Intergenerational and collaborative use of tablets: «in-medium» and «in-room» communication and interaction

Ana Carla Amaro, Lidia Oliveira, Ana Isabel Veloso


This study is anchored on two fundamental ideas: i) promoting intergenerational solidarity, relations and communication is a key factor for social development in an aging world; and ii) understand how different generations interact with and around digital media and technology is crucial to reconfigure design methods, so we may enhance intergenerational communication, learning and understanding. In particular, we aim to study how tablet’s devices and applications are jointly and collaboratively used by older adults/grandparents and (grand)children and the perceived impact that those interactions may have on: i) intergenerational relationships; ii) children and older adult’s digital literacy; and iii) attitude towards the other. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews and exploratory studies will be conducted, in the context of which «Joint Media Engagement» (Takeuchi & Stevens, 2011) sessions between selected cases of older adults and children (with and without parental relations) will be promoted, in order to observe, describe and characterize their «in-medium» (Takeuchi & Stevens, 2011) and «in-room» (Stevens, Satwicz & McCarthy, 2008) activities and interactions. We expect to be able to propose a set of guidelines for the design of contents for tablets, intended for intergenerational and collaborative use by older adults and/or grandparents and children and/or grandchildren.


Intergenerational; Children; Older Adults; Grandparents; Tablets; Communication

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