Digital Participation 2018 – Core Premises

These premises reflect considerable practitioner experience and extensive research. These statements can be expected to be developed further by the digital participation group over the next year.

  1. The problems older people have with computers, phones, tablets and the Internet are often the same as those for anyone younger baffled by technology. That means much of the help and support can be the same.
  2. Personal face-to-face help is the best way to help anyone struggling to start using technology, and to thrive in the digital world
  3. While formal courses may be available, what’s often missing is one-to-one help in the home, or in community venues
  4. A lot more people would engage with digital technology if informal support were available in social settings.
  5. Older people do have age-related problems engaging with technology (e.g. vision, dexterity, memory) and lack of easy access to support makes those more challenging.
  6. We have a plan to deliver technology learning support in the community
  7. One size doesn’t fit all in support for learning – everyone has their own needs and interests
  8. Many people learn best in social settings … but older people often lose their social networks. Learning technology together can be an enjoyable way to build new connections as well as skills.
  9. There are many examples of small-scale, low-cost ways to support older people in using technology in community settings. These make use of local assets like schools, libraries and local businesses, and the willingness of people to help each other learn.
  10. Once people find how technology can make a practical difference to their lives, they are likely to be inspired to learn more.
  11. Small-scale funding schemes in the local community make a big difference, with low risks for funders.
  12. Small local schemes are not well-placed to cope with a lot of administration, and burdensome reporting to funders. There is therefore an urgent need for the introduction of appropriate light-touch arrangements to allow local technology support activities to thrive.

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