Enriching Learning Experience - Older Adults and Their Use of the Internet

  • Blanka Klímova
  • Petra PoulovaEmail author
  • Pavel Prazak
  • Ivana Simonova
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10949)


Ageing is becoming a big social issue nowadays. For example, in 2000 the percentage of older individuals aged 65+ years reached 12.4% worldwide. In 2030, this number should rise to 19% and in 2050 to 22%. Therefore there is a need to prolong an active life of older people, especially by implementing nonpharmacological approaches. And current technological devices and services can assist them in this process. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the use of the Internet among older people in the Czech Republic with respect to their age. The key methods exploited in this study include a questionnaire survey, statistical processing of data collection, as well as evaluation of both empirical and theoretical findings on the research issue. The results indicate that the age is a decisive factor in the use of the Internet by seniors. In fact, the use of the Internet falls with the declining age with the breakthrough age 75+ years. Generally, older people use the Internet for communication purposes with the help of e-mail, the most frequent ICT tool for this generation group. The results also suggest that older people should be trained in the use of the Internet since the training may help them overcome both psychological and social barriers, which represent the constraints in their use of the Internet. Particularly the last presidential election in the Czech Republic has shown the need for education, as the seniors were the most vulnerable group in the area of spreading Fake-news.


Age Blended learning Elderly Internet Survey 



The paper is supported by the project SPEV (2018) at the Faculty of Informatics and Management of the University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.


  1. 1.
    Transgenerational Design Matters (2009). Accessed 10 Mar 2017
  2. 2.
    Patterson, I.: Growing Older. Tourism and Leisure Behaviour of Older Adults. Cabi, Cambridge (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maresova, P., Klimova, B., Kuca, K.: Alzheimer’s disease: cost cuts call for novel drugs development and national strategy. Ceska Slov. Farm. 64, 25–30 (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Maresova, P., Mohelska, H., Valis, M., Kuca, K.: Alzheimer disease and its treatment costs, case study in the Czech. Neuropsychiatr. Dis. Treat. 11, 2349–2354 (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hanson, V.L.: Age and web access: the next generation. In: Proceedings of the 2010 W4A – Technical, Madrid, pp. 7–15 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hernandez-Encuentra, E., Pousada, M., Gomez-Zuniga, B.: ICT and older people: beyond usability. Educ. Gerontol. 35, 226–245 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sayago, S., Blat, J.: Telling the story of older people e-mailing: an ethnographical study. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 68, 105–120 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Heart, T., Kalderon, E.: Older adults: are they ready to adopt health-related ICT? Int. J. Med. Inf. 82, e209–e231 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pew Research Center: Internet/Broadband fact sheet (2017). Accessed 23 May 2017
  10. 10.
    Office for National Statistics: Internet users in the UK: 2016 (2016). Accessed 20 May 2017
  11. 11.
    van Boekel, L.C., Peek, S.T., Luijkx, K.G.: Diversity in older adults’ use of the Internet: identifying subgroups through latent class analysis. J. Med. Internet Res. 19(5), e180 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bishop, J.: Increasing participation in online communities: a framework for human computer interaction. Comput. Hum. Behav. 23, 1881–1893 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Godfrey, M., Johnson, O.: Digital circles of support: meeting the information needs of older people. Comput. Hum. Behav. 25, 633–642 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Virginia Assistive Technology System: Assistive technology and Aging. A handbook for Virginians who are aging and their caregivers (2011). Accessed 19 May 2017
  15. 15.
    Klimova, B.: Use of the Internet as a prevention tool against cognitive decline in normal aging. Clin. Interv. Aging 11, 1231–1237 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Klimova, B.: Senior tourism and information and communication technologies. In: Park, J.J., Chen, S.-C., Raymond Choo, K.-K. (eds.) MUE/FutureTech -2017. LNEE, vol. 448, pp. 440–445. Springer, Singapore (2017). Scholar
  17. 17.
    Czech Statistical Office: Seniors (2017). Accessed 16 May 2017
  18. 18.
    Czech Statistical Office: Population by one-year age and sex (2017). Accessed 16 May 2017
  19. 19.
    Benáčová, H., Valenta, M.: Moznosti informaticke vyuky senioru v ČR a EU. [Possibilities of computer science teaching of older people in the Czech Republic and EU.] Systémová Integrace 4, 77–86 (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Slavik, L.: Senior tourism. Diploma thesis, Praha, UK (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    The R Project for Statistical Computing (2017). Accessed 20 May 2017
  22. 22.
    Klimova, B., Simonova, I., Poulova, P., Truhlarova, Z., Kuca, K.: Older people and their attitude to the use of information and communication technologies – a review study with special focus on the Czech Republic (Older people and their attitude to ICT). Educ. Gerontol. 42(5), 361–369 (2016)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Smith, A.: Older adults and technology use (2014). Accessed 9 June 2017
  24. 24.
    de Veer, A.J.E., et al.: Determinants of the intention to use e-Health by community dwelling older people. BMC Health Serv. Res. 15(103), 1–9 (2015)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zickuhr, K., Madden, M.: Older adults and internet use (2012). Accessed 9 May 2017
  26. 26.
    Choi, N.G., DiNitto, D.M.: Internet use among older adults: association with health needs, psychological capital, and social capital. J. Med. Internet Res. 15(5), e97 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zheng, R.Z., Hill, R.D., Gardner, M.K.: Engaging older adults with modern technology: internet use and information access needs. Information Science Reference, USA (2013)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gell, N.M., Rosenberg, D.E., Demiris, G., LaCroix, A.Z., Patel, K.V.: Patterns of technology use among older adults with and without disabilities. Gerontologist 55(3), 412–421 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sayago, S., Sloan, D., Blat, J.: Everyday use of computer-mediated communication tools and its evolution over time: an ethnographical study with older people. Interact. Comput. 23, 543–554 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Prior, S., Arnott, J., Dickinson, A.: Interface metaphor design and instant messaging for older adults. In: Proceedings of CHI 2008 Extended Abstract on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Florence, pp. 3747–3752 (2008)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Brush, A.B., Inkpen, K.M., Tee, K.: SPARCS: exploring sharing suggestions to enhance family connectedness. In: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, San Diego, pp. 629–638 (2008)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bujnowska-Fedak, M.M.: Trends in the use of the Internet for health purposes in Poland. BMC 15, 194 (2015)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bujnowska-Fedak, M.M., Pirogowicz, I.: Support for e-health services among elderly primary care patients. Telemed. J. E-Health 20(8), 696–704 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kaiser Family Foundation: E-health and the elderly: how seniors use the Internet for health information. Key findings from a national survey of older Americans (2013). Accessed 9 Oct 2017
  35. 35.
    Almeida, O.P., Yeap, B.B., Alfonso, H., Hankey, G.J., Flicker, L., Norman, P.E.: Older men who use computers have lower risk of dementia. PLoS ONE 7(8), e44239 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Dodge, H.H., Zhu, J., Mattek, N.C., et al.: Web-enabled conversational interactions as a method to improve cognitive functions: results of a 6-week randomized controlled trial. Alzheimer’s Dement.: Transl. Res. Clin. Interv. 1(1), 1–12 (2015)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tun, P.A., Lachman, M.E.: The association between computer use and cognition across adulthood: use it so you won’t lose it? Psychol. Aging 25, 560–568 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blanka Klímova
    • 1
  • Petra Poulova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pavel Prazak
    • 1
  • Ivana Simonova
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Informatics and ManagementUniversity of Hradec KraloveHradec KraloveCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationJan Evangelista Purkyně UniversityUsti nad LabemCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations