Senior Surfing: Computer Use, Aging, and Formal Training

July 27, 2008

In this article, we describe data from two case studies of seniors (one younger senior and one older senior) in learning to use computers. The study combined interviews, observations, and documents to take a close look at their experiences with computers, as well as the influences of aging and computer training on their experiences. The study revealed that seniors benefited from their use of computers, ranging from the magic of email and the World Wide Web to the personal fulfillment of lifelong learning, independence, and enrichment. It further suggests that the kind of structured guidance formal computer classes provide to seniors matters more than aging or if seniors have higher formal education.

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