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AWARENESS AND READINESS TO ADOPT GREEN COMPUTING PRACTICES AMONG EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY STAKEHOLDERS IN NORTH-CENTRAL NIGERIA
The use of computer and its accessories in our daily activities, in spite of its usefulness have caused a lot of hazards to humans and the environment. Green computing aimed at reducing energy consumption and carbon emission, prevent wastage, cut cost and protect the environment. This study investigates educational technology stakeholders‘ awareness and readiness to green computing adoption in North central Nigeria. A cross sectional Survey research design was adapted to the conduct of the study. Nine research questions and six hypotheses were drawn to guide the study. Related literatures were reviewed after the conceptual framework based on the major variables of the study. The population of the study comprises of all the educational technology stakeholders in north central Nigeria. Purposive sampling was used to select two universities in north central Nigeria. Six hundred and six (606) educational technology stakeholders were selected using Krejcie and Morgan‘s tables. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select male and female stakeholders from each stratum. A questionnaire tagged stakeholders‘ awareness, readiness and adoption of green computing (SARAGC) was used for data collection. It was designed under three (3) different sections and harmonized in one single questionnaire. The instrument was pilot tested using 33 students, lecturers and technical staff in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. A reliability coefficient of 0.92, 0.79 and 0.81 were obtained for section B, C and D respectively, was obtained using cronbatch Alpha. Percentage was used to interpret the demographic data of the study. Data collected on the basis of the research questions set in chapter one were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The limit for decision rule: An average mean of 2.50 and above was considered as agreed, while an average mean of 2.49 and below was considered disagreed with respect to research questions. Kruskal-wallis test was used to answer hypotheses one, three and five while Mann-Whitney
Independent test was used to analyse hypotheses two, four and six. The null hypotheses one, two and four were rejected while null hypotheses three and five and six were not rejected. Specifically, the findings of this study revealed that there is a significant difference in Green Computing Awareness among students, lecturers and technologist in North Central Nigeria with no significant difference in their readiness and adoption of Green Computing. The study also found that age has significance influence on educational technology stakeholders‘ awareness and readiness to green computing adoption with no significant influence on their green computing adoption. This study recommends, among others, that green technology policy should be formulated and implemented and encourages stakeholders towards attitudinal change in their daily usage of computer.
1.1 Background to the Study
Information technology has changed our society remarkably over the past years. Although its effects on our everyday lives are obvious, the effect that it has on the environment has been ignored in the past years (Piccirillo, 2011). Computer use in education sector is an important aspect of everyday life; however, their impact is not entirely realized or mainly considered (Murugesan, 2008).As the debate on climate change and its associated effects continues, society is becoming more aware of the negative effects use of computers can have on the environment.
A Computer is now a most important instrument for everyone in educational, commercial, corporate, banks and government sectors. It improves efficiency, reduce the time and energy spend to carry out a specific job. The optimum knowledge and skill of using computer is very vital. (Shittu, Gambari & Alabi, 2016).Computer users should know the benefit of shutting down the computer when not in use or power-down the CPU and all peripherals during an extended period of inactivity. A user should also learn how to make use of the defective and outdated parts of the machine by recycling them instead of disposing them as wastage. Hence, such knowledge must be incorporated into each individual so as to maintain eco-friendliness.
Green computing (GC) according to Murugesan (2008), refers to energy-efficient computing practices and environmentally responsible use of the computer and its associated subsystems. It is both a field of study and a set of eco-friendly computing practices. Murugesan (2008) suggests that the concept is multifaceted and multidimensional, covering a broad scope of
energy-efficient and hazard-free computing activities involving myriad systems, devices, hardware and software. The green computing concept advanced by Murugesan (2008) includes the dimensions of e-waste disposal and management, as well as design and manufacturing of computing systems and resources.
