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APPTA policy Rounds: Community-Led Digital Literacy Training for Older Adults
July 26 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Speaker: Dr. Brian Detlor, Professor & Area Chair (Information Systems), DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University
Date: July 26, 2023 at 1:00-1:30 pm ET
Description: Despite the growing predominance of older adults in Canadian society, as a group, older adults are still less likely to make use of digital devices. Older adults’ limited use of digital devices is troubling as the ability to access and use digital technologies, such as social media and the Internet, can overcome the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness, which seniors in general are more likely to experience as they age. Due to financial concerns, many older adults lack access to digital devices, the Internet, and digital literacy training opportunities. In response, community organizations, such as public libraries and social service agencies, fill the gap by providing free or low-cost digital literacy training opportunities to marginalized community members, including older adults. However, how best to deliver such instruction is not well-understood. Neither are the challenges confronting such delivery, as well as solutions to overcome such obstacles. This webinar reports on recent research findings that provide theoretical contributions and practical recommendations in this problem area. Organizational factors that foster or challenge digital literacy training initiatives are described, as well as user considerations that impact community member uptake, digital literacy skills development, and digital literacy appreciation. A case study is also described of the utility of a community partnership approach between public libraries and seniors’ organizations to deliver digital literacy training to older adults.