What is the significance of the mobile phone in the social relationships of young people and seniors? What kinds of informal and formal learning strategies do young people and seniors have in acquiring mobile phone and other ICT literacies? Young age groups have for long been the most active mobile phone users, but in the last few years the mobile phone use of over 60-year-olds has also been growing very rapidly in Finland and in other countries. This article presents research findings based on several research projects conducted at the University of Tampere on the use of mobile communication and the Internet among young people, families and seniors since the late 1990s. The research aims to explore the spread of mobile and Internet trends through study of communication and social networks among young people and seniors. The main methods have consisted of group discussions and thematic interviews among young people and seniors. By 2006, over 1500 Finns have participated in the study. The research indicates that for older generations, for whom it still constitutes a relatively new aspect in their personal histories and daily lives, the meaning of the mobile phone is highly different than for young people who have grown up into ICT citizens. Knowing the actual use contexts and user experiences of technology among different generations in their daily life can provide important insights on how to improve design and services associated with the technologies.
- mobile learning