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Innovative methods for increasing effectiveness of teaching English of 55+ learners (InMETE 55+)

Teaching foreign languages, especially English, to seniors, is becoming one of the most crucial elements of education in later-life in Europe. Existing analysis concerns mainly the needs and current state, but there are not enough didactic materials which would support teachers in their daily work with learners 55+. This concerns in particular those materials that go beyond the traditional language course, and include such elements that are emotionally engaging, motivating, and provide new incentives: mental, physical and sensory – so essential in later-life pedagogy.

Bearing in mind the above, the main objective of the “Innovative methods for increasing effectiveness of teaching English of 55+ learners” (InMETE 55+) project under the Erasmus+ Programme was to develop tangible propositions of innovative methods for increasing effectiveness of teaching English to 55+ learners.

Through well-structured cooperation, researches, discussions, international meetings, three tangible intellectual outputs of the project were prepared:

  • resource pack of possible resources: materials, ideas and guidelines which could be used during the English lessons to increase cognitive functions of elderly learners, in particular, their attention, motivation, emotional involvement, memory functioning, senses and body involvement, communication sensitivity and capability, and also their well-being;
  • nine detailed lesson outlines together with teaching/learning materials for teachers and students (each for two levels: elementary (A2-B1) and intermediate (B2) including innovative elements taken from external sources like art, historical heritage of our countries, memory rules and methods, music, poetry, body expression and para-theatrical forms, etc.;
  • two curricula for a one-year (60 hrs) course for learners 55+, two levels – elementary (A2-B1) and intermediate (B2).

These three products are available free of charge for seniors’ educators from the non-profit sector.
The project Partnership includes organizations from Poland, Hungary and Italy.

Source: https://inmete55plus.blogspot.com/

Access date: 10.09.2021

Slow Learning: Developing the skills of IT trainers of older people

“Slow Learning” is a Erasmus+ Programme project aiming in training IT educators to acquire the competences and skills they need, in order to be able to train effectively elders in new technologies, by using innovative methodologies and tools.

The training of older adults requires andragogically well-trained providers, who are familiar with the theory and practice of adult education, know the characteristics of the life course of the members of different age cohorts and those effects on the readiness for education, understand that older adults are an extremely diverse group of adults with very different needs and require tailor-made approaches and modes of work in educational programs.

Learning & education can play a very important role in reducing age segregation, as it regulates imbalance between generations and opens up new opportunities for social inclusion to older adults.

Main objectives of the project are:

  • better understanding of senior expectations & needs in learning environments, focusing on IT training
  • improved knowledge & use of pedagogical tools, new technology in educating seniors
  • exchange of good practice among partners
  • create the basic theoretical foundations for the implementation of education of IT to older adults
  • get to know older adults as an extremely diverse group of adult learners for whom education is being prepared according to their needs and for them.

Target groups of the project are adult educators, teachers, mentors, trainers, professionals in IT and seniors.

Results:

  • Compendium of existing innovative and effective practices and tools in teaching technology to seniors
  • Job Profile of IT trainers of seniors
  • Training programme for IT trainers
  • Video for sharing the successful experiences by teachers and older people.

Partnership of the project was composed of the organizations from Slovenia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and Spain.

Source: http://www.slowlearning.eu

Access date: 30.03.2022

Inclusive Senior Education through Virtual U3A

The project objective is to create a system of inclusive education of seniors (based on the common methodology) with the use of information technology and active engagement of the seniors into the creation of the content of individual courses, including participation in their implementation. Another project objective is to systematically engage the youth into the education of seniors.

Within the project, a new methodology is created. The methodology integrates innovations leading to improvements of inclusive senior education and elimination of weak points. The main focus is on accomplishment of four pillars:

  • social inclusion,
  • use of ICT,
  • active seniors’ participation,
  • engagement of the youth into senior education

Results:

  • Three analysis developed by common instructions based on the results of questionnaire for seniors
  • Comparative case study
  • Methodology of inclusive senior’s education (without barrier) based on smart using of ICT, cooperative learning, social learning, integrating of youth and boost senior’s confidence.
  • New virtual classroom as a result of implementation of designed methodology (at least in applicant organisation). Virtual classroom was implemented in the Moodle platform. Although this environment is in English, particular courses are created and lead in national languages.
  • Courses: ”seniors to seniors”.

