The use of the internet by grade 11 learners from selected schools in the Sekhukhune district, Makhuduthamaga local municipality in Limpopo Province.
ICTs are rapidly changing the ways of exchanging and receiving information and provide positive ways of learning and teaching. The sensational growth of internet usage is moving fast and has changed the lives of millions of people around the world. For learners, the usage of the internet is a crucial tool for educational progression. The study is based on internet usage at seven high schools in Limpopo, undertaken to obtain learners’ views regarding their use of the internet, their reasons for using the internet and the impact of internet use on educational activities. The study wanted to find out what learners used the internet for; what internet services were found to be most useful and relevant to learners and how often learners used the internet. The study further investigated whether learners had the necessary skills to utilize the internet and also identified challenges that learners experienced when using the internet. Conclusions were then drawn and a set of recommendations were provided based on the findings of the study. The sample was drawn from schools in Makhuduthamaga where 264 learners were surveyed and results were analysed using SPSS. In the assessment process, frequency and percentage graphs were drawn to summarize the results. It can be noted that the use of the internet amongst these grade 11 learners was popular and they pointed out that the internet is a source of all information for them, that is convenient and reachable. The majority of the learners, 205 (78%) used the internet for learning purposes and it was discovered from the results that the internet services used by learners were mainly social networks, 151 (57.2%), followed by Google 216 (82%) and 25 (9.4%) respondents used email. The majority of the respondents 150 (56.8%) had problems with the cost of the internet. The most common problems of all were the slow speed of the internet and network problems. Recommendations included the need for the South African government to better fund the public secondary schools in order to provide quality education. Provision of more funds by the Department of Education will assist in providing resources needed such as internet connectivity and better facilities (such as school library) in the schools. Internet access will enable learners to access online information sources for educational purposes since most learners use their smart-phones to access the internet in the absence of school library, public library and information centre in their community.
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