Education as the Factor of Digital Inclusion of Elder Persons: A Study Case in Poland
Purpose: The objective of the presented research is to verify with the example of Polish elder persons the conviction about the decisive role of the age factor in the emergence of the digital divide. The text refers to the World Decade of Active Aging 2020-2030 program announced by the WHO in response to challenges of aging societies. The authors highlight the role of IT as the factor of active aging and social inclusion of elder persons. Design/Methodology/Approach: The theoretical framework of the research had adopted an interdisciplinary approach, placing the undertaken analyses in the context of the theory of aging, motivation, and the use of new media. To verify the examined thesis the method of Aggregated Analysis had been adopted. The analyzed data have been drawn from the governmental research dealing with activities of elder persons in the cyberspace. The analyzed statistical material was collected and elaborated according to the Eurostat methodology. Findings: The collected data deny the conviction of the age-related digital divide in Poland and highlight the role of educational and motivational factors. Practical Implications: The research findings can be utilized to design the IT programs adequate to the needs and abilities of elder participants of various educational background and motivation to support their digital inclusion and participation. They are useful for governmental and non-governmental institutions involved in programs addressed to the elder participants. They are also essential for the research on the social inclusion of the elders. Originality/Value: Previously undertaken analyzes didn't concern the role of education and motivation as variables mediating the phenomenon of digital exclusion in elder age.