An App-based Training Approach to Support Senior Citizens Engaging in the Digital Society

By Georgeta Chirlesan.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 6, 2016 $US5.00

Senior citizens are an often missed target group in Lifelong Learning. Tablet-PCs for seniors represent a topic in the research agenda, but so far no pedagogical models for using this innovative technology and adequate training techniques for seniors have been found. According to Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, the digital or eSociety (defined as an electronic or information society, a society where an extensive use of and dependability on Information and Communication Technology [ICT] is present in achieving common interests and goals of major social stakeholders) will become a reality by 2020. Thus, it is necessary to explore innovative ways of promoting ICT competences and the digital participation of seniors. This will increase the chances for a retired person to live independently and help to valorize the experiences of older citizens. The App-based training approach conceived of and applied to the project “Seniors Learning with Apps” (SenApp) aims to integrate qualifying seniors into the digital society through mobile learning and Tablet-PCs. The paper presents the results of a qualitative research achieved in Germany, France, Spain, and Romania on seniors (ICT-experienced users and beginners) and on adult trainers in the framework of the SenApp project, aiming to identify their tablet-related needs, motivation and usage, and also which pedagogies and learning paths are the most suitable. It also describes the pedagogical approach to designing the Application (App) content for their training.

Keywords: Senior Citizens, Tablet-PC, Mobile Learning

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 6, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 725.289KB)).

Georgeta Chirlesan

Associate Professor, Faculty of Socio-Humanistic Sciences, University of Pitesti, Pitesti, Romania