Background

The European Commission describes ageing as one of the greatest social and economic challenges of the 21st century for European societies. In 2014, the proportion of persons aged 65 or over reached 18.5% in the EU and it is projected to further increase in the future to almost 30% by 2080.

The difficulties that relatives of older adults and the social- and healthcare system face, could be handled partly by utilizing the opportunities offered by technology. Modern ICT devices and online services can help to improve quality of life, keep personal autonomy, maintain and develop personal interactions of older adults.

According to a Eurostat survey in 2016, 85 % of European households had access to the internet from home. Despite the fact that the majority of older people have a computer or a smartphone, have access to the internet, and they are open to learn new things, many of them do not use online services regularly due to the lack of related skills. Even if there are IT courses for seniors offered in many European countries, they are traditional classroom events. The opportunities of online education are not yet exploited, and there is no specific pedagogical approach available for educating older adults.

There is an articulated need to design a methodology that takes into consideration the special learning needs and attitudes of older adults. By involving younger relatives into the learning process of older people a significant improvement could be achieved in this field.

Aim of the project

In line with the EU's active ageing policy we would like to provide quality learning opportunities for older adults (60+) by developing a user-friendly online platform with interactive video-based learning content, to enable them to use online services with confidence. This can improve their quality of life, preserve their personal autonomy. We would like to achieve this through intergeneration learning, involving younger relatives of the target group into the process.

Project objectives

  • Review the special learning needs and learning attitudes of older adults.
  • Analyse the needs of older people to identify online services, functions that are most important for them and would like to learn about.
  • Prepare a practice-oriented guide with case studies for younger people on how to transfer digital skills effectively to their older family members face-to-face.
  • Create an open repository of about 60 video tutorials that are short, well-designed, interactive and tailored to the needs of older adults with the objective to help them utilize online services in their everyday life, improving their quality of life. Content will be based on previous needs analysis, and will have country specific parts (e.g. e-government services).
  • Develop an online platform, an easy-to-use learning environment for intergenerational cooperation where older adults find not only learning opportunities but can ask help from younger people and can share their memories, achievements, experiences as well.
  • Keep the video repository up to date by integrating new videos created by older adults how are previously taught how to share their experiences and memories with others, leaving their digital footprint for younger generations.

Outcomes

  • Study on the special learning needs and learning attitudes of older adults.
  • Needs analysis on what older people would like use their smart devices and the internet for.
  • Practical guide with case studies for younger people on how to teach older relatives.
  • Open repository of tutorial videos for older adults to help them use online services.
  • Online platform, easy-to-use learning environment for intergenerational cooperation.

Impact

  • Increased understanding between generations supported by the guide for intergeneration study. The developed methodology can be re-used in various other circumstances by education providers.
  • Opening ways for older adults to online services, making their everyday life easier and preserving their personal autonomy.
  • Opportunity for older adults to share their memories online, to inherit their experiences, achievements to younger generations.
  • Usage of the ergonomic and technical aspects of the developed web platform by other organisations who wish to make their website more "senior friendly", making online services more accessible and useable for the target group.
  • The guide regarding the intergeneration approach and the synthesis of online education of elderly people are useful for education providers, course builders Europe wide.

Project basics

  • Title: Be Smart Seniors
  • Acronym: BESS
  • Target group: 60+ adults and their relatives
  • Start Date: 01-10-2018
  • End Date: 30-09-2020
  • Programme: Erasmus+
  • Grant agreement no.: 2018-1-HU01-KA204-047754

Partners

  • Corvus Kft. (Hungary) – coordinator
  • Andragoški zavod Maribor – Ljudska univerza (Slovenia)
  • KarrierSuli Oktatási Alapítvány (Hungary)
  • Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • Anthropogogik Brändle (Liechtenstein)
  • Nyugdíjasok Egyesülete (Hungary)
  • PROMPT-H Kft. (Hungary)

Contact

Website

http://smartseniors.eu/