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Teaching Older Adults Computer-Based Technology

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If you're one of 38 million people who've been getting Social Security ... Play games and entertain themselves; Obtain relevant information from the Internet ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teaching Older Adults Computer-Based Technology


1
Teaching Older Adults Computer-Based Technology
2007 Conference
  • James Brown, M.S.

2
If youre one of 38 million people whove been
getting Social Security for a while your idea
of a personal computer might look like this
3
Growing Population of Older Adults
  • 71 million Baby Boomers (born 1943-1960) are
    approaching retirement age (Grabinski, 1998)
  • By 205027 million people will be 85 years old
    1 million of these will be 100 years old (AARP,
    2002)

4
Technology
  • Broadly defined as the application of scientific
    knowledge (including tools, techniques, products,
    processes, and methods) to practical tasks
    (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2004, as
    cited by Czaja et al., 2005)
  • Ubiquitous in most societal contexts with the
    United States and most other industrialized
    countries (Czaja et al., 2005)

5
The Digital Divide
  • Coined by Dr. Simon Moors during a BBC television
    broadcast to describe the socioeconomic gap
    between developing and developed countries
    (Wikipedia, 2006)
  • In the U.S. it represents the gap between those
    who use computers and those who dont (Morrell,
    Mayhorn, Bennett, 2002)

6
The Digital Gap Oldest Are the Most Affected
  • Pew Internet Life Project (2005) found that
  • Only 25 of Americans age 65 use the Internet,
    compared to 36 ages 50-64 and 56 ages 40-49
  • Seniors use e-mail less and perform fewer
    Internet searches
  • They have lower self-confidence compared to
    younger adults (AARP, 2002)

7
Why Learn New Technology?
  • Not being able to use technology such as
    computers puts older adults at a disadvantage in
    terms of their ability to live and function
    independently and successfully perform everyday
    tasks.(Czaja, Charness, Hertzog, Nair, Rogers,
    Sharit, 2006)
  • Personhood and its potential are continuously
    unfolding and technology can become a major
    source of its realization. (Chaffin Harlow,
    2005)

8
Benefits of Learning New Technology (Computer)
  • Increases autonomy, self-efficacy, and control
    over the environment (McConatha,2002)
  • Addresses social isolation that comes with
    retirement, loss of spouse, relatives and
    children living far away, loss of friends, and
    being homebound (a few examples) (McConatha,
    2002 Chaffin Harlow, 2005)

9
The Older Adult Cohorts
  • These elders are experiencing health-related
    problems, are immersed in the aging process, and
    are fiercely self-reliant
  • They have survived world wars and economic
    deprivation
  • They prize doing things on their own and
    maintaining autonomy(Chaffin Harlow, 2005)

10
Benefits to society when older adults acquire
computer technologies
  • Social engagement
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Provides information and resources for a lifetime
    of learning
  • Economically efficient because it helps them
    maintain independence and can reduce need for
    institutionalization

Czaja et al., 2006
11
Barriers to Learning Computer Technology for
Elderly
  • Technology gap their careers ended before the
    advent of computers (Morris, 1988)
  • Attitudes and Ageismthey fear the technology, do
    not understand computers, and dont want to
    advertise their lack of knowledge (Bowe, 1998)
  • Older adults needs and wants not recognized or
    utilized in the design of software, hardware, or
    training programs

12
Barriers to acquiringcomputer skills for older
adults
  • Ageism and prejudice
  • Modal patterns of rejection by society
  • Deficits-based framework for education
  • Biopsychosocial effects of aging

Moody, 1976 Morris, 1998 Pew Internet, 2005
13
Ageism
  • Ageism is a systematic stereotyping and
    pervasive negative view of older persons.
    (Chaffin Harlowe, 2005, p. 303)
  • Predominant Western view of aging
  • Ageism ignores any positive potential that comes
    with experience and further learning. (Chaffin
    Harlowe, 2005, p. 305)

14
Disengagement Theory
  • A gradual and mutually agreed upon separation
    between aging persons and society.(Dean, Newell,
    McCaffrey, 1960)
  • Results inThe gradual and inevitable withering
    of a leaf or a fruit long before frost totally
    kills it.Rose (1964)

15
Continuity Theory
  • Older adults try to adapt earlier successful life
    strategies to new and limiting environmental and
    physical changes
  • Older adults keep self-esteem and self-identity
    by crystallizing beliefs
  • Older adults come to accept who they are and
    insulate themselves from further change(Atchley,
    1989)

16
Redefining Old Age
  • World Health Organization (WHO, 2002) has defined
    old age health as
  • mental, physical, and social well-being, not
    merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
  • In other words, aging well is more than just
    the absence of death!

