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Learning to use and sustaining use of ICTs by older people'  Prof Leela Damodaran - Loughborough University
 

Learning to use and sustaining use of ICTs by older people' Prof Leela Damodaran - Loughborough University

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Prof Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University/SUS-IT, presents at the Fourth Social Digital Symposium 24 January 2013

Prof Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University/SUS-IT, presents at the Fourth Social Digital Symposium 24 January 2013

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  • Participants rely on the computer to do everyday tasks, communicate with friends and family and to access information or to pursue their hobbies. The majority of participants articulated negative feelings when asked about how they would feel if they had to abandon use of the computer. In describing how they would feel if they had to give up the computer, the majority of participants articulated words associated with negative feelings, such as ‘sad’, ‘disappointed’, and ‘bereft’. Only small numbers of participants stated that they would feel ‘indifferent’. In describing how they would feel if they had to give up the computer, the majority of participants articulated words associated with negative feelings, such as ‘sad’, ‘disappointed’, and ‘bereft’. Statistics show that musculo-skeletal problems are the most likely disability to cause people to stop using their computers – but losing their eyesight is the problem that most users believe will oblige them to give up followed by Physical incapacity due to Arthritis, Stroke, Parkinson disease or a decline in health generally, and thirdly cognitive changes. For instance,  a third of survey respondents stated degenerating eyesight as the reason which they believe will lead to them to abandon use of the computer (31%).Interestingly, large proportions of participants were not aware of the accessibility features that can make to computer/laptop easier to use. I.e42% of participants were not aware of accessibility features on the computer that can make the screen easier to read, 48% of participants weren't aware of how to change the speed of the mouse, and 71% of participants did not know about features to help make the keyboard easier to use.
  • (Not exhaustive) Public spaces Individual learning –frequently libraries – BBC webwise, Go on Accredited formal courses– ms officeJust in time 1-1 drop in sessions- print a document, send an email, download photosAt home individual : manuals, helplines, 1-1 assistance Digital champions eg Digital Unite, friends, neighbours, familyAt home group: online forums/ communities, self-help groups gathering in someone’s housePublic spaces – group learning, places that value a social and collaborative approach - Drop in centres, community centres that provide courses, MIT style clubhouses

Learning to use and sustaining use of ICTs by older people'  Prof Leela Damodaran - Loughborough University Learning to use and sustaining use of ICTs by older people' Prof Leela Damodaran - Loughborough University Presentation Transcript

  • Fourth Social Digital Symposium 24 January 2013 Age UK, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA Learning to use and sustaining use of ICTs by older peopleProfessor Leela Damodaran and Dr Jatinder Sandhu Loughborough University
  • The Sus-IT project• Funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme• Sponsored by all five UK research councils: ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, AHRC• c£1.5 million funding received for 3.25 years of research• Involved a multidisciplinary team of academics from 8 UK universities, with participation of older people and research users
  • Background to the Sus-IT project• Computers and the internet offer significant potential to sustain and improve the quality of life and independence of older people• Many older people are already regular and enthusiastic users of ICTs. Over 65s are the fastest growing sector of internet users (Office of National Statistics, 2004) BUT…
  • “there is a real risk that in the medium to long term, significantly more citizens will migrate from being digitally engaged to beingunengaged than the other way round, as their capabilities change” (UK Digital Inclusion Panel Report 2004 p. 79)
  • Changes that can affect ICT use Physical changes, e.g. eyesight, handdexterity, mobility Psychological and cognitivechanges, e.g. confidence, memory Social changes, e.g. family membersmoving away Technology changes, e.g. new versionsof familiar things
  • Sus-IT Project: Research Questions• What are the problems and support needs of older ICT users?• What potential solutions are available or could be developed?• How can a wide range of stakeholders, including older people, work together on this? 6
  • MethodologyA mixed-methods approach to data collection:• Digital Engagement Survey• Pictorial questionnaire• Story telling• Case studies• Interactive theatre• Computer Clubhouses and drop-in centres• Co-design/sandpits• Participatory problem-solving (PPS) workshops 2 staged process (i) knowledge sharing (ii) problem-solving28 January 2013 7
  • The ICT Learning Journey• Challenging• Frustrating• Baffling• Tiring• Non-intuitive• Costly “When I first started, a message used to come up, saying you have just done an illegal entry and the computer needs to close down. I shut the windows because I thought the police were coming”.28 January 2013 8
  • (i) Entry Barriers There is no My grandchildren try to Lack of awareness/one to help me help – but they are too fast information if it all goes wrong I learn it in I don‟t class and I feel understand I get it. I gothe technical home and Ilanguage the have forgotten trainers use it all Learning bytrial and error Insufficientfrustrates me „adequate‟ learning Cost of training I might break it! provisions and technology I am scared of the mouse28 January 2013 9 9
  • Barriers to Sustaining Use of Technology “The software that came with “It‟s all gone wrong. I don‟t the computer does not work know how to put it right” properly” “I don‟t understand“Seeing the screen the technical is a problem and jargon” the keyboard is difficult to use” “I did it a while ago. Now I don‟t know “I don‟t know how to do it. My mind how to deal has gone blank – I‟ve with viruses” forgotten!” “I don‟t know how to deal “Support is not available when I with pop-ups and spam” need help”
  • Success factors in sustaining ICT use• The availability of support is • Support to increase competence crucial: and confidence in problem – Children and peers solving – ‘Coupledom’ – availability and provision of help in classes/drop in • Improvements in the design of centres. ICT-based products and services to make them easier to use,• Support to cope with technology more accessible and avoiding changes, updates and upgrades unnecessary complexity. 11
  • Findings: How would you feel if you had to give up the computer? Based on words used by 248 participants who described how they would feel if they abandoned use of the computer.
  • Current ICT learning and support provision Individual learning“Just give me amanual, I’llwork it out” At home Public spaces http://www.idf50.co.uk/ Group learning
  • Mapping ICT learning/support provision in seven citiesKey findings from the Sus-IT research project:1) the primary face-to-face support is available at libraries, community centres and local agencies2) the main focus is on supporting beginners/new entrants;3) provision varies greatly from region to region - with pockets of excellent/good practice4) there is little provision for older people to pursue their interests or trouble shoot5) evaluation of the training is rarely collected or shared
  • What older people think of current ICT learning and support provision1. It is hard to find information about what learning and support is available2. Individual’s needs for ICT learning and support are very diverse, but there is a widespread need for help and advice on hardware and software issues3. Individuals also differ widely in their learning styles and preferences (e.g. ranging from self help, structured instruction, to learning from peers and supportive others)4. They rely heavily (but sometimes reluctantly) on family members and friends for ICT support.5. There is strong preference for provision in a relaxed, informal social setting without pressure to learn/seek formal or vocational qualifications 15
  • Where are we now?• Research confirms the magnitude of the challenge of (i) the learning journey and (ii) sustaining ICT use as we age.• Good practice in delivery of learning opportunities exists but is not adequately disseminated• We have a growing body of knowledge about the complex and varied relationship older people have with technology• Support to enable older people to sustain use of technology is vital.28 January 2013 16
  • Thank you for listening! Any questions?
  • Acknowledgements Sus-IT (“Sustaining IT use by older people to promote autonomy and independence”). A New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) project, funded by the five UK Research Councils - AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC and MRC (Grant No. RES-353-25-0008).KT-EQUAL (“Knowledge Transfer for Extending Quality Life”) funded by the EPSRC (Grant No. EP/G030898/2). 18