There is much discussion centering upon how to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, prevent wastage, cut costs and protect the environment through green ideas, green initiatives, green buildings and green policies (Bello, 2015).Going green is fundamental and a major concern of the modern world today. The global society as a whole is going through a phase where individuals, groups, organizations, industries and governments are becoming more environmentally conscious at home and the workplace, as well as at university campuses. The internet literature and academic journals are awash with discussions on these issues and with solutions on how to go green, ranging from simple tips such as printing on both sides of the paper using small fonts and printing only when necessary to physical acts of greening the environment by planting more trees to offset carbon emissions to big ideas such as green buildings (Omer, 2008).
Recent statistics reveal that a lack of green computing awareness and education is affecting the world in negative ways. Financially, about $ 212.5 billion about N95625 trillion a year is wasted on powering idle computers (Aggarwal, Garg, & Kumar, 2012). Wasteful computer use releases unnecessary carbon emissions into the air, thereby increasing global warming. These carbon emissions, also called carbon footprint, combine with other greenhouse gases to cause increased global temperatures, smog, and acid rain, droughts in some countries and floods in others. Jenkin, Webster and McShane (2011) attributed half of the world‘s energy
wastage to end users‘ wasteful habits resulting from their lack of awareness about sustainable computing.
Laroche, Tomiuk, Bergeron, and Barbaro-Forleo (2002) explain that, awareness is vital to the formation of environmentally proactive attitudes, while Thapa, Graefe, and Meyer (2005) opined that environmental awareness is a major factor in predicting pro-environmental behaviors. Bamberg and Moser (2006) found that awareness indirectly determines an individual‘s intention to act pro-environmentally through perceived behavioral control. Authors underscore the role of awareness in influencing decision-making that results in pro-environmental behavior (PEB), which in this case means behavior that consciously seeks to minimize the negative impact of one‘s actions on the natural and built world (e.g. minimize resource and energy consumption, use of non-toxic substances, reduce waste production) (Kollmuss& Agyeman, 2002).
Readiness for green computing is an assessment of the ability, capability and capacity of individuals and institutions to take advantage of green computing (Shittu et.al, 2016). The government initiative and policies would provide a basis for evaluation of green computing on one hand, while on the other hand, there is the need also to measure the perception and attitude of students, faculty and technologists. Green Computing readiness is considered to be an organization‘s capability to embed sustainability in the beliefs and attitudes in the development, deployment and disposal of ICT technical assets and in their ICT processes, practices and policies and in the governance systems to ensure compliance with internal and external sustainability expectations (Molla, Cooper & pittayachawan, 2009).
Existing evidence shows that although end-users feel it is desirable to go green, many do not know much about what it really is and what is going on, nor do they understand why there is
a need to go green. Consequently, we now see innumerable efforts in the forms of pro-environmental regulations, programs, and campaigns being rigorously carried out in many parts of the world to improve users‘ knowledge of energy-efficient computing practices; as well as experimentations and innovations within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry to enhance the energy efficiency of computers and reduce their toxicity (Murugesan, 2008). These are done with the aims of reducing the hazardous impact of computers on the environment and increasing users‘ green computing knowledge, hence the likelihood of their engaging in green compliant behaviors.
Across the globe, there is an increasing interest in and demand for the teaching of green computing knowledge following assertions that it is fundamental to sustaining a healthy, green environment (McDougall, 1993). Many educational technologists in developed nations have long started their green education efforts. This is an important first step towards the adoption of green computing practices among university populations in accordance with the proposition that knowledge is the first step in the adoption process (Rogers, 2003). Ideally and logically, an individual cannot begin to adopt an idea, system or device if he or she knows little or nothing about it thus, awareness is the key drive to readiness and virtually adoption.
Gender has been identified as one of the factors influencing the adoption of green computing. Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between male and female, particularly in the case of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them (Wikipedia, 2012). In order to ascertain the level of green computing adoption of educational technology stakeholders, an understanding of the two sexes (male and female) is very essential. Gender has significant influence in green computing adoption among university
students with female students having a more positive attitude toward green environment than their male counterpart (Bello, 2015).