17
Growing OldThe New View
  • Aging is now seen in Western cultures as an
    essential and natural part of the cycle of lifea
    period in which people continue to learn and pass
    on knowledge to others (Tomporowski, 2003)
  • Aging means a continual process of problem
    solving and discovery of knowledge derived from
    living (Chaffin Harlow, 2005)
  • Aging involves an active lifestyle and
    contributions to family and society throughout
    life (Purdie Boulton-Lewis, 2003)

18
Paradigm Shift
  • The new view is that older adults will seek
    ways to address
  • Problems of disease (such as vision, hearing,
    arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease)
  • Remain active or return to the workforce and
  • Pursue broader issues of meaning and learning

19
Three States of Aging
  • Silverstone (2005) recognizes three divisions
    of aging for designing social work interventions
  • Normal aging into an extended middle-age
  • Those who are chronically ill and require nursing
    care and
  • Boomers who will face aging with a combination of
    age and non-age related needs and concerns

20
An Aging Cohort Ready to Learn
  • Older adults want to
  • Learn new technologies
  • Communicate with each other and their families in
    new and modern ways
  • Play games and entertain themselves
  • Obtain relevant information from the Internet

(Jones Bayen,1998)
21
Seniors Want to Learn Computer Skills
  • Substantial evidence exists that seniors want to
    learn computer technology, that they seek
    computer training to do so, and that they can be
    very successful at it, if the program adjusts to
    accommodate the biopychosocial aspects of the
    aging process (e.g., see articles in AARP,
    SeniorNet, ThirdAge among many studies are Jones
    Bayen, 1998 Morrell, 2002 Mayhorn et al.,
    2004)

22
The Contexts Of Learning Technology for Older
Adults
23
Biological
Environmental
Psychosocial
Adapted from Whitbourne (2005), p. 2
24
How Do Older Adults Learn?
  • Chaffin and Harlow (2005) Model of Cognitive
    Learning

25
Chaffin-Harlow Model of Cognitive Learning
Test Find Faults Relate to World
Determine Type of Education
Art, Culture Technology
Create New Ideas
Identify Barriers to Learning
Initiate Cognitive Learning
Enlarge Sense of Self
Teach Learn
Meet the Challenge
(Chaffin Harlow, 2005)
26
Integrating New Perspectives With Old
Technology
Art
Culture
The digital divide Knowing how to use computers
makes a difference in older adult lives.
No longer bound by four walls, older adults can
move from a culture of social isolation to one of
communi-cation.
Art is a bridge across the generations sharing
ones songs, stories, and music is a way to
connect.
Wright, 2000 Morrell et al., 2002 Chaffin
Harlow, 2005
27
Three Levels of Learning
Adjustment
Survival
Discovery
Skill and comfort level approach mastery.
Learners now own the process and explore to meet
their own needs.
Learner gains in confidence and can follow most
directions. Still looking for the one right way
to do the task.
Tasks make no sense and are beyond grasp. Much
emotional and instructional support needed.
28
  • Type I
  • Limited type of
  • responses
  • Required Yes,
  • Press Enter key
  • Hence, easy
  • To use for training
  • But is a passive
  • Activity for
  • Learner
  • Type II
  • Requires
  • Considerable skill
  • And active user
  • Involvement to
  • Achieve creative
  • Tasks drawings,
  • Letters, cards,
  • Emails, Internet.

Maddux, Johnson, Willis, 1997
29
Finding Faults
Cognitive changes
Social isolation
Seating
Health
Lighting
Operating Computer
Rowe, 1995 Chaffin Harlow, 2005
30
Fixing Faults
Make materials Easy to read
Set up Environment
Low-glare monitors
Identify Problems
Roller ball In place of Mouse
Use metaphors to explain
Rowe, 1995 Chaffin Harlow, 2005
31
Relate Ideas to Real World
  • Many older adults are motivated to learn computer
    skills
  • They want to remain independent as long as
    possible
  • Connect the computer to everyday life
  • Find out what they want to do

Beisgen Kraitchman, 2003
32
Educational Methods
Relate new to old experiences
Stepwise Text with Pictures
Plan for success
Provide small amounts of information
Practice drills At slower pace
Provide Personal attention
Rowe, 1995 Chaffin Harlow, 2005
33
Gardners (2004) Eight Types of Intelligence
  • Definition A biopsychological potential to
    process specific forms of information
  • Using this inclusive definition of intelligence,
    the computer can become a medium of expression
  • Intelligence, then, is a collection of
    potentials, values, and opportunities made by
    individuals

34
Gardners (2004) Eight Types of Intelligence
Musical
Bodily- kinesthetic
Logical- mathematical
Viewing Intelligence In Diverse Ways
Title
Verbal
Naturalistic
Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Spatial
35
Fords (1999) Four Factors
Environment
Skills
Biological Architecture
Motivation
36
Factors for Success
1
A Supportive Environment
2
Skills
3
Biological Architecture
4
Motivation
Conclusion
37
Supportive Environment
  • Myth Older people cannot learn as well as
    younger learners they do, but need more time
  • Programs can also be developed in the homes and
    residences of frail older adults who otherwise
    might not be able to attend a class for example,
    Senior Cyber Net (SCN)