The project was participated by 4 institutions from Czech Republic, Portugal and Italy.

Project co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus+ Programme.

Source: https://projekty.osu.cz/isev/

Access date: 28.04.2021

Slow Learning – Making Digital World Easy for Seniors

Learning & education can play a very important role in reducing age segregation, as it regulates imbalance between generations and opens up new opportunities for social inclusion to seniors. The training of seniors requires andragogically well-trained providers, who are familiar with the theory and practice of adult education. The main problem that IT educators are facing is that they don’t have the needed skills and competences to educate seniors in new technology. Educators of elderly, and specifically IT educators, need knowledge of seniors and contemporary image of old age in society. On one hand they are aware that older people are not all the same, that they are very different, that they are more different from each other than different members of the younger generations, but on the other hand they also know, they lack knowledge both in theory and practice on better working methods with this target group. Lot of teachers are more pedagogues (school system of teaching) than andragogists with merely basic knowledge on working methods for seniors. Main objectives of the project are:

  • Better understanding of senior expectations & needs in learning environments, focusing on IT
    training;
  • Improved knowledge & use of pedagogical tools, new technology in educating seniors;
  • Exchange of good practice among partners;
  • Create the basic theoretical foundations for the implementation of education of IT to seniors;

Primary target groups of the project are adult educators, teachers, mentors, trainers, professionals in IT. Secondary target group are seniors who are impacted with an increased accessibility to nonformal IT learning activities, especially adapted to their needs & expectations.

Project offers compendium with best practices: https://slowlearning.eu/compendium-2/

Source: People’s University Ptuj

Access date: 01.03.2022

PHARAON – Pilots for Healthy and Active Ageing

The overall objective of the PHArA-ON project is to provide support for Europe’s ageing population by integrating digital services, devices, and tools into open platforms that can be readily deployed while maintaining the dignity of older adults and enhancing their independence, safety, and capabilities. The project will utilise a range of digital tools including connected devices (e.g., the Internet of Things, IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud and edge computing, smart wearables, big data, and intelligent analytics that will be integrated to provide personalised and optimised health care delivery.

The Slovenian pilot aims at improving well-being through passive monitoring using a variety of sensing devices like wearables, sensors embedded in furniture, and environmental sensors.

During the pre-validation phase, a number of Pharaon technologies were used to monitor physiological indicators of residents directly (wearables, imbedded sensors), as well as to monitor their environment (environmental sensors, embedded sensors):  SmartHabits (ENT), InvisibleCare, IoChat, IoTool (Senlab),  Amicare (CETEM), MOX wearable (MAIN), Wearables (CORO), Discovery (Ascora). Furthermore, a system was tested to easily browse events, register, and potentially arrange transit using a familiar system, like a television with remote control using the following Pharaon technologies:  IoChat, IoTool, SeniorsPhone, InvisibleCare (Senlab), Sentab system (SenTab).  The communication support tools are centered on an easy to use, television-based communication tool (Daisy, SenLab) and a smartphone interface designed specifically with older adults in mind, with chat and other communication tools supported as well.

Source: National Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia

Access date: 01.03.2022

Digitized society and the elderly

For 20 years, there have been discussions and a multitude of different projects and programs (many of which have never been implemented) on the need to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the daily lives of the elderly population, as well as other vulnerable groups. Extremely rapid development of technologies and services that dictated by capital has intervened in all pores of our lives, which we are suddenly faced with the fact that mastering e-skills has a huge impact on quality of our lives. But today we are no longer talking about the information society, but about digitalisation, which is supposed to change the whole society.

