Elder people and ICT. A commitment to bridging the digital divide

  • Margarita Rosa Pino Juste Universidad de Vigo
  • Jorge Genaro Soto Carballo Universidad de Vigo
  • Beatriz Rodríguez López UNED
Keywords: ICT, Elderly, Digital divide, Learning Methodology, Accessibility, Internet, Social motivation

Abstract

With increasing life expectancy and growth of knowledge and information, ICT enable elderly people to increase and improve their individual and social development and optimize their quality of life from a technical, economic, political and cultural viewpoint.

The present study aims to analyze the use that elderly people make of ICT. The method used for the study is descriptive using the questionnaire
technique to verify the knowledge that elderly people have on ICT, interest, tools and difficulties of access.

Results show that elderly people consider poor their ICT skills, using them primarily to communicate with friends and family. Most of them can use the e-mail, can open, print and attach a file and use Internet search engines to find information, the lowest values are associated with spreadsheets, databases and statistical packages. They consider ICT as being useful to help building communication, developing integration, generating information among people and improving intergenerational relationship, gathering information not readily accessible by other means and learning new skills.
They have no fear when using them, consider attainable their learning and see many possibilities in its use and therefore worth spending time and effort but feel that society is too dependent on computers. In conclusion, we consider essential to improve access for elderly people to ICT as an important tool for improving their quality of life and there are no major difficulties for effective management.

Author Biographies

Margarita Rosa Pino Juste, Universidad de Vigo

Profesora Titular de la Univesidad de Vigo

Departametno de Didáctica, organización escolar y Métodos de Investigación

Jorge Genaro Soto Carballo, Universidad de Vigo

Profesor contratado Doctor

Facultad de Ciencias de la educación y del deporte

Área de teoría e Historia de la educación

Beatriz Rodríguez López, UNED
Profesora contratada doctora
Facultad de Filología
UNED

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Published
2015-05-07