Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Development of information and communication technologies of the last decade has had a significant impact on how people communicate, consume information and deal with daily situations. The role of the Internet in today’s world seems to be irreplaceable; however, to be a part of the new information society, digital skills and access to technology are required. Among other groups, majority of the seniors are having difficulties to adapt to the new technologies and lack access to it. This social group would greatly benefit from opportunities digital media offers, as it could provide potential of longer independent living and more convenience and entertainment in daily life. Unfortunately, the digital divide prevents seniors from utilizing the benefits that are available for the rest of the society. Despite the advantages, an age associated digital divide is still very topical in many countries, including Latvia.
This study explores the reasons behind the digital divide in Latvia and examines the needs of seniors that could be supported by development of digital skills and access to digital technologies. The work is based on the theoretical background and uses both qualitative and quantitative material collected from seniors and experts in the field.
The results showed that the most influential reasons behind age associated digital divide in Latvia are financial instability, lack of digital skills and motivation. Latvia is one of the most developed countries in the information and communication technologies field, and has advanced online services, which could be successfully used by seniors; however group’s interests are largely ignored as there are few opportunities to acquire digital skills.
Based on these findings three solutions are developed to help improve with the situation.
2014. , 69 p.