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Comunicar Journal 42: Revolution in Education? (Vol. 21 - 2014)

Media literacy for older people facing the digital divide: The e-inclusion programmes design


Leopoldo Abad-Alcalá


This article is based on the fact that the Spanish population is aging, and is second only to Japan in its total number of senior citizens. Given this situation and the omnipresence of new technologies in everyday life, the use of Internet and ICT for older people is essential. The latest report by IMSERSO shows that only 15.6% of people aged be tween 65 and 74 connected to the Internet in the 3-month period measured. The data seem to show that there is a generational digital divide to be overcome. The studies that have addressed this issue have focused more on regional and specific aspects of the relationship between age and Internet use intensity, and these studies use age ranges as criteria. Other studies have introduced variables such as seniors’ economic situation or educational level. With this in mind, public policies have sought to reduce this generational digital divide through a number of media literacy and e-learning projects but without success due to their poor methodological approach. This paper proposes a number of new methodological approaches to tackle the design of digital literacy programs for older people based on criteria such as degree of autonomy and the possibilities for enjoying everyday life, proposing the development of programs based on contextualism, incrementalism, motivation and absorption processes.


Media Literacy, older people, e-inclusion, digital divide, public policies, Internet, ageing, media competence