Influence of ICT Skills on Use of Cloud Computing among Undergraduates in Private Universities, South-West, Nigeria

Influence of ICT Skills on Use of Cloud Computing among Undergraduates in Private Universities, South-West, Nigeria

Michael Opeoluwa Fagbohun (Convenant University, Ota, Nigeria) and Airen Edale Adetimirin (University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2016070101
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Abstract

This study investigated the influence of ICT skills on use of cloud computing among undergraduates in selected private universities, South-West, Nigeria. Cloud computing is a novel means of providing access to diversities computer services via the Internet. Descriptive research design was employed and the population comprised 13,969 undergraduates in Babcock, Bowen and Covenant universities. Multi stage sampling technique was used, and data collection instrument was a structured questionnaire. Method of data analysis was simple percentages for research questions and regression analysis for the hypotheses. The study revealed that undergraduates possessed high level of ICT literacy skills and undergraduates used various cloud computing services and application. There was positive significant relationship between awareness and use of cloud computing (r=-.517**, n=533, p<.01.). Cloud computing is a novel technology that augment teaching and learning it also allows students to access instructional content and resources remotely. For student to effectively utilise and explore the benefit of cloud computing, the university management make available high bandwidth and dependable Private Power Plant (PPP) to increase use of cloud computing services.
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Introduction

Human capital is developed through education and for the effectives of human capital development, technologies are needed and integrated. The integration of ICTs in education began with the training of teachers 1970s and 1980s how to use the technology (Cox and Preston 1999). In dynamic changing of information era, it has become virtually impossible to live without ICTs. It has become part of our lives and as well as tools to drive our various activities. Adebayo & Fagbohun (2013) posited that in present age, improved communication technology has made time and space less complex. Over the years, different technologies have emerged in educational sector to improve learning process such as: computer, the internet and presently cloud computing.

Abidi & Abidi (2012) recorded that it was only in 2007 that big companies like Google and International Business Machine etc. began to delve into research on cloud computing and its possible benefits on the IT industry. Cloud computing can interchangeably be called location independent computing. A user can access all that s/he owns anywhere on the planet by just logging onto the World Wide Web (Abidi & Abidi, 2012). Cloud computing is a method for offering computing services to a variety of Web-based software via the Internet. It can also be seen as virtual technology through which data/information is stored in the cyberspace or servers instead of on local network or user’s hard drive and provided as a service on-demand to use through any internet enabled device be it stand-alone system or any kinds of handheld device. According to Nayak and Yassir (2012) cloud computing is Web-based processing, in which distributed assets, programs, and information are supplied to computers and other devices on demand through the Internet.

Cloud-based computing services are rendered in form of service models and deployment model. The three major types of cloud computing service models are range from service known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are more popular and commonly used applications among students and even teachers. Such SaaS applications are Google Docs, Zoho Office, Google’s Gmail, Suite, Microsoft Office web apps (Office Live), Adobe Buzzword, Skype, Hotmail and Yahoo Calendar Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a form of development platforms that offer the infrastructure to build and run SaaS applications and it can be Unix systems, Windows systems, or open source systems. Such PaaS examples are Google’s App Engine, Windows Azure and Force.com. PaaS enables end users to build their own applications online. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provides remote computing power and file storage. This implies instead of managing physical server within the confine of the organisation building and spending yield money in purchasing software and network tools, clients can pay lesser money for these resources and be fully subcontracted as cloud computing services. The bigger players of such services are Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace, Zyinga, Windows Azure and GoGrid (Fagbohun, 2014a).

Figure 1 is a typical cloud computing model. It consists of SaaS, which are virtual applications that students access via their various devices such as tablet, laptops, desktops, phones, tablets. Cloud server stores information remotely rather than physical hardware servers, also the PaaS serves as a platform for developers to develop application while IaaS serves as a remote medium for storage and backup of information.

Figure 1.

Tilburg University (2012)

In 21st Century educational system world-wide has undergone a significant transformation with introduction of collaborative technology (cloud-based) in teaching and learning. Information is created and shared; a shift in pedagogical step from faculty-driven lectures to learners-driven collaboration and changed learners from just consumers to collaborators, increases students' involvement in course content and augments vigorous participation in learning activities.

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