Saint-Petersburg University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 4046-4054
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0788
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The proportion of elderly people is increasing in the population of many countries, so researches related to the rethinking of the content of this period of life, development programs for the active integration of the elderly into social life and positive changes in their quality of life become current. In this regard, the digital space can provide large possibilities of simplifying many daily pursuits and expanding the communicative space of elderly people. The analysis of programs teaching elderly people to use digital technologies found out an invariant structure which included: cognitive component - informing about the possibilities of digital technologies in improving the quality of life; behavioral - learning practical digital skills; emotional-motivational – forming the motivation of active acquisition of digital technologies. However, the introduction of such programs into practice revealed significant individual differences in learning success and multiple psychological barriers, implying difficulties to mass training of elderly people and requiring the search of new approaches.

A variant of this approach is the intergenerational interaction in the development of digital acquisition of elderly people. This conclusion was made on the base of the parallel pilot survey of elderly people (n=68, age from 58 to 91) and adolescents (n=163, age from 11 to 15). The results showed the generation similarity in the assessment of the elderly people potential. In particular, 67.7 % of older respondents and 87.2 % of adolescents indicated that elderly people with appropriate assistance could use better the possibilities of the digital space, and as assistants elderly people and adolescents often indicated children (60.3 % and 76.1%, respectively) and grandchildren (69,1% and 73.6%). The survey also revealed potential points of misunderstanding between generations, the differences in the perception of difficulties of elderly people and the problems of communication.

Based on the obtained results, we developed and tested a training program for elderly people and adolescents, aimed at improving intergenerational communication and willingness to communicate in the digital space. The objectives of training of the elderly were formation of a positive self-image, orientation of the elderly to realize their potential in various activities, including the possibility of the information space; development of skills of constructive interaction, development of tolerance in dealing with people of younger age. The objectives of training of adolescents were overcoming of misunderstandings and hostility in relation to elderly people, development of communicative skills, improvement of empathy in communication, willingness to help the elderly learn the digital space.

The generalization of the experience of training program implementation allowed us to make conclusions about the possibility of including intergenerational practices into programs of digital technologies acquisition by elderly people and the need for work in the preliminary stages to increase the willingness of both generations for this interaction.
Intergenerational interaction, training program, elderly people.