Have you ever been frustrated trying to teach a parent or grandparent to use a computer or even their phone? Do you find it hard to understand their reluctance to join the digital society? In our ageing societies the proportion of older people is increasing. Many of them missed out on the digital revolution and are becoming increasingly isolated from former friends, community and even family. However with the ability to connect through digital devices, older people can remain connected, independent and engaged with the activities that make life worthwhile. Older people can learn to use digital devices but they must be (1) motivated to do so because they can see some way it would improve their well-being; (2) have a device that suits them and they can afford; and (3) get someone to teach and support them in an appropriate way. In this course you will develop the skills to (1) motivate a particular older person to become interested in the digital world, (2); help them acquire the digital technology that suits them; and (3) learn to use that technology to maintain a good quality of life.
This lecture will introduce students to the importance of overcoming the digital exclusion of a great many older people. It will present important background concepts needed for this course so that students will be able to help older people they know to master IT or at least enough to make a difference to the lives of these older people.
At the end of this lecture, you will be able to
On completing this lecture, students will appreciate the contribution that having control of one's life and being independent makes to the well-being of older people. They will also be able to identify computer applications that help to give older people independence.
On completing this lecture, students will appreciate the contribution that being able to engage in meaningful and rewarding activities makes to the well-being of older people. They will also be able to identify computer applications that enable older people to engage in a range of activities that bring m meaning and satisfaction to their lives.
On completing this lecture, students will appreciate the contribution that being able to connect with others and engage communities of their choosing makes to the well-being of older people. They will also be able to identify computer applications that enable older people to connect with others and engage with communities of choice.
After completing this lecture, students will
After completing this lecture, students will have an understanding of some of the physical challenges that an older computer user may face.
After completing this lecture, students will have an understanding of some of the cognitive or mental
challenges that an older computer user may face.
After completing this lecture, students will have an understanding of some of the challenges that an older computer user may face because of attitudes and awareness issues.
After completing this lecture you will know the structure and approach used in the Living Connected program that you will study in more detail in future lectures
After you have completed this lecture, you will know how to
After completing this lecture you will appreciate the challenges of choosing appropriate technology for an older person
After you have completed this lecture, you will
After you have completed this lecture, you will appreciate the need for a support person who provides ongoing help to an older technology user. You will be able to play that role yourself or choose an appropriate support person for a particular older person.
On completion of this lecture students should feel confidence that they could assist an older person in choosing and acquiring a digital device that would suit their needs and circumstances.
At the end of this lecture students should be able to explain to an older person the opportunities that connecting to the Internet provides for the things they want to do. Students should understand and be able to investigate the options available to someone wanting to connect to the Internet in their particular circumstance and give advice on the most appropriate options to choose.
At the end of this lecture students should understand all components of the digital technology set up that an older person might need together with software and apps that they need on their digital device.
At the end of this lecture students should realize the importance of comfort and ergonomics to the well-being of an older person when using a computer. They should also be able to give advice to someone on these issues.
At the end of this lecture students should be confident that they could help an older person grasp basic computer computer concepts so that they are able to do relevant basic tasks on their own device.
At the end of this lecture students should appreciate the most common activities that and older person would like to do on a computer and be confident that they could teach them to carry out their top priority activity on their own digital setp.
At the end of this lecture students should have the knowledge to advise an older person on issues to do with safety, identity and privacy in online environments. They should be able to convey a need to be careful online and avoid doing something that may lead to adverse consequences. However they should also be conscious of the need to give older users confidence in using the Internet and above all to make it enjoyable.
At the end of this lecture putting everything together the student should appreciate why and how to help an older person master IT and become digitally included in modern society.
I am a Professor of Information Systems (IS) in the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, I consult, research and publish extensively in IS and related areas of Knowledge Management and Human Computer Interaction while managing a Usability Laboratory at the university. Using frameworks based on Complex and Activity Theories, my research falls into two themes: the Grey and the Green. My Grey projects investigate the use of IT by the elderly for their social wellbeing. My ‘Green’ theme takes a holistic approach to IS support for sustainable development. I lead national and international special interest groups on Green IS. I have received the University Award for Research Student Supervisor of the Year (2012) and for Interdisciplinary Research Excellence (2015).
My latest venture is the creation of a startup social business, Living Connected, within the iAccelerate business incubator on the Innovation Campus of the University of Wollongong. Based on four years of research, Living Connected provides a service to assist older people to use computers to remain connected and engaged.