions to traditional texts. Similarly, Olson, (2007) added that they draw films, graphic design, myths, imageries, and iconography are intensely inter-textual in their reference, utilizing and reshaping for their own purposes older stories and references symbols and association. In another development, Beavis also added that in the classroom we can tap student interest in games to teach techniques and perspectives of traditional literacy and literature study. Gee, (2006) emphasized that studying computer games also enables students to explore relationships between visual language, design, verbal language and meaning. It develops their understanding of narrative techniques making them more aware of how texts work and more reflective about the reading process and themselves as readers. In addition, such texts can enhance critical literacy study by providing a forum for the discussion of the appeal of the texts, their dominant values or ideologies, their positioning in relation to the main characters and the particular issues raised by the game.
Text messaging is an electronic communication sent and received by cellular phone. Another name for text messaging is texting. Wikipedia, (2014) posited that text messaging is an act of composing and sending brief electronic messages or fixed or portable devices over phone network. The term refers to messages sent using Short Message Service (SMS). Plester and Wood (2010) explained that text messaging actually helped children develop phonological awareness which is needed to learn correct spelling thus helping children learn to spell. According to Edudemic,(2014) texting may help students write more quickly and fluently, get students think deeply about grammar and phonology without knowing that’s are doing, do a translating exercise, use for interpretative learning, turn texting to note-taking, play the creative textism game and match textism with vocabulary words. By texting often, it allows children to practice spelling on daily basis. The kids who text more often especially those who use textism or abbreviation such as (“plz”, “4ever”, b/4, “tnz”, kôm, “dat”, “u” etc) showed higher scores on spelling in examination.
Twitter is an online social networking service, accessible from any Internet-capable service. Twitter is designed and used as a vehicle to converse and share ideas (Forgie, Duff and Ross, 2013). For this reason, the researcher believed that Twitter may be the most likely platform for integrating social networking with education.
Twitter is an online social networking services that enables users send and read short 140 character messages called ‘tweets’ (wikipedia,2015). According to Twitter blog, (2011) registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read them. Users access twitter through the website interface, SMS or mobile device application. Twitter is described as the most visited web sites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”, Twitter is really more of information network than it is a social network. Twitter allows people to share information instead of just receiving it (Bristol, 2010). It is used only to share reflections about daily life but also as a ‘pointing device’ to direct people to longer articles and videos.
WhatsApp messenger is a proprietary; cross platform instant messaging subscriptions service for smart phones that uses internet for communication (www.whatsapp.com). In addition to text messaging users can send each other images, videos and audio media messages as well as their location using integrated mapping features. The client software is available for Google Android, Blackberry, selected Nokia, Asha platform series 40 Symbia. In whatsApp, users share photos, videos and messages to each other. WhatsApp uses a customized version of the open Standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). Upon installation, it creates a user action using ones phone number as username (Jabber ID: [Phone number] @S.whatsApp.net]). Amry, (2014) describes whatsApp as a learning tool that seeks to improve social interactions between students as well as constructing and sharing knowledge.
The author added that the access to learning resources anywhere, anytime and in various forms, formats, has the potential to enhance deep students learning capabilities and allow students construct their own knowledge. Similarly Amry further explained that student used both texting, instant message in higher education. The students are oriented and positive by mobile learning in educational fields. whatsApp brings collaborative learning approach. Goodfellow and Hewlling (2005) supported that cultural issues in an online learning environment such as an e-learning platform, mobile learning system and so on were related first to the development of inequities arising from dominant cultural values embodies in learning methods disappears with online learning.
The importance of information and communication technology is multi-faceted English Teacher Association, (2012) stated that ICT is a valuable tool which enhances teaching and learning. ICT provides opportunities to communicate more effectively and develop literacy skills including critical literacy. It is a mode of classroom delivery. ICT has many benefits for classroom teaching. Using presentation software enables teacher to show ideas dynamically and deliver content effectively (Mosely et al., 1999) for example CD-ROMs make vivid multimedia worlds available and store large amounts of information…. that teachers suddenly have at their fingertips (McKnight, 2002). ICT as a learning modalities that meets students needs because of its interactive and dynamic nature and has the potential to meet the needs by providing opportunities to direct their learning and pursue information or to complete tasks in ways which meet their own interest and needs, (Computer based Technology in English KLA, 1997). It is regarded as an engine for growth and empowerment with profound implication for education change or socio-economic development. Rapidly and continuously changing are new technologies for information and communication which repeatedly appear in new environments for exploitation and crafted by users. ETA, (2012) maintained that students nowadays tend to rely more on computer-based resources (such as writing emails sending e-cards, watching online videos, transmitting instant messages and photos by yahoo or Microsoft network messenger exchanging information in online chat room or discussion area) than paper based resources.
Otieno, (2014) summarized ICT services in the following key areas: Management of Information in Online (MIS), network and communication services user support and maintenance and research and innovation services. The author added that information and communication technology offers many opportunities for supporting knowledge management processes. ICT focus on a specific type of knowledge management process learning processes such as internal, feedback, external and creative learning Jager and Lokman, (1999) also stated the functions of ICT as object, an assisting tool, a tool a medium for teaching and learning and as a tool for organization and management in schools.
