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Information and communications technology (ICT) has recorded a remarkable development in recent years. This development is affecting educational development across the globe in various ways. It has also made Nigerian government to formulate policies on IT. Accordingly the study was conducted to assess the effects of ICT on educational development with reference to senior secondary schools in Kaduna state. Nigerian government through its policies intends to integrate and streamline the country to the main stream of global ICT. The process includes the integration of schools and students to enable them meet the required minimum standard in the ICT age. The study inquired about the students‟ knowledge of the ICT, its usage, and how it affects their academic activities and performance. The study used Primary source of data, while qualitative and quantitative instruments were used to present and analyse the data. Modernization theory was used to guide the study. Among the findings of the study was that, both urban and rural students are virtually the same in terms of knowledge and usage of ICT, whereby, more than 80% of them have the knowledge and are using it. The study recommends among others that, „A careful plan should be made by the state ministry of education in collaboration with the schools‟ authorities to systematically devise a means of guidance and control of students‟ attitude towards ICT. This is to make their inclination to it more productive to their academic and attitudinal aspects. This can be done by introducing certain changes and innovations in the schools‟ curriculum that can be attractive and easy to comprehend by the students, that is capable of satisfying their desire for fun and at the same time will enhance their academic capabilities and their mind-set.
1.1. Background to the Study Recent development in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has resulted in tremendous progress in the area of communication and information dissemination, which contributed in making the world more interactive. This made transactions to emerge between people who may never meet. Also, the ICT is inexpensive and accessible easily throughout the global. Certainly, this permits instantaneous personal dialogue and communication between people around the world. Education is central in the survival and growth of human being as individual and as society, each with its own ways and means of educating and socialising its members, as dictated by the societal culture. Every culture has a mechanism that adjusts and accommodates new developments happening within and outside the society which ensures continuity and effective transmission of the societal culture from generation to generation and guaranteed and safeguard the survival and development of the society. Mishandling of changes happening within and outside the society may cause significant effect on the culture of the society. The effects may cause retrogression, confusion, acculturation, or even extinction of the society in totality. In this context, each society develops and designs its educational system based on its tradition, culture, norms and values, to suit its environment and generation, and to carter for its immediate and future developmental needs and aspirations. Consequently, as a result of development in ICT, diverse ideas and cultures interact and interwoven, as such, new knowledge, ideas, cultures and values, are transferred from one place to another. The manner, by which secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna state usually glue themselves to ICT, by means of different kinds of devices, and for a considerable proportion of their time, is never unconnected with the availability and affordability of the devices in the country in recent times. Accordingly, the worry here is about what the students are doing on these devices. Findings of some studies revealed a huge patronage of the ICT devices among youths, while other studies revealed some positive as well as negative effects of such inclination on the youths. For instance, youths are becoming more and more overwhelmed by programmes available on the ICT, which in turn facilitate or erode their learning inclination and improve or retard their educational development. Empirical researches have established that, modern technologies such as computers and the Internet have become enmeshed in young people‟s lives, the Kaiser report, of 2004 as cited in Shu-Sha and Subrahmanyam, (2009) confirmed that: 74% of 8-year olds to 18-year olds in the United States had Internet access in their homes, more recently, the 2008 World Internet Project survey of 13 countries revealed that among youth 12-years to 14-years, 88% in the United States used the Internet; the percentage of Internet users in this age group was 100% in the United Kingdom, 98% in Israel, 95% in Canada, and over 70% in Singapore. Among adolescents, the communication applications of the Internet such as instant messaging, blogs, and social networking sites (e.g., MySpace, Face book) are especially popular. As the Internet has become pervasive in the lives of young people, their online activities and interactions have become the focus of intense research. It is becoming evident that the Internet presents risks as well as opportunities to adolescent development (Shu-Sha and Subrahmanyam, 2009). Also, the Shu-Sha and Subrahmanyam‟s (2009) study attributed some negative attitudes such as „Internet addiction‟ as well as online risks such as „exposure to sexually explicit materials‟ and „online victimisation‟ including „harassment‟ or „cyber bullying‟ and „sexual solicitation‟ to the youths‟ inclination toward ICT. These reasons along with the government intention of further developing education in the country by means of ICT, prompted the research to assess the impact of ICT on selected senior secondary schools in Kaduna state. In this regard, schools were selected based on location; urban/rural, and gender; male/female. This is with a view to find out whether there are similarities or differences in their knowledge and usage of the ICT and its impact on their educational development. 1.2. Statement of the Research Problem For the fact that no country can live in isolation, and as the ICT has become part of our daily life, youths are becoming more and more susceptible to its effects. Accordingly, it is imperative for each society to study the effect of ICT on the societal life in order to develop those elements that are beneficial to its survival and avert what is detrimental to its growth and development. ICT is enormously enhancing people‟s accessibility to knowledge and information across the globe, minimizing time waste, narrowing distance between people, and contributing significantly to the growth and development of societies. It is a known fact that, today‟s college students have grown up with intrinsic technological innovations that are integrated into modes of communication, education, and socialization, (La Rose, Eastin, and Gregg (2001) in Everhart, (2011). In the same vein, prevalence of negative attitudes among youths, such as pornography, money laundering, cultism, international terrorism and child abuse, may also be attributed to the unchecked accessibility of the ICT by the youths, (Omekwu 2005, cited in Aduwa, 2006). Senior secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna state nowadays commit considerable proportion of their time on ICT which ideally supposed to positively impact on their educational development. However, for the fact that most schools lack an effective method of guidance on issues pertaining to ICT, the students are therefore left with the choice of their preferences on ICT. This made most of them to be carried away by the funny side of it, using most of their time on social media, chatting with friends and many things alike. Consequently, the study was conducted to assess the effect of the ICT on educational development in state through the identification of the level of awareness and utilasation of the ICT and its effect on the students‟ academic activities and performance. 1.3. Research Questions i. Has ICT impacted positively on educational development of senior secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna state? ii. Are there significant variations in terms of knowledge and usage of ICT between senior secondary schools‟ students in urban areas and their counterparts in the rural areas of Kaduna state? iii. Is there any significant relationship between academic performance of senior secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna state and their usage of ICT? 1.4. Research Hypotheses i. ICT has positively impacted on educational development of senior secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna State. ii. There are significant variations in terms of knowledge and usage of ICT between senior secondary schools‟ students in urban areas and their counterparts in the rural areas of Kaduna state. iii. There is significant relationship between ICT and the performance of senior secondary schools‟ students in Kaduna State.