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Digital Engagement of senior citizens

It is widely recognised that ICT contributes to improving the quality of everyday life andsocial participation of Europeans, facilitating access to information, media, content andservices. Improving ICT access for the elderly is particularly important. The issue ofuser motivation is central to the lower usage levels among the older population. Formany, ICT has not played a significant part in their formative years in education or thework place. ICT is regarded by many as external to them; something for youngergenerations. ICT is perceived as an industry; a job skill; a skill with ‘capital value’. It israrely presented to them or understood by them as a skill with ‘social value’. Indeedmost training curricula focus on market oriented skills and certifications. They are in themain task oriented and can result in quite pressurised learning environments. Even themost basic certifications available demand proficiency levels in terms of typing speed,etc. which are in many cases beyond the capacity of an older target group and irrelevantto the ‘social value’ that can be realised by participation in the Information Society.This project aims at addressing the specific needs of the older population in relation toICT by designing innovative training programmes and curricula specifically targeting theelderly population. It will develop a Tutor Training and Induction Program. The curriculawill be cognisant of their learning capacity; will concentrate on imparting necessary skillsfor engagement in the Information Society; will require no prior knowledge; will bedelivered in a relaxed, informal and fun environment, will concentrate on developing thepractical computer literacy needed to participate in the new technological era; will testand accredit ability to complete a variety of everyday tasks via technology such asshopping online; communicating using email; online banking; online bill paying;retrieving information. Additionally, the project will establish www.mypastmypresent.euusing Web 2.0 technology as a hosting site for user created content recalling the lifeexperiences both past and present of our older population.
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