Gerontology, High Tech, High Touch

This particular article wasn’t very useful, and, sensing that from the start, I skimmed it.  It focuses on whether or not community-based organizations that serve senior citizens are using information technology (databases, in particular) as well as they could.  This article came up in an EBSCO search for “high touch,” but somehow the description made me think it might get theoretical.  I did not.

However, I found one aspect interesting.  They listed four main “principles of care” which technology can facilitate in the health care industry.  Those were:

  1. patient empowerment: making information more readily and fully available to patients
  2. reliability & safety: centralized repositories of patient data can improve physician understanding of patient history and needs
  3. maintaining continuous care relationships: here they mentioned patient-physician electronic messaging, and
  4. public accountability for quality: allowing the public access to hospital safety records, physician malpractice claims, etc.

I wondered whether these “principles of care” somehow connected to in education in general and blended learning environments in particular.  Just a few thoughts, which are incomplete:

  1. student empowerment: do students have more access to information when IT or BL is employed?  Definitely Dr Google opens up tons of information.  But how else are student empowered by blended learning strategies or by the use of IT in the classroom?
  2. reliability & safety — what are the parallel concerns in education?
  3. relationships: definitely important in education, and we believe especially in learning that intends a becoming result
  4. public accountability — definitely the public expects accountability in education, though I’m not sure how implementing IT improves this.


Renold, C., Meronk, C. & Kelly, C. (2005). Technology in Community-Based Organizations That Serve Older People: High Tech Meets High Touch. Educational Gerontology, 31(3): 235-245. doi:10.1080/03601270590900972.||D404A21C5BB053405B1A640AFFD44AE3.


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