Research in Green Computing is vast and multi-faced, but it is extremely limited in looking at an important group of people at the receiving end who makes a huge difference in reducing global energy consumption and, it has almost overlooked the importance and role of students as agents of Carbon dioxide reduction (Bournay, 2008). Male and female students, lecturers and technologist are vast users of ICTs, and hence, vast contributors of carbon emission. Assessing educational technology stakeholders‘ awareness and readiness toward adopting green computing adoption and getting them to act in green compliant ways is very essential.
It is in this light that students, lecturers and technical staff of educational technology department in north central Nigerian universities who are expected to drive forward green computing practices in education, is brought in to the limelight. However, this depends on the awareness and readiness of the stakeholders. A major gap in most universities in the world in the onset of the 21st century is the gap in the awareness, readiness and adoption of green computing practices.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, the use of computer and its accessories in every aspect of daily activities have caused a lot of hazards to humans and the environment. Tackling environmental issues and adopting environmentally sound practices related to computer have been a challenge to Organizations, governments and societies at large. Factors such as environmental legislation, the rising cost of waste disposal, corporate images, and public perception give further impetus to the
green computing initiative. The purpose of Green Computing is to improve energy efficiency, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, from harmful materials, and encouraging reuse and recycling (Harris, 2008).
Computers and other IT resources are the largest sources of growth in electricity demand in commercial and government buildings. A typical medium-sized personal computer consumes about 150 Watts of electricity per hour. This pushes the electricity usage high, especially in a situation where computers are not switched off after use. Unlike privately-owned PCs, workstations and network servers in the offices are often left idling these have negatively affected the life span of the computers as well as increase its carbon footprint (Bournay, 2008).
The number of computers used in the education sector is increasing due to their frequent replacement. This has brought a lot of challenges especially in terms of massive energy requirements to power and cool them. This issue makes the environmental impact of IT a major concern. Forrest, William, James, Kaplan and Kindler (2008) posit that the total electrical energy consumption by servers, computers, monitors, data communications equipment, and cooling systems for data centers is steadily increasing which poses a great challenge, especially in a country with a power vacuum of about 8,800 megawatts (MW). Adoption of energy saving practices among educational technology stakeholders‘ computers and home appliances will certainly reduce energy demand and its consumption in Nigeria.
Some of the electronic components used in producing computers and other electrical appliances are toxic and harmful to the consumers and their environment. It is necessary therefore Individuals and educational technology stakeholders should be aware of these toxic elements and their impact before purchasing them as individuals and the education sector replace their computers, educational technology equipment, home and industrial appliances with newer
ones thereby discarding and throwing away the spoilt or obsolete ones. The disposing of equipment becomes a threat to the environment. Adoption of green computing can help in the reduction of this containment process that harms the ecosystem (Shittu, Gambari & Alabi 2016).
It is obvious that there are very few studies on green computing in Nigerian and the world at large. Most of these studies were undertaken in companies, data centers, and other private organizations. Therefore, there is a need for a study on the awareness and readiness of educational technology stakeholders on green computing practices in Nigeria. The term green computing is still a mirage even among educational technologist in Nigeria; hence there is need to gain insight on the concept, practices and the benefits of its adoption by lecturers, students and the technical staff of educational technology in north-central Nigeria.
1.3Objectives of the Study
This study seeks to investigate awareness and readiness of adopting green computing practices among educational technology stakeholders in north-central Nigeria. Specifically, the study will:
- Investigate the level of awareness on green computing practices among educational technology stakeholders in North-Central Nigeria.
- Find out whether educational technologists in North-Central Nigeria are ready to adopt green computing practice.
