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ERIC Number: EJ800043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
What Computers Can't Do for You
Selwyn, Neil; Gorard, Stephen
Adults Learning, v19 n6 p26-27 Feb 2008
In last month's "Adult Learning," the authors introduced the notion of "the silver surfer", a third-age learner adept at using the internet and other technologies for a mixture of formal and informal learning episodes. They suggested that neither this image nor its obverse, the truly disconnected older adult, is helpful in understanding the ICT use of older learners. While age is an important factor in the information society, older adults' use and non-use of ICT does not constitute an urgent cause for either celebration or concern. Viewing older adults' use of ICTs from a more socially diverse and nuanced perspective should form the starting point for future work in this area, as adult educators begin to get to grips with the ever-ageing population. There are at least three areas in which those working with older adults need better information: (1) understanding what older adults are actually doing with ICTs; (2) understanding what ICTs can actually offer to older adults; and (3) understanding why older adults use (and do not use) ICTs. Here, the authors argue that adult educators must accept the limitations of computer use for overcoming barriers of access to learning--and build on what older adults actually use ICTs for. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A