Research purpose. With the current and progressive ageing of the population globally, in Europe over the past three decades, the urgency of creating a specific theoretical and educational model for older adults, in which the professional purpose is not the most important, is rising. Senior digital up-skilling is one of the pathways to widen the horizon of senior citizens (aged 55 plus) to be socially included in both society and labour market. The research article reveals the results of the project ‘Digital Acquisition through Intergenerational Learning’ (DIAL No. 2017-1-LV01-KA204-035455, Erasmus Plus programme) senior survey on training needs of digital skills from Latvia.
Design/Methodology/Approach. The research was carried out based on a quantitative survey conducted in four project partner countries in 2018, totally reaching out 1003 respondents. The sample of Latvia represents 236 adult learners, aged 55 plus. The survey was conducted based on two main scales: ‘skill self-assessment and study needs’ and four subscales ‘computer essentials, communication and collaboration, hardware and Internet’. The main aim of the research was to estimate digital literacy level among senior citizens in project countries and develop training and teaching materials for adult learners and teachers based on survey results.
Findings. The main finding reveals the senior digital skill self-assessment and study needs. The majority of respondents revealed that they lack skills of communication in social media; at the same time they are willing to learn how to use Facebook and Viber, but they are not interested to use WhatsApp and Twitter for communication purposes with friends and family. The respondents are interested in apprehending video skills via mobile phones and e-governance service tools. These are only some findings out of almost 70 survey statements.
Originality/Value/Practical implications. The training materials in five languages (English, Latvian, Portuguese, Turkish and Greek) were developed based on the senior digital skills self-assessment and study needs survey. This is a practical intellectual output and value of the project DIAL – creation of innovative teaching materials for senior digital up-skilling.
Anabel Quan-Haase, Guang Ying Mo & Barry Wellman (2017). Connected seniors: how older adults in East York exchange social support online and offline, Information, Communication & Society, 20:7, 967-983, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1305428
Román-García, S., & Almansa-Martínez, A. (2016). Adultos y mayores frente a las TIC. La competencia mediática de los inmigrantes digitales. Comunicar24(49), 101-109.
Schreurs, K., Quan-Haase, A., & Martin, K. (2017). Problematizing the digital literacy paradox in the context of older adults’ ICT use: Aging, media discourse, and self-determination. Canadian Journal of Communication42(2).
Seifert, A., & Schelling, H. R. (2018). Seniors online: Attitudes toward the internet and coping with everyday life. Journal of Applied Gerontology37(1), 99-109.
Vošner, H. B., Bobek, S., Kokol, P., & Krečič, M.J. (2016). Attitudes of Active Older Internet Users towards Online Social Networking. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 230-241. (http://-goo.gl/jiOmI6) (2016-06-03).