Author(s)

Dale TysorFollow

Date

9-2015

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Billie J. Holubz

Keywords

eBook, eReader, library, phenomenological, senior adults, technology

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Education Economics | Instructional Media Design | Other Education

Abstract

A majority of the previous research on older adults and their use of technology has focused on computers and the Internet. Most of the eReader-specific research examined younger participants in an academic setting. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the perspectives of Georgia senior adults in their adoption of eReaders. The adoption of an eReader was generally defined as the acquisition of an eReader, followed by the selecting, downloading, navigating, and reading of eBooks using an eReader. This study took place in a public library and was designed to answer 3 research questions: (a) What are contributing factors in senior adults’ decisions to use eBooks? (b) How do senior adults describe their eReader experiences? (c) What are the challenges and benefits of senior adults regarding the use of eReaders? Data were collected from questionnaires completed by 29 eReader owners age 50 and over. From this group, 8 individuals were interviewed and 6 participated in a focus group. The data were analyzed and 4 themes emerged: Passion for eReader and eBook Selection; Sense of Economic Value; Comfort with Technology; and Interest in Future Direction of Technology. The intended use of the eReader influenced whether a single- or multi-function device was purchased. Costs associated with ownership included an initial outlay for an eReader, the price for eBooks, which were sometimes free, and for some participants, membership in Amazon Prime. The participants were involved in technology from an early age, whether at home, school, or work and maintained a keen interest not only in the state of current technology, but also in the future direction that technology was headed. The themes represented a snapshot in time for participants from a community with above average income and education levels.