Technological development has greatly changed our way of life. Among other things, it is everything

several things can be done “remotely”, using different electronic devices connected to the Internet. It seems that more and more often this will be the only one how to exercise rights and access services in a digital society. Therefore decision-makers, competent institutions and civil society must pay special attention attention to ensuring equal opportunities for older and vulnerable groups in

integration into the digital world. Last year’s festival for the third period of life, for the 20th time in a row, dedicated a special festival, open to the public, professional discussion to the digitization of the elderly, as this is the very important basis for the inclusion of the elderly in all social pores. The annual festival is therefore in itself a well-established good practice of pressing issues of society in the integration of the elderly.

The participants of the round table highlighted the following measures of equal integration of older and vulnerable groups into the digital society:

  1. Integrate the inclusion of older adults and vulnerable groups (systematic planning and implementation of digitization measures) together with support activities such as they are information, counseling, motivation, analysis and evaluation.
  2. Improving cross-sectoral cooperation between public and private providers in the field of acquiring knowledge, skills and competencies, and implementation of permanent (adapted) support programs for the elderly and vulnerable groups for quality of life in the digital society.
  3. Providing accessible internet infrastructure and connectivity (be able to use a smart device)

and appropriate communication on how to use these services.

  1. Establishment of mobile centers for the elderly, which will be placed in public accessible locations e.g. shops, health centers, banks, where can help the elderly through the first steps in using digital services (eg obtaining a digital certificate, downloading applications to a mobile phone,

user help, etc.).

  1. Empowering seniors to be as independent as possible tackling digital transformation such as education of the elderly educators to help older people with digital inclusion and

acquisition of skills / competences (intergenerational assistance);

  1. Systematic provision and protection of the right to disconnect from digital devices and screens even during the digital transformation. That right that is tight related to privacy is the foundation of democracy.

Speakers drew special attention to the user-friendliness and adaptability of digital services and applications to the elderly. For older adults, any digitized service can be a whole new experience that needs to be carefully approached by the provider.

(see the brochure of the Festival for the Third Age 2021)

Source: Festival for the third period of life

Access date: 01.04.2022

Digitally mobile in old age – the podcast for seniors

The Corona crisis in particular has shown how important and helpful digital offers can be. This podcast from the Digital Opportunities Foundation and O2 wants to encourage older people to explore the digital world. Daniel Finger talks to experts, those affected and enthusiasts and gives many suggestions and tips.

The podcast currently has seven episodes:

  • Up to this point and even beyond
  • Seniors on the net – personal experiences
  • Fears, loneliness, concerns
  • Recognising false information from the net
  • Seniors and Corona
  • Seniors and the Internet: A strong team

Digitally mobile in old age – what to expect

Source: https://www.podcast.de/podcast/946545/archiv

Access date: 01.06.2022

Golden Internet Award – Digitally Active in Later Life

The 60-plus generations, and especially those over 70, still use the internet very little compared to the younger population. Yet the older generations in particular can benefit from it. Therefore, since 2012, the “Golden Internet Award” has been honouring people, initiatives and, since 2017, municipalities that support older people in safely entering and using the online world. Last time there were almost 100 submissions nationwide.

Facilities can apply for the award in the following categories:

  • Category 1: Digital participation – supporting people in times of Corona
  • Category 2: Internet for all – the diversity of target groups!
  • Category 3: Community participation – the diversity of digital ways!

Special Award: Respectful – active for fair treatment on the net!

Source: https://www.goldener-internetpreis.de

Access date: 13.05.2022

Age Management

Age management – The main goal of this concept is to support a comprehensive approach to addressing the demographic situation and demographic change in the workplace. The Age Management provide support for employers and helps with human resources development, targeted mainly on the group of older workers with which it is primarily associated and includes a fair attitude to aging, an understanding of individuality and diversity, but especially various measures to support work skills, also digital.

They are providing online courses (in the Covid era) for example: Master, companion, and apprentice in the digital age. How can older employees and the digital generation exchange experiences?

Source: https://www.agemanagement.sk/

Access date: 11.09.2020