Improving the digital literacy and social participation of older adults: an inclusive platform that fosters intergenerational learning

Yusuf Farag, Gopichand Narra, Dharini Balasubramaniam*, Kenneth Mark Boyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

In an increasingly digitalised world, many older adults face the choice of improving their digital skills or risking social isolation and exclusion from essential services. With older adults expected to represent 16% of the global population by 2050, there is a renewed urgency to improve their digital literacy. Although many in-person and online technology training initiatives exist, they are often not accessible or poorly optimised for older adults. Younger adults, who typically form older adults’ support network, may be key to any solution. However, their help typically serves as a temporary fix until a new issue arises, leading to a cycle of dependency. This pilot study offers insights into the technology experiences of older adults, the ways in which younger individuals assist them, and how both groups stay connected. We conducted small-scale but in-depth user studies with older adults, and an online survey of younger adults, to understand how the technology support process could be improved to promote older adult autonomy and active ageing. Based on our findings, we propose an age-friendly platform that leverages intergenerational exchanges for a personalised learning experience that brings together younger and older adults. The final prototype was well received by participants in the user study. However, further exploration of other aspects of their lives and cultural differences in intergenerational learning, and larger studies of younger and older individuals are needed to co-create a solution that helps bridge the global digital divide while enabling older adults to have more fulfilling lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE 2024)
EditorsMaurice Mulvenna, María Lozano Perez, Martina Ziefle
PublisherSciTePress
Pages47-58
ISBN (Electronic)9789897587009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2024
Event10th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Angers, France
Duration: 28 Apr 202430 Apr 2024
https://ict4awe.scitevents.org

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE)
PublisherSciTePress
ISSN (Print)2184-5239
ISSN (Electronic)2184-4984

Conference

Conference10th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health
Abbreviated titleICT4AWE
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityAngers
Period28/04/2430/04/24
Internet address

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Aging population
  • Autonomy and active ageing
  • Dignity and equal opportunities of senior citizens
  • Digital literacy
  • Intergenerational learning
  • Self-fulfilment and social participation
  • Social inclusion
  • Older adults
  • User interface design

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