Skip to main content

Pew Research Internet Project: Older Adults and Technology

Hi all,

Pew Research Internet Project has put out a study on how older adults use technology. You can see the full report at this link http://bit.ly/1ma9pP9.

The report starts off

"America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. In this report, we take advantage of a particularly large survey to conduct a unique exploration not only of technology use between Americans ages 65 or older and the rest of the population, but within the senior population as well.

Two different groups of older Americans emerge. The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically."

Once again we see the digital divide in action.  I respect the fact that for some, technology is not very attractive, but it is frustrating when people are "disconnected from the world of digital tools and services" because of their age, level of affluence, or their level of health.  The study also saw level of education having an effect.  Interestingly adoption of cell phone use was where adults 65 and over came closest to their younger counterparts (77% to 91% respectively).

How does the age of your students impact your use of technology in the classrooms?  What have been your experiences using technology with students over 65?  What types of activities have worked best or been most popular and effective?  Are they different from what you would use with younger students?

And all of this reminds me to remind you about Everyone On http://www.everyoneon.org/AdultEd a project developed to get internet and hardware access to you, your students, your programs for low cost.  I just received my Everyone On MiFi today. The offer that was available in my zip code included $10 per month fee for unlimited data.  The MiFi cost $59 including shipping and I should be able to connect at least 8 devices to it.  I ordered it on Saturday and it arrived on Tuesday.  So far so good.  I'll write more about how it works after I've tried it out for a little while. Have you tried any of the offers available for Everyone On?

best,

Nell