"Connect Seniors to the Digital World"
Years of implementation: 2016-2018
PURPOSE AND MAIN ACTIVITIES
Digital Media is essential for communication and participation in society. Although senior citizens could benefit from digital opportunities, they are the population group which is often not yet online. Therefore, the project "Connect Seniors to the Digital World" (CSDW) empowers senior citizens to use tablet computers independently and profit from this usage in daily life. For this purpose, multipliers were trained, who work in libraries, digital competence centres as well as retirement homes. As first contact persons, these social workers and volunteers can support seniors to find the way into the digital world by offering training and support programmes.
Thus, a blended learning qualification has been developed and tested in Lithuania, Romania, Spain and Germany during the project. The training covered technical and pedagogical input and practical application with the target group. 45 multipliers were trained to become e-facilitators and empowered 130 seniors to be digitally active.
The project has impacted both multipliers and the seniors. That is because after the training multipliers had to practically implement a training offer for senior citizens. The multipliers reported great experiences: the trained/ supported senior citizens were suddenly able to speak to their children and grandchildren that live far away via Skype; the seniors could use QR codes in museums; they were able to get ebooks in the online library without leaving their home.
The online course is freely available in DE, LT, ES, RO, and ENG for next 10 years with the licence CC BY SA. The English version exists to be transferred. It is useful for two groups: multipliers can self study and use the materials (eg. instructions of how to use the tablet) for their training with seniors. Trainers for multipliers use the online course as part of their qualification offer. They will find a concept for a blended learning as well as curricula for the f2f trainings.
SUCCESS FACTORS AND LEARNING
The project answers two shortcomings:
(1) It is a successor to the German project “Tablet PCs for senior citizens” conducted by SDC. The latter rents tablets to senior centres. It became clear that next to lending the devices, seniors need a contact person in the institution to ask when they get stuck. The contact persons in return need to be trained to be able to support the seniors. Thus, the project was created to develop a qualification for these contact persons and thereby improve the impact of SDC.
(2)The Lithuanian and Romanian partners wanted to establish a similar project because a high percentage of seniors in their countries have never used digital technology before. So, part of the project was to buy and provide tablets to the multipliers that attended the training. The project budget allowed providing one tablet to each multiplier and the partners financed a second one for each so that they could lend it to the seniors. The tablets will stay with the multipliers beyond the project funding.
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