Later life ICT learners ageing well

Linkoping University Electronic Press (LiU E-Press)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 2011, 6 (2), pp. 103 - 127
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This paper is based on a qualitative study of later life computer learners and their learning experiences in Sydney, Australia. Participants were aged between 63 and 86 years and undertaking lessons from peer tutors in non-formal learning environments. Sixteen later life learners were interviewed individually through the use of hermeneutic phenomenological methodology. The use of semi-structured interviews provided opportunities for participants to elaborate and reflect on their learning and lived experiences. The interviews took place over a period of seven years, from 2003-2010. The main aim of the study was to understand and interpret the lived experiences of ICT learning in later life. Interpretations from the study suggested that learning and using a computer contributed to a sense of well-being, furthered an understanding of the lifeworld and provided participants with a heightened sense of belonging. In this paper well-being will be discussed in the context of ageing and learning in a modern developed country. The ontological and existential themes of being, becoming and belonging will be explored and used as a framework to interpret the findings from the study.
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