Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Silver Surfers: Inclusion or Excursion in a Digital World?

17.10.2008
Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have found that a digital divide still exists and that more silver surfers (over 50s) need to obtain and use the internet in their daily lives.

In the wake of a Government announcement last month that plans to tackle the digital divide among young families by providing parents on low income with equipment and internet access, Dr Jyoti Choudrie and Dr Susan Grey from the University’s Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute have revealed research findings about the older generation.

Governments across the globe are striving to provide online products and services to all user groups. However certain socially-disadvantaged groups such as the disabled, older people and people from poorer backgrounds are not using online products and services, leading to a digital divide.

This research funded by the University of Hertfordshire, Microsoft, Citizens Online and the Association of Information Systems was carried out using a global survey alongside data obtained from Citizens Online. It reveals that although broadband is being implemented in the home, silver surfers are not using it; with people over the age of seventy-four not using the internet at all. The research also shows that although silver surfers stated they had broadband at home, they were in a household shared with others and it was actually others within the home using the technology and not the silver surfer.

Findings also show there is a certain amount of digital inclusion in the over fifties, in the case of those who are educated and have a middle to high income level. The charity Age Concern highlighted recently that pensioners are spending time online but that they are nevertheless worried as many are still excluded.

The research reveals that work, household activities including online shopping and banking and communicating with family and friends are important factors to entice silver surfers to get online but that entertainment, including downloading music and film is a low priority. The findings also reveal that technical factors including speed and an individual’s level of technical competence also affect a silver surfer’s decision to get online.

Dr Choudrie said: “Access to the internet is no longer seen as a luxury. Governments are striving hard to provide all citizens with online access, which is succeeding but to a limited extent. This research helps policy makers understand the success of initiatives at grassroots level.”

The research also explored whether local level programmes are succeeding at getting older people online. Recommendations of how to sustain programmes of training include; ensuring there are adequate labour resources in the form of volunteers willing to spare time to teach and educate the older people; a willingness to learn in the case of the users themselves; support of organisations such as Microsoft in the form of equipment-hardware and software and sustained and targeted funding.

Emma Roberts | alfa
Further information:
http://herts.ac.uk

Further reports about: Digital World Silver Surfers internet access

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>