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Article

Digital Identity Levels in Older Learners: A New Focus for Sustainable Lifelong Education and Inclusion

1
Faculty of Education, University of Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
2
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
3
Instituto de Neurociencias de Castilla y León (INCYL), Universidad de Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410657
Received: 13 November 2020 / Revised: 10 December 2020 / Accepted: 17 December 2020 / Published: 20 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT and Sustainable Education)
Identifying the digital identity of older adults entails an essential step for their effective digital inclusion grounded in a holistic and sustainable human development in hyperconnected societies. This paper proposes a theoretical framework with three levels of digital identity based on motives and practices: location, action, and significance. This framework was used for designing an ad-hoc scale, tested with a sample of senior learners (n = 659) aged 55 and over involved in active aging programs in Adult Education in Spain. Participants filled out a five-point 20-item Likert scale measuring their agreement with the digital identity factors, along with two complementary scales evaluating their internet uses and motivations, as well as other items on living arrangements and perceived social support. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses showed a factorial structure with three levels of digital identity for older adults. The results revealed that active older adults with diverse motives for using the internet and variety in digital practices recorded a higher digital identity level, as did those who felt more isolated or with less social support. As a conclusion, the educational implications according to instrumental, social, and motivational variables are key for the progressive construction of a digital identity in older adults and for their digital inclusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital technologies; older adults; digital identity; internet use; loneliness; active aging; digital inclusion digital technologies; older adults; digital identity; internet use; loneliness; active aging; digital inclusion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Muñoz-Rodríguez, J.M.; Hernández-Serrano, M.J.; Tabernero, C. Digital Identity Levels in Older Learners: A New Focus for Sustainable Lifelong Education and Inclusion. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10657. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410657

AMA Style

Muñoz-Rodríguez JM, Hernández-Serrano MJ, Tabernero C. Digital Identity Levels in Older Learners: A New Focus for Sustainable Lifelong Education and Inclusion. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10657. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410657

Chicago/Turabian Style

Muñoz-Rodríguez, José M., María J. Hernández-Serrano, and Carmen Tabernero. 2020. "Digital Identity Levels in Older Learners: A New Focus for Sustainable Lifelong Education and Inclusion" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10657. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410657

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