University of Salamanca (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 6669-6675
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0449
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Fast advances in the market for smartphones go hand by hand with the development of multiple and diverse applications that seek to meet a variety of user needs. A great number of daily routines are dominated by mobile applications that aims to facilitate the improvement of our lives. However, when considering elderly smartphone users, they are coping with a double gap for their effective use; on the one hand, and related to the digital literacy, elderly users need to gain training in the proper use of their devices; and, on the other, they are out of the unending updating of the mobile applications, as they are not always accustomed to search and download innovative applications that would be useful for them.

In the context of an Interuniversity Program for Adult Training in the University of Salamanca, a group of students over 55 years old have participated in a training program on strategies that enable them to better search and use different mobile applications that support and enhance their social and communication skills. A previous needs analysis was designed, by a questionnaire to measure the level of knowledge and use of their smartphones, and the applications they considered useful. After that, the adult students were trained by a four-modules workshop. And finally, they completed again the questionnaire to measure the learning generated.

Results obtained confirm that elder users have difficulties using the appropriate terminology of the mobile handling, along with the fearing and unknowing on how to download some applications. The post-results after the training report a higher knowledge of different applications and, fundamentally, the need to encourage the elderly users' autonomy in the processes of finding and using mobile applications.
Mobile Applications, elderly users, digital literacy.