About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 996-1001
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

MOBILE LEARNING FOR OLDER ADULTS: NEW LEARNING CONCEPTS FOR SENIORS WITHOUT E-SKILLS

E. Leen-Thomele, S. Hetzner, P. Held

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (GERMANY)
The heterogeneous group of older adults is a very big and promising target group for new learning concepts. As people get older and stay healthy and fit for longer periods, more and more older adults are looking for useful leisure activities and are willing to learn something new. As the group above 60 years of age is very divers and differs in cognitive and physical abilities, learning experiences, educational background and motivation, a learning idea that suits all older adults is hard to develop. A solution is technology enhanced learning as this enables many degrees of freedom when it comes to learning time, speed, place, rehearsal and practice possibilities and free choice of learning material. Many successful projects have already shown that e-learning can be a good opportunity also for older adults if some principles are fulfilled.

Since 2004, different e-learning courses for older adults were developed and successfully conducted in different European countries (e.g. the eLSe, eLSe academy and Lern@Haus courses). All courses offer learning units on an e-learning platform that enables learning, practicing and rehearsing in the participants own speed, is enriched with different multimedia elements, suits to the daily living circumstances of the target group and shows added value for daily activities. Also support, communication via different channels and a structured program that still allows learning in own time and speed are important principles.

However, as still many older adults see themselves as computer novices and have no e-skills so far (e.g. only 29.4% of people above 70 years of age in Germany use a computer), there area still many older adults who are hard to reach with conventional e-learning. Especially women can have many fears and doubts when it comes to technology use. A solution for this group can be new mobile learning approaches with tablet computers. First research results have shown that tablet computers reach high acceptance and satisfaction rates for unexperienced users, learning success is faster reached and the touch concept is easier for new users.

Based on these findings, the SenApp project started in 2014 in four countries (Spain, France, Romania, Germany) and is funded by the Erasmus plus program. Its aim is to develop a mobile learning course for tablet computers with many small applications. With these apps, all programs and tasks are easy and simple to reach and only a minimum of e-skills is required. First research results have already shown that this concept has many benefits for older adults, as it is very simple to use, the mobile devices are easy to take with you wherever you want, are fast to use due to low starting times and it seems to be a very promising solution for those older adults who where hard to reach with classical ICT courses. The content of this first mobile learning course for older adults are learning elements about ICT use like the use of e-mail, skype, photos and so on. But nearly all learning content is possible for the future. Additionally all courses offer support and communication possibilities with other participants and tutors, as this was found to be essential for learning success.
@InProceedings{LEENTHOMELE2015MOB,
author = {Leen-Thomele, E. and Hetzner, S. and Held, P.},
title = {MOBILE LEARNING FOR OLDER ADULTS: NEW LEARNING CONCEPTS FOR SENIORS WITHOUT E-SKILLS},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {996-1001}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Leen-Thomele AU - S. Hetzner AU - P. Held
TI - MOBILE LEARNING FOR OLDER ADULTS: NEW LEARNING CONCEPTS FOR SENIORS WITHOUT E-SKILLS
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 996
EP - 1001
ER -
E. Leen-Thomele, S. Hetzner, P. Held (2015) MOBILE LEARNING FOR OLDER ADULTS: NEW LEARNING CONCEPTS FOR SENIORS WITHOUT E-SKILLS, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 996-1001.
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