Original Research

The perceived usefulness of the Internet to high school learners in Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality, Limpopo province, South Africa

Mpubane E. Matlala, Siyanda E. Kheswa
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1098 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1098 | © 2019 Mpubane E. Matlala, Siyanda E. Kheswa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 April 2019 | Published: 02 December 2019

About the author(s)

Mpubane E. Matlala, Department of Information Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Siyanda E. Kheswa, Department of Information Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The growth in Internet use has dramatically altered the lives of millions of people around the globe, and it plays a fundamental role in meeting the information and communication needs of learners. The usage of the Internet is a crucial tool for educational progression. Learners use the Internet for various purposes such as social, entertainment and educational activities.

Objectives: To investigate the perceived usefulness of the extent of Internet use by Grade 11 learners from selected high schools within Makhuduthamaga Municipality in Limpopo province.

Method: A quantitative research method was used, with 264 learners participating in the study. Data were collected through questionnaire surveys. A total of 264 questionnaires were send to the participants and all of them were returned, yielding a 100% response rate, and the data were analysed descriptively.

Results: The findings indicated that the Internet was used for various activities – 78.0% (205) using it for learning purposes, 46.5% for communicating with family and friends, 41.0% to update their knowledge, 18.0% for entertainment and 11.0% for news. The findings shed light on the most effective use of the Internet by high school learners, and this implies that schools and policy-makers need to formulate proper ways in which learners can utilise the Internet for their educational activities.

Conclusion: The use of the Internet for teaching and learning purposes demonstrated that it has a strong impact on the quality and accessibility of education and academic performance. This study is significant for high schools and policy-makers in understanding the link between the use of the Internet and its usefulness in learners’ education, owing to the fundamental nature of the Internet in the educational environment.


Keywords

Internet use; ICTs; high school learners; learning outcomes; Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality.

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