Date of this Version
This study looks at social media network participation and academic performance in senior high schools. The study was aimed at identifying social media network sites and their usage among students, how students networked and participated on social media networks, time invested by students on social networks, the effects of social media on students’ grammar and spelling as well as the effects of social network participation on the student’s academic performance within the context of the social learning and the use and gratification theories.
To achieve the objectives of the research, the study used a mixed method approach which involved the survey of students in four senior high schools and interviews of heads of the senior high schools. The study revealed that majority of respondents used Whatsapp and Facebook for making friends and chatting. In addition, majority of respondents experienced negative effects such as poor grammar and spelling, late submission of assignment, less study time and poor academic performance due to the heavy participation on social media networks. Furthermore, there was a high addiction rate among students in the usage of social media networks. Nevertheless, there were cases where others experienced improvement in their readings skills as a result of participation on social media networks. Also, respondents shared ideas, discussed and shared examination questions among themselves on social media networks.
The study recommended the strict enforcement of Ghana Education Service rule on electronic devices usage in schools, promotion of social media usage for academic purpose, counselling for addicted students and the use of the right grammar and spelling when participating on social networks.