Document Type


Date of Original Version



Natural Resources Science


This pilot study aimed to bridge the digital divide between older and younger adults. The goal was for older people in the state to become digitally literate by engaging them in a program that provides digital devices (i.e., Apple iPads), internet connectivity (i.e., through HotSpots), and training from supervised university student mentors. This project, funded as a key policy initiative through the state’s unit on aging, specifically promoted social and economic equity by targeting participants from lower-income communities and areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our university partnered with senior/community centers to recruit and support English- and Spanish-speaking adults 50 years of age and older (age range: 55-100, M=72.3, SD=8.5). For this paper, we examined changes in technology use and digital competence from the pre- to the post-survey (collected over the phone) from older participants (N=145), and we examined how the program contributed to new ways for participants to connect to community resources. Based on statistical analyses, participants improved in digital competence (pre=2.06, post=2.74), technology use (pre=1.99, post=2.70), tablet use (pre=1.53, post=4.08), and the number of purposes in which participants used technology (pre=4.09, post=5.55; p’s

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Elder Policy






Sky N. Leedahl, Alexandria Capolino, Emma Pascuzzi, Christina Azzinaro and Tyler-Ann Ellison are affiliated with the Department of Human Development & Family Science.

Kristin Souza is affiliated with the Center for Career & Experimental Education.

Melanie Brasher is affiliated with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Erica Estus is affiliated with the Department of Pharmacy Practice.