Publications and Scholarship

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



older adults, Sheridan Elder Research Centre


Sheridan College offers a Social Service Worker-Gerontology (SSW-G) program that is well respected in the college system. The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research sought to evaluate how providing students with iPads for use during field placement would affect their interactions with older adults and support their learning outcomes. The students were given a thorough orientation to the use of technology with older adults and assigned an iPad for 8 weeks. They were asked to journal their experiences weekly and participate in a follow-up debriefing meeting. The journals described the initial reactions of older adults as they were introduced to new technologies and applications. As the weeks passed, the students became aware of the physical and cognitive challenges some older adults experience when using technology and chronicled the ways they adapted their approaches. Additionally, some students were able to overcome some of the environmental factors that affect the use of other technologies in the field by leveraging the portability and flexibility of the iPads to maintain interest and engagement. Using both the curated set of mobile applications provided to them, and their own discoveries, students were able to use the iPads as a tool to engage older adults in reminiscence, promote social inclusion, overcome physical barriers and therefore promote well-being. This project gave students an opportunity to apply the communication and listening skills they had learned in class to real-life challenges while enhancing the level of care they provided to their clients.


Research Centres


Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC)


Publisher's version

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication



This work was funded by a contribution from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Terms of Use

Terms of Use for Works posted in SOURCE.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Warren-Norton, K., Sheppard, N., Spadafora, P., & Tsotsos, L. E. (2014.) Evaluating iPad use in the field for social service worker gerontology students. Oakville: Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC).

Included in

Geriatrics Commons


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being GOAL 4: Quality Education GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

click icon to learn more