Older active users of ICTs make sense of their engagement


  • Magdalena Kania-Lundholm
  • Sandra Torres


ICT usage, older people, digital divide, digital immigrants, digital natives, digital spectrum, digital inequalities


Research on older people’s ICT usage tends to focus on either the ways in which they go about learning to use these technologies or the impact that ICTs have on their lives. This research seems, in other words, to take for granted that older people are ‘digital immigrants’ as the digital divide debate proposed. Research that specifically looks at the ways in which older ICT users make sense of their engagement with these technologies is still limited. This article explores therefore – through focus group interviews – how a group of older people who are active ICT users make sense of their ‘digital nativeness’. The analysis shows that the interviewees are well aware that their ICT proficiency differentiated them from their peers, which is why they make sense of their ICT usage by making reference to the issues that make them ‘exceptional’ older people. These include the fact that they have used computers for many years and therefore made ICT usage an everyday habit early on; the fact that most older people do not have the skills that they themselves have, which is why they feel the need to share them with others; and the fact that their lifelong experience means they can use these technologies in judicious ways. By bringing attention to how older active ICT users make sense of their engagement, this article contributes to the notion of the digital spectrum and the debate on the inequalities that ICT proficiency brings about.


Author Biography

Magdalena Kania-Lundholm

Department of Sociology
Uppsala University




How to Cite

Kania-Lundholm, M., & Torres, S. (2017). Older active users of ICTs make sense of their engagement. Seminar.Net, 13(1). Retrieved from https://journals.oslomet.no/index.php/seminar/article/view/2297



  1. Special issue: 30 years of ICT and learning in education – major changes and challenges
  2. Education, Change and the Longue Durée: The Fate of the Book
  3. 30 years of ICT in education: reflecting on educational technology projects
  4. “Back to the future”: Socio-technical imaginaries in 50 years of school digitalization curriculum reforms
  5. When student-activating teaching conflict with students' desire for efficiency. A communication perspective on undergraduate students' media use
  6. On the expression of hegemony in the field of educational technology - a case study of editorials in a Norwegian academic journal
  7. Better together: building a new support site for bachelor's students in nursing
  8. Educational and Digital Divides in Inclusive Education The Case of Video Materials for Teacher Training in Uganda
  9. The challenges and opportunities of using 360-degree video technology in online lecturing: A case study in higher education business studies
  10. Educational textbooks in digital surroundings
  11. Teachers as users of ICT from the student perspective in higher education flipped classroom classes
  12. Teachers’ Pedagogical Role as Mediators in Leading and Guiding Students’ Learning in Digital Storytelling (DST)
  13. Exploring Healthcare Simulation Facilitators’ Conceptions of Teaching and Learning
  14. Nonlinear Storytelling Method and Tools for Low-Threshold Game Development
  15. How are technology-related workplace resources associated with techno-work engagement among a group of Finnish teachers?
  16. Editorial - Recent trends in the digitalization of the Nordic K-12 schools
  17. Rethinking communication in virtual learning environments through the concept of Bildung
  18. Trends in the Digitalization of K-12 Schools: The Australian Perspective
  19. Digitally Competent School Organizations – Developing Supportive Organizational Infrastructures
  20. A Comparison Between Digital Competence in Two Nordic Countries’ National Curricula and an International Framework: Inspecting their Readiness for 21st Century Education
  21. Power and control in the one-to-one computing classroom: students’ perspectives on teachers’ didactical design
  22. Digital transformation in Swedish schools – Principals’ strategic leadership and organisation of tablet-based one-to-one computing initiatives
  23. Digital relational competence: Sensitivity and responsivity to needs of distance and co-located students
  24. Digitally competent schools: teacher expectations when introducing digital competence in Finnish basic education
  25. Enhancing future teachers’ competencies for technology integration in education: Turning theory into practice
  26. Adequate digital competence – a close reading of the new national strategy for digitalization of the schools in Sweden
  27. Introducing Virtual Reality Technologies to Design Education
  28. Enhancing engagement, enjoyment and learning experiences through gamification on an English course for health care students
  29. Transcultural perspectives in Teaching Children's Horror Films
  30. A long way? Introducing digitized historical newspapers in school, a case study from Finland
  31. How to trigger students’ interest in digital learning environments: A systematic literature review
  32. Preschoolers Learning with the Internet of Toys: From Toy-Based Edutainment to Transmedia Literacy
  33. Differences between the genders in ICT skills for Finnish upper comprehensive school students: Does gender matter?
  34. Cooperative Learning within Educational Networks: Perspectives for Good Educational Governance in Modern Reading Education
  35. Teachers’ practices to support student work in digital storytelling: A study on Finnish and Chinese school teachers’ experiences
  36. Older Adults’ Coping with the Digital Everyday Life
  37. Openness in Education: Claims, Concepts, and Perspectives for Higher Education