Lifelong Learning: Mobile Experiences for Older Users


Mobile devices are increasingly being used in lifelong learning. However, while older learners are active members of the lifelong learning system, little research has been aimed at understanding how m-learning can provide them with successful learning experiences. In this paper we address the question if m-learning can foster the acceptance and uptake of mobile technologies among a group of older people unfamiliar with ICT. Following a participatory design approach, 20 participants who were enrolled in a literature course created routes of geolocated questions about a fiction book they were reading and answered them in the real location using the QuesTInSitu application. Results indicate that their m-learning acceptance improved as their anxiety around use of technologies diminished. These findings question previous research in which use of mobile technologies tended to increase older users’ anxiety and reduced their acceptance of technology. Participants described the experience as playful, enjoyable and useful.


Santos, P.; Balestrini, M.; Righi, V.; Blat, J.; Hernández-Leo, D.; Not interested in ICT? A case study to explore how a meaningful m-learning activity fosters engagement among older users. In: Proceedings of 8th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2013, Paphos, Cyprus, September 2013, LNCS 8095, pp. 328–342, 2013.

About Mara Balestrini

Mara Balestrini is Human Computer Interaction (HCI) expert and technology strategist.

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