Digital Inclusion

last person joined: 2 days ago 

Help close the digital divide! Join us in supporting digital inclusion initiatives, sharing best practices, and showcasing digital inclusion programs. This Digital Inclusion group is focused on supporting digital inclusion initiatives, sharing best practices, and showcasing digital inclusion programs. It is designed to build community around digital inclusion and connect actors committed to helping close the digital divide.

How can older adults benefit from technology?

  • 1.  How can older adults benefit from technology?

    Posted Sep 18, 2017 15:47
    I work at APA where I look at content related to mental health. I was curious what information I could find about technology and older adults as it relates to psychology. I was surprised to see that there are lots of articles and books about this topic.

    In fact, APA's magazine this month has an article about this topic - Adapting for Age. It's about the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). They help make technology easier for older adults. The center is currently developing software that will help older adults use the internet to boost their social connectivity and improve their memory & other cognitive skills.

    An older article I found, Teaching seniors to use Internet cuts depression risk, describes other benefits. It mentions a study that found that retirees who used the Internet reduced the risk of depression by 30%.

    I thought this quote in the article was interesting -

    It's not clear what the participants were doing - checking e-mail, shopping or searching for information. And that doesn't matter, Cotten said: "It's really about being able to connect and communicate and find information you need."

    For those working with older adults, are you noticing these benefits or other benefits?

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    Emily Weinberg
    Organizer of Digital Inclusion Online Community
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: How can older adults benefit from technology?

    Posted Sep 21, 2017 12:01
    Edited by Drew Pizzolato Sep 21, 2017 12:05
    Thanks for sharing the APA article! All of what you write here rings true to my experience working to support digital literacy programs, many of which serve older adults.

    While working as staff Portland State University's Literacy, Language, and Technology Research team, I had the chance to participate in an incredible interview with a senior who'd participated in a technology class. We were in a rural area, where this person had lived all her life. She was 80 years old and mostly had to stay at home to care for a husband with dementia and other serious health issues. This woman described learning to use technology and getting the internet in her home by saying, "Imagine if you lived in an apartment with no windows. And then someone comes and installs windows. It's that different. I like to look out." How dramatic is that? I love the way she captured the transformative aspect of learning to use technology!

    Another experience that stands out in my mind: I went to San Antonio to visit Digital Inclusion Fellows and was lucky to join @Emma Hernandez when she taught the class, "Online Dating for Seniors." The people who came were new to computers but excited to learn how they might be able to find a companion online. Interestingly, a match was made in real life, when two people working next to each other decided to go on a date! This shows how participating in technology training also forges new person-to-person relationships, bring people togethers and builds community.

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    Drew Pizzolato
    Digital Inclusion Campaign Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    Portland, OR
    calendly.com/ntendrew
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: How can older adults benefit from technology?

    Posted Nov 21, 2017 14:30
    NTEN's latest article is written by community member Necole Durham - Making tech literacy classes more inviting for older adults

    Be sure to read this if you are working with older adults. This has great ideas to help you.
    Tech Accelerate