Journal of Computer Science

Life Long Learning: Seniors in Second Life Continuum

C. D. Seals, W. Moses, J. Nyagwencha, A. Martin, K. Clanton, Chippewa M. Thomas and Felicia Doswell

DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2008.1064.1070

Journal of Computer Science

Volume 4, Issue 12

Pages 1064-1070


Senior citizens represented the fastest growing demographic worldwide. As indicated in the Year 2000 US Census, there were 35 million people 65 or older in the US and by 2030, it was estimated that there were about 70 million older adults in the US alone. With the older population growing rapidly and being increasingly exposed to computers and technology, it is important that they are aware of what computers can do for them (e.g., Email, document creation, games, Internet and educational training). This study was conducted to identify best practices for designing and creating applications for a senior population while also promoting computer and Internet use among seniors. The longitudinal study employed a mixed method approach to data collection and analysis and included the use of standardized surveys, measures of physical fitness and physiology, observations in their retirement community and interviews. Auburn University faculty in the College of Engineering engaged senior citizens to participate in workshops designed to develop their skills in computing. Results of the study indicated virtual classrooms in SecondLife as a viable tool for senior adult education. The potential significance of this project was to create a valid, reliable and reproducible model for outreach to retirement communities and senior activity centers.


© 2008 C. D. Seals, W. Moses, J. Nyagwencha, A. Martin, K. Clanton, Chippewa M. Thomas and Felicia Doswell. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.