- Investigate the level of educational technology stakeholders‘ green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria
- find out the differences among students, lecturers, and educational technologists are aware of Green Computing Practices in North-Central Nigeria;
- investigate the difference between male and female students, lecturers and educational
technologists‘ awareness on Green Computing practices in north central Nigeria;
- examine the differences in the readiness of students, lecturers and educational technologists‘ towards adopting green computing practices in North-Central Nigeria;
- investigate the difference between male and female students, lecturers and educational technologists‘ readiness on adopting green computing practices in North-Central Nigeria;
- ascertain the extent of Green Computing Adoption of students, lecturers and educational technologist in North-Central Nigeria; and
- examine whether the gender of the educational technology stakeholders has aninfluence on the adoption of Green Computing Practices.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- What is the level of educational technology stakeholders‘ awareness on green computing practices in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the level of educational technology stakeholders‘ readiness to green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the level of educational technology stakeholders‘ green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the level of green computing awareness of students, lecturers and educational technologist in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders‘ green computing awareness in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the level of green computing readiness of students, lecturers and educational technologist towards green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders‘ readiness for green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the extent of green computing adoption of students, lecturers and educational technologist in North-Central Nigeria?
- What is the difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 levels of significance:
- There is no significant difference in awareness of green computing practices among students, lecturers, and technologist in North-Central Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders‘ green computing awareness in North-Central Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference in the extent of readiness of green computing adoption among students, lecturers and technologist in North-Central Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders‘ readiness for green computing adoptions in North-central Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference in the level of green computing adoption among educational students, lecturers, and technologist in North-Central Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference between male and female educational technology stakeholders‘ green computing adoption in North-Central Nigeria.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
For the purpose of this study, it is assumed that:
i) Students, lecturers and educational technologist in North-Central Nigeria are fully aware of green computing and conscious in selecting, purchasing and utilization of media equipment.
ii) Students, lecturers and educational technologist in North-Central Nigeria are ready to adopt green computing practices in their daily use of computer and its sub-systems.
iii) Educational technology stakeholders in North-Central Nigeria are fully Adopting green computing practices.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study may be of immense benefit to the educational technology stakeholders such as students, lecturers, technologists, institutions` policymakers and administrators. This study will provide useful information to guide educational technology stakeholders in understanding how green computing practices can influence the use of computers and develop sustainable Information Technology solutions.
Additionally, as the digital natives (especially educational technology students) use computer with more frequency and intensity in their daily routines, this study may inform the students of the pros and cons of green computing practices, its adoption and the benefits it offers thereby informing the stakeholders through interactive session via online social networks, comments and the incorporation of green computing awareness in to their curricula.
Meanwhile, Lecturers from educational technology department are at the forefront in computer usage, thus the study may no doubt awaken their consciousness on efficient computing
practices. Lecturers` readiness and adoption of environmentally sound computing practices will provide gaps and solutions to daily problems of energy, generation, transmission and distribution in the Nigerian context thereby reducing the energy demand and consumption as well as the adoption of environmentally sound practices among educational technology stakeholders.
The study may also be of immense benefit to the technologist who uses the computers and its subsystems to teach students on their practical use of computers the energy efficient use of the equipment. The technologist will also be guided by the study on their recommendations to the university management of the type of computer equipment to be procured. The heads of departments, deans and directors will also be part of the beneficiaries. The study will serve as a guide for the administrators in approving the recommendations from the technologist. It will help them in approving the type of media equipment to be procured for the departments and for their use as well.
Findings from this study might also benefit researchers by adding to the pool of information that already exists in this new area of study. Researchers can therefore, fall back on information gathered here by replicating this study in another setting. It is also hoped that this study may bring new ideas and practical action among students and lecturers in both the policy realm and in higher education research environment. The recommendations arising from the findings may guide the National Universities Commission (NUC) management in setting priority for strategic planning and incorporating green computing awareness initiatives in its curriculum. Professional associations like EMTAN, AITIE, CPAN, STAN etc may benefit from the findings of the study.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study focused on the investigation of awareness and readiness in the adoption of green computing practices among educational technology stakeholders in North-Central Nigeria. The stakeholders are limited to educational technology students, lecturers and technologist in the universities within North-central Nigeria. The states in North-central Nigeria are Kogi, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory.
In addition, the study would be limited to green computing practices such as reuse, recycling, and efficient power management system. The study also focused on the dependent variable of awareness, readiness and adoption, and independent variable stakeholders as well as the moderating variables gender and designation.