Svenja Noichl

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InfoBiTS – Foster Digital Competences of Older Adults

Motivation


The percentage of senior citizens in the world’s population will continue to rise in the coming years. While the share of people over the age of 60 years still stands around 27.1% in 2013, this share is expected to be around 38.2% in 2060 (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2015). At the same time, the number of senior citizen who use smartphones and/or tablets also increases. In 2014 about 32% of Germans between 50 and 59 years of age used a smartphone, this share almost doubled by 2016 and is now about 60%. For people between 60 and 69, and those over 70, this share has almost tripled. (60-69 years: from 13% to 37%; 70+ years: from 4% to 14%) (GfK Verein, 2016).

Research Questions


Forwarding questions:

  • What should older adults learn about computer science systems?
    • Which contents are to be conveyed?
    • What content is important for the target group?
    • What content is the target group interested in?
  • How can this content be conveyed via app-based learning units?
  • How can the increase in competence in digital competencies be measured?

Main research question:

  • How can app-based (e-learning-supported, software-supported) learning units for non-technical adults provide a basic / everyday understanding of computer systems and their effects on society?

Research Goal


The aim of the research is to prepare older adults for the digital world. To this end, digital competences are to be taught in order to enable and facilitate the participation of older adults in the digital world on the one hand and on the other hand to create the foundations so that they can have a say in social issues relating to digital topics. The area of participation in the digital world primarily includes networking, such as contact with family members via social networks or video telephony. In the area of social issues, for example, security aspects such as data storage or video surveillance may be involved. The main goal is not to enable older people to use technical devices, but to promote device and program/app independent skills.
Based on school curricula, framework requirements and educational standards from the field of computer science education in schools as well as relevant topics with a current relevance to everyday life and interests of the target group, a curriculum for non-technical seniors will be developed and contents for four thematic modules will be selected. The modules will be implemented in the form of a tablet app containing learning content, tasks and evaluation questionnaires. With regard to geragogics, the tablet course will be integrated into a workshop and the tablets with the InfoBiTS-App will be provided. Thus, the aspects of learning with peers, learning in a protected space and quick help with questions and problems are addressed.
Currently the InfoBiTS-App is in the evaluation phase.