38
Learn to Deal With The Real Barriers
Purdie Boulton-Lewis, 2003
Cognitive Problems
Attitudes Bad or Confused
Stroke Diabetes Heart Problems
Slower Speed Memory
Depression Homebound Isolated
Teachers working with older adults encounter many
barriers to learning
Impaired Vision
Wheelchairs Walkers Oxygen
39
Make Teaching Accommodations
Jones Bayen (1998)
Use Computers Toolbox
Form Focus Groups
Use Parallels To Ease Learning
Frequent Breaks
Identify Favorite Topics
Careful planning and listening can lead to
accommodations that overcome barriers
Lots of Praise
Large Print Monitors Seats Keyboards
40
Factors for Success
1
A Supportive Environment
2
Skills
3
Biological Architecture
4
Motivation
Conclusion
41
Practice Makes Perfect
  • Skills are often the result of perseverance, a
    common characteristic of older adults.
  • Use games and simple, sequential steps
  • For example,
  • Mouserobics!
  • Solitaire

Chaffin Harlow, 2005
42
Factors for Success
1
A Supportive Environment
2
Skills
3
Biological Architecture
4
Motivation
Conclusion
43
Common Physiological Problems
  • Vision
  • Cataracts cloud the lens of the eye
  • Macular degeneration blocks center vision
  • Reading is difficult
  • Common accommodations
  • Anti-glare screens
  • Large fonts
  • Microsofts Accessibility Panel (Magnifier)
  • IBM Software for blind

44
Factors for Success
1
A Supportive Environment
2
Skills
3
Biological Architecture
4
Motivation
Conclusion
45
Adult Learning Theories Relevant to Computer
Training
  • Bandura (1979,1994), Social Learning. Concept of
    self-efficacy and self-esteem. Model and
    encourage behavior to build confidence
  • Knowles (1968), Andragogy. Realization that
    adults learn differently than children.
    Recognize that adults bring resources and
    experiences, want self-direction, are
    problem-centered, and are often motivated
    internally to learn.

46
Czaja et al. (2006) Model for Adoption of
Technology
  • The authors studied why older adults have
    difficulty adopting technologies or they choose
    not to adopt them
  • Broad fields of study covered
  • general technology
  • computers
  • use of the World Wide Web (Internet)

47
Czaja et al. (2006) Model for Adoption of
Technology
  • Broad range of variables
  • sociodemograhic (age, education)
  • attitudinal (self-efficacy, computer anxiety)
  • component abilities (crystallized fluid
    intelligence)
  • Large, diverse sample with wide age span
  • N 1, 204 (750 women, 454 men)
  • younger adults (18-39)
  • middle-aged adults (40-59 years)
  • older adults (60-91 years)

48
Czaja et al. (2006) Conclusions of Study
  • Computer self-efficacy are an important predictor
    of general use of technology
  • Older adults, and older women in particular, had
    higher levels of computer anxiety
  • Therefore, computer programs should focus on
    training techniques that reduce anxiety about
    computers as well as provider computer skills
    training.

49
Czaja et al. (2006) Conclusions of Study
  • There is a direct path between crystallized
    intelligence and breadth of computer and Web
    experience
  • Oldest adults have the highest level of
    crystallized intelligence (from the study)
  • These people may be more adept at knowledge
    acquisition (Beier Ackerman, 2005)
  • Age differences in the adoption of technology may
    be related to historical change rather than
    age-related declines in cognitive abilities.

50
Czaja et al. (2006) Conclusions of Study
  • Found lower adoption of technologies by older
    adults (Young gt Middle Aged gtgt Oldest)
  • Believe that it is socially important and cost
    effective to support the independence of older
    adults technology can foster it
  • Limited evidence that this potential is being
    realized (National Research Council, 2004)

51
Recommended References
  • Chaffin, A.J. Harlow, S.D. (2005). Cognitive
    learning applied to older adult learners and
    technology. Educational Gerontology, 31,
    301-329.
  • Czaja, S.J., Charness, N., Fisk, A. Hertzog,
    C., Nair, S.N., Rogers, W. Sharit, J. (2006).
    Factors predicting the use of technology
    Findings from the Center for Research and
    Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement
    (CREATE). Psychology and Aging, 21, 333-352.
  • Echt, K.V., Morrell, R.W., Park, D.C. (1998).
    Effects of age and training formats on basic
    computer skill acquisition in older adults.
    Educational Gerontology, 24, 3-25.

52
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