It is worthy of note that constant attention to compute games twitter, whatsApp, uncontrollable sending of SMSs, superfluous use of facebook by school children could make or mare their reading skills and reading interest. The big questions that arise therefore are: do students actually use ICT to read for academic purposes or for social networking? Can they access sites that contain relevant academic materials? Could the use ICTs enhance or mare their academic performance? It is against this background that this research was conducted to assess the relationship between information and communication technology and reading interest of senior secondary school students in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In recent times reading in associated with Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Information and communication technologies is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, text and numerical information by a micro-electronic based combination of computing and telecommunication. ICT has been adopted by different categories of people in reading different categories of materials which secondary school students are often thought of being technology savvy (that is information technologically inclined set of people). It is observed that most secondary school students have smart phones and PC that can browse World Wide Web and could be used to access world libraries where their study materials are found. Some schools even have sophisticated computer laboratories with full Internet connectivity for students use. Regrettably, provisions of ICTs which was meant to facilitate and sharpen reading interest and skills of students have been abused.
Nowadays, students are often seen spending time in social networking to the detriment of their academic materials. It has also been observed that most secondary school students burn their mid-night oil uploading foreign movies and music using ICTs instead of using the media to study. As such, they fall short in demonstrating the information literacy skills (which reading is a major component) necessary to modern secondary school students. As a result of this observation, one would be urged to find out if the use ICT by secondary school students has encouraged or discouraged their reading interest. Many studies have been conducted on reading interest and abilities of students but little or none have been done on the use of ICTs on reading interest of senior secondary school students. The possible questions that arise therefore are; do students actually use ICTs to read for academic purposes or for social networking? Can they access sites that contain relevant academic materials? Could the use of ICTs enhanced or mared their academic performance? The justification for embarking on this study is partly informed by the researcher’s observation that improper use of ICTs by secondary students can depress their interest in reading for academic purposes. It is against this background that this research study set to assess the influence of information and communication Technologies on reading interest of senior Secondary School Students-ikot Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between ICT utilization and reading interest of senior secondary school three (SS3) in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. The specific objective of the study was to examine;
- The relationship between facebook utilization and reading interest?
- The relationship between computer game utilization and reading interest?
- The relationship between text messaging utilization and reading interest?
- The relationship between twitter utilization and reading interest?
- The relationship between whatsApp utilization and reading interest?
1.4 Research Questions
The study provided answers to the following research questions.
- How does facebook utilization relate with reading interest of student?
- How does computer game utilization relate with reading interest of students?
- Is there any relationship between text messaging utilization and reading interest of students?
- How does twitter utilization relate with reading interest of students
- Is there any relationship between whatsApp utilization and reading interest of students.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The researcher in an attempt to provide answers to the above questions tested the following null hypotheses;
- There is no significant relationship between facebook utilization and reading interest of students
- There is no significant relationship between computer game utilization and reading interest of students
- There is no significant relationship between text messaging utilization and reading interest of students
- There is no significant relationship between twitter utilization and reading interest of students
- There is no significant relationship between whatsApp utilization and reading interest of students
1.6 Significance of the Study
Finding from this research would be beneficial to secondary school students as it will enhance their reading interest through the use of information and communication technologies. Also, findings from the research would be beneficial to government, teachers, parents, guardian, school administrators, curriculum planners and researchers. The findings will provide fundamental information for learning and teaching reading in schools. The work promises to encourage students to acquire and develop adequate reading skills that would boost their interest.
Furthermore, the findings would encourage managements of schools on the need to establish ICT centers in every school. The presence of ICT based centers will encourage acquisition of more skills in reading. Findings will reveal the role of ICT on effective and efficient use of the resources in the school/home environment for overall academic achievement. Finally, findings from the research willS also provided increased productivity for ICT – rich learning environment that enhance students learning across the curriculum.
This study was delimited to the utilization of the following independent variables; facebook, computer game, text messaging, twitter and whatsapp as they relate with reading interest. The study were delimited to five Local Education Committee in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District namely; Abak, Ukanafun, Ikot Ekpene, Oruk Anam and Ikono.
Definition of Terms
The following term were operationally defined as used in the research work.
Information Communication Technology: ICT is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer based information systems particularly software applications and computer hardware.
Reading interest: Reading interest is a driving force that energizes readers to read.
WhatsApp: a play on the casual greeting “whats’ up?” is an ad-free mobile messaging application that allows users to exchange text and media messages through their Internet data plan or through Wi-Fi.
SMS: Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, web or mobile communication systems and uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages.
Facebook: Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and other who wok, study and live around them.
Computer Game: Computer game is software that is run on PC or games machine and played by one or more people using keyboard, mouse, control pad or joystick..
ETA: English Teacher Association.
Twitter: Twitter is an online social networking service, accessible from any Internet-capable service that enable users send and read short 140 character messages called ‘tweets’.