Archive of European Projects

Online Portal and Active Learning System for Senior Citizens in Europe
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe is transforming into a knowledge society that increasingly relies on information delivered through computers and mobile technology devices. However, senior citizens form a large part of society that mostly lacks the required skills to participate in this development. This situation creates a group of disadvantaged citizens and contributes to the digital divide of European society. However, this imbalance also means lost opportunities, as technology can offer many ways of improving quality of life, especially for senior citizens. Since many older people have mobility issues, technology can keep them connected. This in turn would offer the opportunity of opening a door to learning, staying active and mentally fit, and preventing isolation and loneliness. The goal of the project OPALESCE is to create a learning system focused on senior citizens that runs on mobile devices and downloads open learning content from an online platform. The system will integrate different media formats and interactivity into an innovative “micro unit” format suited even for small screen devices such as smartphones and easy enough to be used intuitively. The idea is to present learning content in small units that only fill one screen, and the user can go to the next page by swiping to the next screen almost as if turning the page of the book. Swiping back takes the user to the previous screen. Ingenious Knowledge has produced mock-up screens to explain the concept that were discussed by the consortium. They can be found here: http://ingeniousknowledge.com/OPALESCE The consortium also envisions a simple learning community by adding a function that lets the user see comments and questions of other learners on each screen of the current course. Learners can add their own comments and questions or answer the questions of others. The number of potential users will be very large thanks th. the international availabilty of the app. The number of learners involved in the training courses is expected to be at least 60. Since many senior citizens are not very well versed in using technical devices, the consortium will prepare a training course that teaches them the basics and quickly introduces them to learning on modern touchscreen devices. The course will be held in all project countries and it will be distributed to other adult learning organizations. The consortium believes that designing and supporting such a system has a huge potential thanks to the scalability of the approach. In addition the partners see the growing interest of senior citizens in technology and are eager to deliver a product that can actually make such a big difference.
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