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    Nowhere to Hide: A study of adult learners on a basic ICT course

    Brady, Anne (2015) Nowhere to Hide: A study of adult learners on a basic ICT course. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    When key theorists in adult education are reviewed, there is not a strong focus on ICT, or on its transformative power. Most of the adult learning theory is dated B.C, a phrase taken from Bosley (2011:30), meaning before computers. I believe that adults, and the whole world in general is being transformed by its use. It is particularly interesting to examine people who grew up in a different era, a time before the computer, a time where the tools and techniques of ICT were not learned or practiced. From my research four major findings have emerged that will contribute to the understanding of how adults talk about, understand, learn and place ICT in their lives. Firstly, the understanding of self in relation to digital technology. How these adults place themselves in society and how ICT is impacting of their everyday life. There is an overwhelming amount of fear felt by the participants, which also contributes to their motivation for wanting to learn. Secondly, the learners understanding of the learning process, and how the learner underestimates their own informal learning. These participants have been around ICT for many years and know more than they think they do. It was found during my research, that by sharing expertise with each other that these adults confidence was increased and the ability to move forward was more likely. Thirdly, obstacles and supports. The obligation felt by the participants to partake, the force of ICT and the power it has on their lives seems now to be giving these adults no choice but to partake or be left behind. These adults see it as something they have to do but they do not fully like it and are not fully comfortable with it. The profound ambivalence felt by each learner, the conflicting reactions, beliefs and feelings towards ICT and the shifting societal expectations is changing the role these adults now face in society. And fourthly, the social element. These adults were on this course not for better jobs, or to earn more money. They were there because they were feeling left out, isolated from friends and family and they wanted to learn in order to rejoin a world that was leaving them behind.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: adult learners; ICT; M.Ed.; M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9583
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 11:05
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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