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
Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers
20.07.2018 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
18.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences