ERIC Number: EJ1070295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
Getting Grandma Online: Are Tablets the Answer for Increasing Digital Inclusion for Older Adults in the U.S.?
Tsai, Hsin-yi Sandy; Shillair, Ruth; Cotten, Shelia R.; Winstead, Vicki; Yost, Elizabeth
Educational Gerontology, v41 n10 p695-709 2015
Using information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve older adults' quality of life. ICT use is associated with decreased feelings of loneliness and depression, along with increased feelings of independence and personal growth. However, limited access and low technological self-efficacy are key reasons why some groups, especially older adults, are excluded from being fully engaged in the digital world. In this study, we focus on older adults' technological self-efficacy, which is related to their actual use of technology and the second level digital divide. Specifically, we examine: (a) how older adults decide to use a new technology, tablet computers; (b) how they conquer the barrier of technological self-efficacy through using tablets; and (c) the impacts of using this new technology in their lives. Twenty-one in-depth interviews were conducted with older adults residing in independent living communities in a medium-sized city in the Deep South region of the United States. Observational and enactive learning played important roles for older adults in using tablets. Seeing others use tablets, getting recommendations from family members, or having tablets given to them were the primary reasons they started to use tablet computers. The ease of use feature of tablets helped solve the problem of lacking technological self-efficacy. Using tablets helped increase a sense of connectedness. Tablet computers may be one way to increase digital inclusion among older adults.
Descriptors: Older Adults, Technological Literacy, Self Efficacy, Barriers, Correlation, Quality of Life, Information Technology, Handheld Devices, Observation, Social Cognition, Social Theories, Social Networks, Semi Structured Interviews, Interests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: 7R01AG030425-06