2013. március 8., péntek

Strategies for teaching older people

Strategies for teaching older people to use the World Wide Web  Information is increasingly displayed digitally, yet less than half of the population of the hungary use the Internet. Older people are especially unlikely to be Internet users and the consequent risks of digital exclusion must be addressed. A training course in computers and web use for older adults took place at the Moricz Zsigmond Country Library, with 13 years 1500 participants. The course approach was to simplify application interfaces and to ensure that basic skills were learnt before more complicated tasks were presented. As part of this process, there was a focus on learning to use the computer before learners were introduced to the web with its wide variety of content. The course outcomes were positive and the teachers report them here in order to reflect upon the experience and help others who set out to provide training for older people in web use. Based on a sociocultural perspective, this article investigated the learning experiences of a selected group of older adults learning computing technologies at a social center in Library. Data generated from in-depth interviews were used to develop a model of evolving motivation that explains how this group of “anxious novices” had gradually developed into “motivated experts” capable of showcasing their computing achievement to the public. The model highlights the significance of social supports derived from various social contexts in helping older adults make sense of their learning and develop lasting interest in computing technologies.This article explores older method teacher’ perceptions of the barriers to, benefits and negative consequences of computer-based information and informatic technologies  through the analysis of focus group discussions involving 1500 respondents. Older people engage with computers in a context constituted by discourses positioning them as declining in the ability to learn skills such as computing, but creating a burden on society if they do not. In this paradoxical context, participants identified emotional and material barriers, as well as benefits and negative consequences to computer use that are shaped by age and gender. Significant gaps between the Hungary Government’s identification of the benefits of computing for older people and the benefits identified by older people themselves are highlighted. The article argues for the need for a more balanced approach acknowledging potential negative consequences, promoting the ‘people-centred’ benefits of computer use over and above the national economic benefits emphasized in the government’s drive to encourage older people’s uptake of computer-based ICTs.The rapidly exploding aged 60 and over population is expected to comprise 22% of the general population by 2020 and is the same age group which has the greatest digital divide. The senior citizen population in Nyíregyháza is notably higher than the national average. The high tech world that surrounds the older adult population relies on smartphones to servers and being connected to the Internet. The elderly have nothing to relate technology to in their past learning experiences, thus find it difficult to incorporate computing skills into long-term memory. Many senior citizens know they have to learn how to operate a computer because the world will leave them behind. The Internet proves essential to the elderly in not only connecting with family, friends, and lost acquaintances, thus avoiding social isolation, but provides valuable health related information and healthcare options. Moreover, research has shown frequent Internet use by older adults stimulates cognition. Other studies have shown technology enriches daily functions and improves the overall life quality of older adults. Older adults are often not comfortable with the swiftly advancing technology. Many older adults feel computers are intimidating and fear breaking the machine, thus reluctant to learn how to use them. Furthermore, many residents in skilled nursing facilities have hearing, visual, and motor skill impairments making computer utilization an immense challenge. Thus, this aged population that has so much to gain from using a computer for email, web surfing, online shopping, and connecting to the world around them are often unwilling or unable to operate a computer. Older adults receive individualized tutoring in a non-threatening learning environment. Student-teachers assist to overcome the computer fears of the elderly while the elderly learn a new set of communication skills, while being mentally challenged. Other computing courses, including Computer Systems and Hardware, as well as Networking Technologies, contain service-learning term projects in the curriculum.  to be more accessible to older adults.Improving the quality of life of elderly people is an emerging issue within our information society for both research and development. I have addresses some issues on the development of applications for mobile devices, which have been designed to enhance the quality of life of the growing number of elderly people, and how they can be made more acceptable to the target population. We summarize some relevant issues in order to devise a research methodology to cover more than just the technological and physical aspects of user interfacing but also psychological and sociological aspects. One aspect of achieving this aim is to confront designers and developers with those problems that the elderly face daily and which are not easily understood – especially by younger designers and developers. Finally, we present some issues on how to simulate certain physical constraints of elderly by using the joint problems, which is a simulation suit. However, not only physical but also cognitive impairment cause problems amongst elderly and result in fear, anxiety and consequently in rejection. The main goal of this paper is to raise awareness amongst developers on which problems are to be taken into considerations during design and development of mobile applications for the elderly.

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