Technology for Active Participation in Society

Social interaction and support are consistently identified as key aspects of seniors’ quality of life. Lack of communication has been shown to lead to isolation and loneliness, which can result in problems such as depression and cognitive decline for older adults. TECH-APS explores novel technologies that encourage and enable greater social interaction for older adults, and support social participation, including technologies for collaborative play, learning and knowledge sharing.

Workpackage Leads
  • David Kaufman, Simon Fraser University
  • Cosmin Munteanu, University of Toronto


Core Research Projects

Promoting Social Connectedness through New and Innovative Communication Platforms – 4.1 CONNECT-TECH

Research indicates that as many as 43% of older adults living in the community feel socially isolated. The negative effects are well documented: depression, stress, functional decline and death. The goal of this project is to design, create, test and where possible bring to the commercial market new communication technologies for older adults. This project will answer the essential question: can these technologies be helpful in reducing older adults’ feelings of isolation?

Project Leads
  • Ronald Baecker, University of Toronto
  • Sandra Black, Sunnybrook Health Sciences
Researchers
  • Cosmin Munteanu, University of Toronto
  • Goldie Nejat, University of Toronto
  • Julie Maitland, Accreon Inc.

 

Promoting Social Connectedness through Playing Together- Digital Social Games for Learning and Entertainment – 4.2 CONNECT-PLAY

The goal of this project is to create, research and commercialize digital games to enhance older adults’ quality of life. Some research indicates that digital games can enhance older adults’ happiness, cognitive development and facilitate social interaction. Today’s commercially produced games can pose usability challenges. However, many older adults readily embrace the concept of lifelong learning. The games in this project focus on social learning. They involve learning content and/or skills and will be played as social games with other adults or in an inter-generational format.

Serious games help connect older people socially

Project Leads
  • David Kaufman, Simon Fraser University
  • Louise Sauve, Unknown
Researchers
  • Emmanuel Duplaa, University of Ottawa
  • Eugene Loos, University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University
  • Julie Maitland, Accreon Inc.
  • Lise Renaud, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Luciane Fadel, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Patrick Plante, Télé-université
  • Robyn Schell, Simon Fraser University
  • Simone Hausknecht, University of Sydney

 

Promoting Social Connectedness through Collaborating on Digital Storytelling and Knowledge Creation and Sharing – 4.3 CONNECT-CREATE

This project focuses on designing technological platforms to enable older adults to use digital storytelling as a means of communicating and socializing. The research involves working with   older adults in using these platforms and tools to create digital stories covering significant events in their lives and/or their communities. It is a unique means of communication that can be enjoyable, meaningful and life affirming and can assist older adults in continuing to learn, grow and maintain cognitive abilities.

Project Leads
  • Karyn Moffatt, McGill University
  • Cosmin Munteanu, University of Toronto
Researchers
  • David Kaufman, Simon Fraser University
  • Eugene Loos, University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University
  • Julie Maitland, Accreon Inc.
  • Luciane Fadel, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Robyn Schell, Simon Fraser University
  • Ronald Baecker, University of Toronto
  • Simone Hausknecht, University of Sydney

 

Improving the Learnability and Usability of Mobile Devices for Older Adults – 4.8-CAT

Project Leads
  • Joanna McGrenere, University of British Columbia
Researchers
  • Karyn Moffatt, McGill University

 

Promoting quality of life through creative and collaborative music-making with an assistive digital music technology – 4.9-CAT

Project Leads
  • Andrea Creech, Université Laval
Researchers
  • Aaron Liu-Rosenbaum,
  • Carrie McAiney, University of Waterloo
  • Lise Gagnon, University of Sherbrooke

 

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