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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

The Silver Code

Living both in a rapidly developing digital world and in aging society, the Silver Code Project goal is to make older learners active players and citizens, equipped with competences required by our hyper connected world.

The main Silver Code Project objective is to increase the digital literacy of older learners and offer basic knowledge and skills in coding. Older EU citizens from the 27 EU countries are both the target group, reached through direct activities (30 learners per partner country will take part in the training activities), and direct beneficiaries, reached through peer-to-peer learning methods and dissemination events (about 100 people per partner country). A relevant number of participants, among older people, will be medium-high skilled, such as retired professionals and older people being professionally active and willing to improve their knowledge and competencies. This will be reached through:

The development of a training course, delivered by professional trainers (for theory and general supervision) and youngsters, possibly ICT students, expert on coding, acting as “tutors”(for the practical sessions).

Creation of a “Silver Coding” community based on tools such as platform, forum, social network groups.

Source: The Slovenian Universitxy of Third Age (projects)

Access date: 30.09.2021

SPERO – Social Communication Platform for Seniors

Seniors living in their home face a great risk of loneliness. The risk is much higher when the extended family is not living in the same house. Usually they are linked to the local environment through church visits, doctor visits, grocery shop, newspapers and television. The project develops an innovative social communication platform and end-user device designed for seniors who can easily communicate to everybody who joins the platform. They are able to read news; they can be immediately informed on the local events, sport activities, clubs’ activities. It can be used also as a reminder. The end-user device is designed to have only five buttons. It is connected to TV since it is senior’s prime display in the house. By implementing new communication channel to seniors, and sourcing multiple digital communication channels of senior’s friends, family, local community and care organization, we can tackle the social isolation problem raised by the introduction of the digital communication in the society.

Source: Development Centre oft he Heart of Slovenia

Access date: 12.12.2021

 

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

m-Ageing

Digital inclusion and active ageing: Developing a user-centered methodological approach to investigate the use of mobile phones among older people. Development of a model of user involvement for studying the needs, use, usability and benefits related to assistive technologies integrated in mobile phones.

PROBLEM

  • The need of older adults to live at home for as long as possible;
  • Economically unsustainable health and social care systems;
  • Burdened informal carers.

SOLUTION

Model of user involvement which is involving older adults and informal carers in 3

stages of the R&D:

  • eliciting user needs and generating design ideas;
  • evaluating selected mobile application in lab setting and real environment and generating redesign ideas; and
  • evaluating redesign ideas.

IMPACT

Potential for triple-win outcome: improved QoL of older people nad informal carers,

financial gains for the health and social care sector, new market opportunities.

TRANSFERABILITY

Has been (and will be) applied by other companies and researchers, as well as within EU

project proposals.

SOURCE OF FUNDING

Slovenian National Research Agency and Simobil

Source: UNI Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ceneter for Social Informatics

Access date: 14.10.2021

HoCare

Innovative solutions for Home Care by strengthening quadruple-helix cooperation in regional innovation chains. Ageing of the population is challenge for all EU regions. But it means at the same time also  an opportunity for growh and jobs as there is created great potentila to dleiver innovative solution for home care. Objective of HoCare project is to boost delivery of home careinnovative solutions by strengthening of cooperation of actors in regional innovation system using Qudruple-helix approach, which is an innovation cooperation model where users, business, research actors/universities and public authorities cooperate in order to produce innovation. Government, industry, academia and civil participants work together to co-create structural changes far beyond the scope of what any organization or person could do alone.

Link to the video – thematic workshop Slovenia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B8VKXRMNFI&t=5s

Source: Interreg Europe HoCare Project

Access date: 14.10.2021

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

EkoSMART – Smart Integrated Healthcare and Longterm Care System

Ekosmart is a large research project in Slovenija. One of its field of research (smart integrated healthcare and longterm care system) aims to enable elderly population, people with chronic diseases, dementia or other health conditions, longer, more active and safer conditions to remain living independent in their own homes, resulted in a social care service based on IoT (Internet of Things) and person-centered technologies, available 24 hours a day. The technology supporting the service detects a need for intervention if a user is due to falling or other difficult health condition not able to make an urgent call.
Ekosmart is developing approaches and prototypes to ensure the basic conditions for effective transformation to integrated healthcare and home care system. It provides: integration of different levels of healthcare, effective and secure exchange of information among different stakeholders of the healthcare system on the national level (national registers, accounting system, big data analysis) and basic conditions for development and sustainability of the healthcare and social system. The main goals are: development of a model of integrated healthcare provision and the establishment of related infrastructure, development of a systemic foundations for extending the model of integrated healthcare provision, raise the quality of life and safety of chronic patients and extended care, safe use of medicines and reduced number of referrals to clinical pharmacologists.

Source (access date): Telekom Slovenia

Access date: 12.12.2021

DIGITAL INCLUSION FOR SENIORS

Slovenian Third Age University (National Association for Education and Social Inclusion)

is currently a nation wide set network of 52 universities in 52 localities with about 21.000 students, more than 1.000 mentors and 1.000 volunteers.

Since 1984 when it was established it has been catering for the needs of older people in the field of informatics and new technologies. In 1986 mentors of Slovenian Third Age University developed a programme for low -literate employees complete beginners to learn both English and computer skills needed for the programme WordStar. It was accompanied by a film with mimes illustrating basic computer skills and was a breakthrough in ICT education. In Ljubljana there are currently more than 620 students enrolled in computer classes right now. There are programmes catering for students needs at different levels and developing overall computers skills.

Source:  The Slovenian Universitxy of Third Age

Access date: 30.09.2021