|Name of the good practice||Go digital! Culture at your fingertips|
|Name of the organisation or institution in charge of the project||EŁCKIE CENTRUM KULTURY / Poland|
|Address, City||ul. Wojska Polskiego 47
|1st project year||2016|
|Is the project ongoing? (time alive)||2018|
|The good practice is to be found at web.address||http://www.cultureatyourfingertips.eu|
|Website of the organisations|
Short description of the project, of the method
“Active aging” process is very important because people in their third age period are one of the most vulnerable groups, exposed to specific chal-lenges, such as lower financial position, diminishing social connections, worsening in the quality of life, lower level of independence and autonomy and threat of becoming isolated from the rest of the society. At the same time, getting older is often connected to loss of various goods, reputation and power. Due to various prejudices and stereotypes about older people, they are often lonely and their mobility is very limited because of different diseases, getting weaker, financial problems or fear of outer world, which leads them to be isolated from the rest of the society. For these reasons, it is of crucial importance that senior citizens are offered different trainings and other educational forms, which will help them develop their skills in the field of technological progress, social inclusion, self-esteem and informing.
6 partners from Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden that work with adults and are fully aware of the importance of continuous learning within this group, decided to join their efforts for the common aim – to increase knowledge and skills of their staff through exchange of experience and good practices in the area of culture and adult education, in order to develop the project product – an offer of activities supporting development of digital skills in adults aged 50+, by means of cultural activities.
Seniors tend to consider learning digital skills as a “necessary evil” so it is crucial to adapt the program to their wishes and needs. Researchers (Ramovš, 2012) show that the most common reason and motivation for seniors to take up learning about technology is communication with the world and finding various information online. Therefore, we should orien-tate the technology classes towards these two main streams. Meanwhile, mentors should not forget that it is not necessary for the seniors to know every little thing about technological equipment, such as computers or telephones, but only enough for them to be able to use it.
The catalogue of Go digital! is the final product of the project. As the project is about using cultural activities to teach digital skills and all project meetings revolve around this subject, the catalogue sums up the work that the partners did within 15 months of the project duration.
During the meetings and individual work in their organizations the partners created 11 activities supporting development of digital skills in adults aged 50+. Those are: Social togetherness, Seek and find, Search for a cultural event, Book and pay for a cultural event, Smart art, Let’s create an e-book, Kahoot quiz, Digital memory album, Compose & Play, The new me, Animation – not for kids.
Activities are targeted at people with low digital skills, who withdrew from education and/or social life for various reasons: e.g. mental barriers, low income or transport difficulties.
Digital skills are shaped by activities in the field of broadly defined culture and arts, waking their creativity and using their inborn creative potential, and selected activities have been tested by the partners during local workshops.
The catalogue is available online here: http://www.cultureatyourfingertips.eu/catalogue/ready-steady-go-digital-our-catalogue-is-ready
Target groups – participants
Activities of the project are targeted at people aged 50+ with low digital skills, some of which will then be tested by the partners during local workshops. Digital skills will be shaped by adequately chosen activities in the field of broadly defined culture and arts, waking participants’ creativity and using their inborn creative potential.
The project also indirectly engages other local organisations and institutions – NGOs, third age universities and other institutions working in each partner’s environment that offer support to the partners in development of the project product. Such network will support the partner organisations also in future, after the project ends.
Which resources were necessary for the project?
Main source of information were workshops that partners carried out, testing activities developed earlier in the project. All activities are supposed to combine culture with teaching digital skills and are targeted at adults 50+. The tested activities were:
- Social togetherness / Seek and find – Folkuniversitetet (Sweden)
- Kahoot Quiz – Ljudska univerza Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia)
- Digital Memory Album – Viaindustriae (Italy)
- Let’s create an e-book – Alytaus Kultūros Ir Komunikacijos Centras (Lithuania)
- Search for cultural event / Book and pay for cultural event – Glafka (Czech Republic)
Results from evaluation of the workshops and recommendations from instructors and participants afterwards helped shape the final version of the activities catalogue.
For the implementation of activities, described in the catalogue, in practice, mainly classroom with computers is needed.
Why it has been selected as good practice
Researchers show that the most common reason and motivation for seniors to take up learning about technology is communication with the world and finding various information online. Therefore, we should orientate the technology classes towards these two main streams.
Meanwhile, mentors should not forget that it is not necessary for the seniors to know every little thing about technological equipment, such as computers or telephones, but only enough for them to be able to use it.
When teaching digital skills and ICT to seniors, mentors should always bear in mind that older students might be facing various physical and mental limitations, which could reduce their ability to judge, decide and receive the information they are getting. Therefore, the mentor should be prepared to repeat and revise the same things several times, try to ex-plain the same things in different ways and adapt the courses entirely to the needs and capability of the group of seniors.
We also have to keep in mind that people tend to learn easier and with more enthusiasm when the subject they are learning is connected to so-mething they are interested in and passionate about. This is no different when working with seniors, so mentor should get to know her/his students and their interests at the beginning of the classes and try to involve all the subjects they mention into her/his classes.
Therefore, the method with including culture is a perfect way to go, because you can always find an interesting topic that will go well with all the students’ interests.
Seniors are a very important part of the community and teaching them digital competences helps develop and show their capabilities, encourage their personal growth and development, as well as helps maintain com-munication and interaction with local community and wider. At the same time, it helps us develop a better community and quality of life.