THE SENIORS@DIGIWORLD PROJECT: TOWARDS DIGITAL LITERACY OF SENIOR LEARNERS BY THE PROMOTION OF TABLETS
1 Centre for the Innovation and Development for the Education and Technology (SPAIN)
2 Digital Opportunities Foundation (GERMANY)
3 Association of Public Internet Access Points (LITHUANIA)
4 Fundatia EOS - Educating for an Open Society Romania (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The use of mobile devices to access the Internet is not as widespread among seniors than it is among other groups of population. According to data from Eurostat 41% of adults from 65 to 74 years old use the Internet (2016). While educational institutions offer courses to increase the digital literacy, other organisations –we call them multipliers– such as libraries, elderly houses, social care centres, telecentres, etc, which come into direct contact with senior citizens are the first (and sometimes the only one) access to get help about the use of tablets. These kind of organisations neither are related to training nor have experience on education, but still keep offering tuition and assistance.
In this context, the Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic partnership project Seniors@DigiWorld (www.digital-seniors.eu) proposes to enable institutions which have direct contact with senior citizens, no matter either they have educational expertise or not, to provide learning opportunities through the use of mobile devices.
This project intends to foster digital inclusion and contribute to the improvement of senior citizens’ daily lives by involving multipliers on training senior learners. To reach that aim, we wanted to validate the needs and capacities of organisations which are not directly related to training but offer some kind of educational service (assistance, tutoring, seminars, workshops, non-formal courses, etc.). To reach that understanding, we worked under the framework of partnership where 41 interviews were performed to organisation responsible. We wanted to know to which extend non-formal training institutions organise, offer and deliver ICT courses to senior learners.
It was identified 4 main needs that were not covered enough; capacities in human resources, updates of training material, equipment and motivation of seniors to learn ICT. Related to these needs and the scenarios that help to solve that requirements, we considered the following conclusions about the best way for organisations to help to provide educational activities to senior citizens to promote their digital inclusion. In case of lack of capacity from employees, the creation of tutorials for the most common tasks can be provided, at least it would increase the capacity of reusing materials (being then global) as well as avoiding existing online tutorials that have huge quantities of advertisement. Then a new issue raises, that is the variety of versions of tablets and the so dynamic websites, which make a tutorial to be soon deprecated. The solution proposed relies on offering training to trainers but not only on senior learners context, didactic skills and methods for teaching to this target. It should also be focused on creating materials that are mainly dynamic and easy to update, therefore the first trainer to notice any error could then, update the materials and that would be immediate for the others. We propose a two-level networks, the first level is a trainers network that facilitates sharing materials and practises (learning platform can organise several groups of knowledge) and a second level focused on senior learners which are directly linked to some topics (e.g. communication, getting information, etc). That would promote the learners support from each other, discovering new things as well as creating emotional connections among them. This proposal is based on the managers interviews and the expertise of the Seniors@DigiWorld project.
Keywords: Senior learner, digital inclusion, andragogy, ICT, tablets, pedagogy, managers, organisations, elderly.