Life expectancy is growing. So there is an equally growing need to fully integrate senior citizens in the Knowledge Society where ICT tools play a crucial role. Their current exclusion, due to technological illiteracy, prevents them from fully exercising their rights but also prevents Society from benefitting from their large experience, life-wisdom and know-how. Furthermore, with the advent of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), this problem was aggravated, as more and more information, communication and formal duties are being designed and processed for that context.
Info-exclusion in adult citizens aged 50 and above relates partially to some reluctance towards change and, particularly, towards new technologies but also to the lack of attention given to the specific needs of this target group. But this is not a verdict or doesn’t have to be a verdict. The difficulties that this generation experiences in the access and use of new ICT tools should not be excuse for generating inequality and increasing the risk of exclusion. It is necessary to raise awareness and to train the operators that work with senior citizens towards the benefits of using mobile devices. A different approach is needed to ensure that senior citizens know exactly how to use efficiently those devices, be it for their personal tasks or their societal requirements.
The aim of the UISEL project is to improve the content and quality of training courses for teachers and staff that work with senior citizens, regarding the benefits of new technologies and focusing on the use of mobile devices, for instance, in regard to fiscal obligations, social security issues, emergency situations, medical monitoring, preventing isolation, and even leisure and time occupation.
The basic aim of UISEL is to leverage processes of independency and individual empowerment of Senior Citizens through the use of mobile devices that allow an almost ubiquitous access to the information and communication. Beyond raising awareness for the benefits of person aged 50+ in using this equipment, this project intends to achieve practical apprenticeship by this target group on how to take the best advantages out of it. The benefits for the senior citizens can be huge, regarding fiscal obligations and social security issues, localization in case of emergency situations, medical monitoring and control, combating isolation, while simultaneously contributing to leisure and time occupation. This aim will be achieved through the definition, development and implementation of a two-stage learning methodology:
- A training phase based on immersion in mobile contents and a multimedia environment which requires collaborative efforts from the transnational groups of trainees. This stage is destined to trainers and caretakers that are in direct contact with senior citizens. It will take place through a blended learning methodology integrating f2f sessions and mobile multimedia contents with the support of an e-platform for collaboration and communication
- The transfer of the mobile technology appropriation to the senior citizens. This will be achieved through direct training by the trainers and caretakers with support of mobile multimedia modules that will also have a self-learning model so that senior citizens can, later on, recall how to use any of the mobile devices functionalities.
Specifically, the following modules will be planned (the actual development may depend on the specificities of each country):
- E-government (taxes, finances, social security)
- E-information and media
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