Exploring New Technologies through Playful Peer-to-Peer Engagement in Informal Learning

Tetley, Josie; Holland, Caroline; Waights, Verina; Hughes, Jonathan; Holland, Simon and Warren, Stephanie (2015). Exploring New Technologies through Playful Peer-to-Peer Engagement in Informal Learning. In: Prendergast, David and Garattini, Chiara eds. Aging and the Digital Life Course. Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations. New York/Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 39–62.


(Extract from opening paragraph)
Recent years have seen a proliferation of technologies aimed at improving the independence of older people, for example assistive technologies and monitoring devices, and increased attention is being paid to age friendly and disability-friendly design. In the UK, use of the internet is well established in the general population with 80 per cent of households having internet access in 2012 (ONS 2012). Although older people on the whole use the internet less and for fewer purposes than younger age groups, people in their 50s and 60s are increasingly closing the digital gap (Ofcom 2012; McNair 2012). Despite this, older people remain less likely than the general population to use new technologies such as smart phones and tablets that are not specifically designed as ‘assistive technologies’. … The reasons are many and complex, but include: computer jargon; the cost of acquiring devices, maintaining and updating them; age related changes; a lack access to information and what might be useful; and an absence of opportunities to try things out (Charness and Boot, 2009; Hakkarainen 2012; Hill et al. 2008). Also some older people are reported to be ‘just not interested in owning a tablet’ and not ‘know (or want to learn) how to use one’ (Rainie et al. 2012).

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