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Overcoming the digital divide with a modern approach to learning digital skills for the elderly adults


As digital multimedia devices increasingly pervade people’s lives, including the lives of older adults, the need to provide relevant training for these age groups grows. Older adults, not due to their frailty or age, often find it difficult to use digital devices like smartphones, and they often lack the basic digital literacy required to use multimedia interactive devices with touchscreen technology. This is the major reason why they are experiencing the sharp digital divide in the twenty-first century. In this study, older adults from four European countries participated in a two-phase process: playing interactive games on a large touchscreen tablet and learning how to use a smartphone to access digital services. The attitudes and the difficulties associated with adopting the skills to operate the device and use the digital services were observed and discussed. The findings and recommendations for an effective approach to this problem are discussed at the end of the paper.

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Correspondence to Borka Jerman Blažič.

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Appendix 1

Data from the post-experiment questionnaire

Austria data (the first two tables are from S. Oppl and C. Stary paper in Universal Access in the Information Society


United Kingdom Data (the data a from the questionnaires answers in the project GIRDA Freedcam portal).


Macedonia data (the data from the questionnaires answers in the project GIRDA Freedcam portal).


Slovenia data (the data from the questionnaires answers in the project GIRDA Freedcam portal).


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Blažič, B.J., Blažič, A.J. Overcoming the digital divide with a modern approach to learning digital skills for the elderly adults. Educ Inf Technol 25, 259–279 (2020).

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  • Digital divide
  • Digital literacy
  • Older adults
  • Education
  • Digital skills
  • Game playing