1 University of Ioannina (GREECE)
2 University of Zilina (SLOVAKIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 7891-7895
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.2048
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Today’s technological society is changing rapidly, and ICT are playing an important role because they provide many benefits to senior citizens. Although most senior citizens did not grow up with technology, ICTs remain a challenging opportunity for a better life for the elderly. It is well documented that many senior citizens have difficulty either using keyboards or touchscreens, or they are not aware of all security issues like phishing attacks over the internet, or they cannot support the cost of ICT devices or services. Nowadays, ICTs help seniors to communicate with family members and doctors, they offer access to online information on various topics, improve cognitive function, increase the independence of people, and they keep seniors well-connected with everyday technology for a better quality of life. Moreover, ICTs offer opportunities for elder adults to have easy access to online entertainment, e-learning, shopping, and banking. This way, ICTs help senior citizens stay active and engaged.

The number of retired university professors is increasing. However, retirement often means a disconnection from the academic community and a loss of professional connections. A social network for retired professors can help to bridge this gap by providing a platform for retired professors to connect with their peers, current professors, and society. Retired professors have knowledge and expertise that can be shared with others through a social network. Furthermore, they can participate in university continuing education programs, provide tutoring, mentoring, and so on.

The aim of this study is to explore the potential benefits of creating a social network for retired professors. The network can facilitate collaboration between universities and society, in life-long learning process. Retired professors, through this network, can create a dedicated subgroup for the elderly to help them participate in many educational activities like life-long learning courses, conferences, workshops. So, this social network from retired professors supports the community.

In conclusion, creating a social network of retired professors can provide numerous benefits for active professors, the academic community, and the elderly. It can facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, between universities and region. Additionally, retired professors can continue to mentor current professors and students and stay connected with other citizens after retirement. Therefore, it is crucial for the future of our society to keep seniors digitally active and digitally connected. The establishment of a social network for retired professors is a valuable tool that can help to bridge the gap between retirement and continued learning on ICTs. It is now the time for the academic community to explore the creation of such a platform and capitalize on the advantage of the great human capital, retired professors represent.

This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020» in the context of the project “ICT in Education: Applications in Natural, Social and Health Sciences” (MIS 5162213).
ICT, senior citizens, social network, retired professors, life-long learning.