1.1 Background of the Study
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2004), mobile phone is a telephone that does not have wires and works by radio that can be carried with to use every where. According to Rich Ling (2003), the mobile phone has fundamentally affected our society, accessibility, safety, and security, co-ordination of social and business activities and use of public places. It has just become the part of culture of every region in the world.
The craze of mobile phone started after 1980’s in the world, but it has now touched the level of esteem. First it was just for a status symbol but now it has become a dire need of the day and is in the reach of everyone, even a person whose per month income is 2000 rupees.
According to a famous writer and researcher on mobile phone, Jon Agar (2005), until not very long ago, the mobile phone was expensive and preserve for a rich few. Today, the cell phone is everywhere and so common that it goes unnoticed. Mobile phone culture stepped in Nigeria in towards the end of the 20th century, but mobile phone got its fame after 2001 after the establishment of some cellular networks. Now, every one person out of two in the world and every one person out of three in Nigeria has a mobile phone.
According to the figures from Eurostate, the European Union's in-house statistical office (2006) the total number of mobile phone subscribers in the world was estimated at 2.14 billion in 2005. The subscriber count reached 2.7 billion by end of 2006, and 3.3 billion by November 2007, thus reaching an equivalent of over half the planet's population. Around 80% of the world's population has access to mobile phone coverage, as of 2006. This figure is expected to increase to 90% by the year 2010.
The Effects on University Students
The effects on university students learning are both positive and negative. Most of the students are in adulthood and this is a very significant and crucial period of age. As Fredrick Tracy (2006) wrote, history is full of records of reckless and daring exploits of young man, some of which have resulted in great good and others in great evil.
Some positive and healthy impacts and effects of mobile phone on students‟ performance at the university level include:
a. To contact easily with the teachers, classmates and parents.
b. To trace easily the teachers, classmates for the solution of educational problems.
c. To use internet to search out the useful information.
d. To use the mobile as minicomputer:
e. To use dictionary and thesaurus:
f. To read news:
g. To listen F.M radio for entertainment
h. To fin out the translation of versus of Holy Quran
i. To make photos and movies
j. To use blue tooth infrared technology to transfer the data from mobile phone to mobile phone or to computer and computer to mobile without any cost in few seconds. In it, data can be transferred even from other mobile or computer which is 15 to 20 feet away.
k. To handle and move easily because it is light weight and so on.
According to Ansari (2007), it has a number of negative and unhealthy impacts and effects on students’ performances at the university level, including the wastage of time and money. Its vibration and use may be harmful for health.
According to Awaz (2008), Sir William Stewart in his book “Mobile Phones and Base Stations” narrated that exposure of radio frequency causes great absorption of energy in the tissues of head which is harmful for nervous system. Vibration of mobile phone also has effects on the pumping of blood. Heat of mobile phone also causes skin problem, rays from tower are also harmful and it is suggested that towers should be 16 KM away from population.
According to Awaz (2008), mobile phone affects the social life and health of all society members as well as university students. Some effects are as follows:
a. It is a cause of disturbance to university students when they are busy in their lecture or projects in class rooms or libraries.
b. It seems that it may cause increase in decline of moral values. With the use of mobile phone, now students feel no shy to tell a lie. When they are sitting in hotel or park, they tell to their parents or teachers that they are sitting in the library.
c. Loss and misplacement of mobile phone is very common. The student who loses his/ her mobile phone also undergoes tension and this affects studies.
d. Mobile phone is a source to introduce new culture of co-education in Islamic educational institutions. It is going to become the great tool of free relationship in the young generation. Long conversations on mobile phone lead them to that attitude which is not according to our religious and social acceptability. Their attitude affects their studies greatly. Sometimes they become the victim of emotional, physical and psychological problems.
Sadia Quraishi (2008) has pointed out another negative impact of mobile phone on students learning by saying that most of the students write the abbreviations while messaging to others. The same habit has been developed, and they use the same abbreviation in solving the papers in the examination hall. They write U 2, btw, Becoz, R and BV instead of You two/to, Between, because or/are and wife respectively, which is a wrong way of writing. However, communicating in this manner though experts believe has positive impact on students spelling ability (Ansar, 2007). This study therefore to find out the impact of mobile phones on students academic performance.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The use of mobile phones in our today’s society has no doubt become the craze of the moment. The effects on university students learning are both positive and negative. Most of the students are in adulthood and this is a very significant and crucial period of age. They engage in all forms of social networking via WAP enabled devices. The uses of mobile phones have been abused in manner that does not support goal of academic learning. Of course, the goal of learning is achieve good grades. But however, attaining this high standard of academic performance through the use of mobile phones is a major concern of this study. Therefore the following questions arise.
1. Of what relevance is the use of mobile phones for learning?
2. Does the use of mobile phones aids students’ academic performance?
3. What is the cost implication of deploying mobile phones in academic learning in Nigeria?
4. What are possible solutions to the problems caused by cell phone
1.3 Objectives of this Study
In view of the above problem, the following are the aims and objectives of the present study:
1. To evaluate the advantages and effects of mobile phone on university students’ leanings
2. to ascertain the effect of mobile phones on students’ academic performance
3. To identify the problems due to use of cell phone facing by university students.
4. To suggest possible solutions to the problems caused by cell phone as it relates to students academic performance.
1.4 Statement of Research Hypotheses
Hypothesis is a proposition contesting the acceptance or rejection of a statement. Siegel (2002) define it as a conjectural statement of the relationship between two or more variables. In the course of this research work, the following hypotheses are formulated in line with the objective and statement problem of this study and these hypotheses will be tested in latter part of this work.
Ho: the use of mobile phones aids academic learning of students
Hi: the use of mobile phones does not aid academic learning of students
Ho: there is no positive effect of mobile phones on students’ academic performance
Hi: there is a positive effect of mobile phones on students’ academic performance
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be useful to the school authorities by way of providing a ICT supported leaning environment which is, in the long run impact positively on students academic performance. Also, it will provide the needed useful information and a frame work which the management of educational boards and relevant stakeholders can make use of whenever the need arise to update the educational curriculum. This study will also be of great benefit to students in that it acquaints them with best way mobile phones can serve their academic purpose.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work is aimed at examining the Students Academic Performance and the Use of Mobile Phones. The study will be carried out using the Ambrose Alli University as a case study. The problem associated with use of mobile phones for enhancing performance of students will be critically examined. The time frame covers a period of ten years (between 2001 and 2011)
1.7 Limitation of Study
Research exercise is not an easy task, especially when we consider the scarcity of relevant information needed on the subject under investigation. To this end, there abound some impediment serving as limitation to this study, and they include:
i. Finance: this serve as a major limitation to this research work because a lot of money is required to collect information from various sources. Much cost is still expected to be incurred even as progress is made especially in the area of analyzing the data for the study.
ii. There might as well be unwillingness or uncooperative attitudes of some students to give actual information about their disposition to mobile phones exploration.
iii. The study does not cover the entire country, it is only based on refined location (AAU), and this will be used to generalize on other institutions. The sample to be selected for the study poses further limitation to the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms were defined as used in this work:
Mobile Phone: is a telephone that does not have wires and works by radio that can be carried form one place to another. This makes it mobile. It is also called cell phones.
Performance: is the outcome of one’s effort. Academic performance is defined by the grade’s satisfaction of a student.
WAP: Wireless Application Protocol. This indicates ability for the mobile phone to use the web applications.
Distance learning: this is learning done through the use of mobile device or other ICT supported devices at the comfort of the students. The teacher and the students in this case does not necessarily have to be in the same classroom.
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