Episode 51

"Wired Senior Citizens"

Duration 00:14:07      Recorded on October 11, 2008

In this episode, Susan and Dan talk to Carol, a "wired" senior citizen, about her use of the Internet for learning and recreation.

Show Notes:

In this episode, Susan and Dan talk to Carol, a 'wired' senior citizen, about her use of the Internet. This interview was inspired by an older report entitled "Wired Seniors" from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

We should first note that Carol is a little unusual in that she moved online because her son houses servers in her basement. She has a better understanding of the technology than most seniors

.Currently she uses the Internet to look for information and communicate with friends. She talks about the quality and quantity of information she can find online and how that benefits her personal research, but also recognizes the inordinate amount of time she spends online.

In reflecting about her friends' use of computers, Carol points now that none of them prefer synchronous communication (text or IM), and all are adamant about not receiving junk. They do not like silly forwarded messages.

Following the interview, Susan and Dan bring out additional themes that should be considered with seniors. Not understanding how the system works can lead to frustration for seniors. Physical limitations such as typing speed or reading screens can prevent seniors from participating online. Susan notes the difference in the type of reading online versus linear processing that we use when reading a book. Dan also points out that while seniors might be very motivated to learn how to get about online, there are costs involved.

The Pew report points out that seniors who move online often do so as a result of the encouragement of their children so that they can share information and photos. Susan tells about the computer program her Dad uses for mental acuity. She wonders about seniors and online courses.

 
About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.

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Susan Manning
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Dan Balzer
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Carl Heine
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