The convergence of information and communication technologies as typified by the Internet is increasingly having more influence on all aspects of the society as it has become an integral part of the daily lives of many people. It has had a transformative impact on the mode of information sharing and access globally. Information and knowledge disseminated through the slow process of oral communications or with paper materials can now be transferred rapidly from an individual to an infinite number of users through a number of media and formats. The Internet is the fastest growing communication technology and has emerged as a major source of information that connects people, data and other computers, reducing the world to the much talked-about global village. Bane and Milhemi (1995) described the Internet as the premier networks, everyone connected or as unmanaged web of computer plasma. Technically and functionally, Hargittai (1999) defined the Internet as a worldwide network of computers, and a network of people using computers that make vast amounts of information available. Amichai-Hamburger and Hayat (2010) described the Internet as the creation of a continuous stream of computers linked together to form one grid, which enables interaction among hundreds of millions of people browsing the net. Whereas the television revolution reached 50 million viewers in 13 years, the same feat was attained in only four years by the Internet (Molosi, 2001). Yunus and Khayal (2000) posited that if there is only one force that is transforming people’s lives and that holds promise to deliver tumultuos impact in the future, it is Internet. To underscore the increasing reliance on the Internet, Huttner (2007) posited that without the Internet, planes would not fly, financial markets would not operate, supermarkets would not restock, taxes would not get paid and the power grid would not balance the supply and demand for electricity. Aqil and Ahmad (2011) averred that the Internet places information on our finger tips and that it is everywhere, knocking at our door, making our life easy and smooth.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The education sector was among those that first embraced the use of Internet, and it has continued to broaden the breadth and depth of opportunities within institutions of higher learning worldwide. The Internet serves as a useful tool in support of the various educational activities that ranged from research to teaching. Anderson and Reed (1998) noted that the Internet technology and computers has made it possible for students to be active learners and allowed instructors to be facilitators. Jackson, et al. (2011) remarked that the Internet will level the educational playing field due to its availability to everyone, everywhere, and any time, irrespective of gender, race/ethnicity, income or other socio-demographic characteristics. Thus, the Internet is a vital tool that will propel University education to greater heights as the world move further into the knowledge-based economy. Universities worldwide now invest a lot on intenet access because it reduces the time between the production and utilization of knowledge; improves co-operation and exchange of ideas with fellow researchers in other institutions, regions or countries, furthers the sharing of information; and promotes multidisciplinary research. Bon (2007) states that the Internet can substitute for expensive hardcopy libraries, by availing students’ access to scholarly information resources. Today, survival in academics without the Internet is hardly imaginable. The Internet has found useful applications in online data repositories, library catalogues, journals, news services, student and financial administration systems, online supported or solely online conducted teaching, as well as in digital communication with fellow students and lecturers. Other contemporary uses of Internet by students include purchasing, entertainment, and even dating. The investigation of how the Internet fits into the daily life of staff and students at educational institutions is worthwhile when one considers the ubiquitous and all pervasive communications tool features of the Internet. Consequently, studies have been carried out in many places to understand how University students use the Internet, the purposes for which the students use the Internet, the search engines used, their Internet skills as well as problems that hinder efficient Internet use. The Internet is very useful to university students and staff in Nigeria because it enables them to have access to timely, accurate and relevant information that cannot be obtained from library shelves. Chan and Fu (2009) noted that Internet searching helps university students to boost their intellectual development and job preparation. Due to the endless nature of information resources on the Internet, libraries are increasingly investing in provision of Internet services and resources to enable their clients have better access to the information. Lyon (1998) states that Internet connections now constitute a highly visible service in every library and that the librarians and their clients have embraced it in their daily work. Academic libraries now run information literacy courses to educate faculty members and students on skills to access, retrieve and evaluate information resources from the Internet. Qunqing (2004) referred to the Internet as ‘a large encyclopedia’ or ‘a library without walls’ for its abundant information. The research intends to assess the utilization of internet services among students of federal institution in kaduna state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem confronting this research is to provide an assessment of the utilization of internet services among students in federal institution in Kaduna State. In view of the growing significance of internet services for academic research and learning, it is important to appraise the level of awareness and patronage of students of higher institution of the usage of internet services. The study focuses on the students of federal institution in Kaduna State
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 What is the nature of internet services
2 What is the relevance and significance of internet services in higher institution of learning
3 What are the challenges of internet usage among students of higher institution
4 What is the level of usage of internet services among students in federal institution in kaduna state.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1 To determine the nature of internet services
2 To appraise the relevance of internet services in academic higher institution
3 To determine the challenges in internet usage among students of higher institution
4 To provide an assessment of internet utilization among students of federal institution in kaduna state
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study shall provide an analysis of the nature of internet services. The study shall provide a structural analysis of internet usage among students of federal institution In Kaduna State. It shall provide useful information on internet facilities for research and academic purposes.
1.6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
H0 Internet is not significant to students of federal higher institution in kaduna state
H1 Internet is significant to students of federal higher institution in kaduna state
H0 Internet usage among students of federal higher institution in kaduna state is low
H1 Internet usage among students of federal higher institution in kaduna state is high
H0 challenges of internet usage among students of federal higher institution in kaduna is high
H1 challenges of internet usage among students of federal higher institution in kaduna is low
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study provides an assessment of the utilization of internet services among students of federal Institution in Kaduna State.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INTERNET: Bane and Milhemi (1995) described the Internet as the premier networks, everyone connected or as unmanaged web of computer plasma. Technically and functionally, Hargittai (1999) defined the Internet as a worldwide network of computers, and a network of people using computers that make vast amounts of information available. Amichai-Hamburger and Hayat (2010) described the Internet as the creation of a continuous stream of computers linked together to form one grid, which enables interaction among hundreds of millions of people browsing the net.