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Motivation of elderly persons who are not used to education for an informal search for information

Mostly the persons used to education participate on a by far higher level than the average in education activities. This tendency led the partnertship to the following question: How can seniors not used to education be motivated for learning and for self contained searching for information?In this partnership experiences were gathered and exchanged with the organisation of courses in which older people were trained to work with a PC and the internet. Trainings have been designed and tried in which trainees were empowered to inspire low educated or illiterate older friends and relatives to join the internet community and start themselves to search for information according to their needs. The partners developed a curriculum for courses that can be adapted to needs and cultures. By means of non-formal courses, low educated or illiterate older persons have been inspired to deal with their problems and questions actively and to look for solutions and results independently (informal learning). The trainees participating in the courses have been motivated and instructed to pass on their new knowledge to their social environment by the “train the trainer” principle and a “snowball system.” The concept appeals to a sense of responsibility and a feeling of being needed (active citizenship). Seniors, who are not used to further education have benefit from informal learning with the help of their friends or relatives.Addressing the personal network seems the best way to reach seniors who live isolated in neighbourhoods or rural areas, especially in Greece and Cyprus. In the Netherlands and in Germany the advanced use of ICT by seniors and the availability of an infrastructure of learning centres (“Seniorweb NL” or “Internet-Paten DE”) may open up new roads to inspire and involve millions of illiterate non users.
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3 Partners Participants