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AbstractThere is evidence that digital technologies including the Internet have the potential to improve older adults’ social participation and inclusion. This in turn is said to improve their quality of life. Older Internet super-users are in a unique position to inform us about what it takes to be a successful “silver surfer”.
This article reports on a study exploring the digital experiences of older Australian (65+) retirees, who are Internet “super-users”. Super-users are defined as those who effectively use many Internet applications as part of the normal rhythm of daily life. The data gathering methods of this study were (1) photovoice, (2) a diary of Internet use, and (3) a semi-structured telephone interview.
The project identified what makes a good Internet experience for older adults. This was then translated into a set of guidelines to improve Internet use for other older adults, who are yet to fully realize the potential of the Internet to enhance daily life and wellbeing. The results are considered from the perspectives that older adults’ digital participation is best conceptualized by incorporating self-efficacy theory, digital competence and personal learning environments (PLEs) and demonstrates a pathway toward digital participation for older adults through the development of digital self-efficacy.
Arts, Education & Law Group, School of Education and Professional Studies
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