60+VC – 60+ Virtual Culture
17 months: 2016-2018
Coordinator: Zolty Parasol (Poland)
Partners: Association E-Seniors (France), Associazione Innovamentis (Italy), Glafka (Czech Republic)
60+ Virtual Culture is a project aimed at strategic partnership for the benefit of adult education created by four partner organizations from Czech Republic, France, Poland and Italy each of which has long lasting experience in helping people threatened with e-exclusion and the exclusion from cultural life, in particular with senior citizens.
The fact that educational offer does not follow rapidly changing needs of the ICT environment and newly developed tools often results from poor competences of trainers and people working with the elderly. The trainers being themselves aged 50+ and having outstanding skills in the area of teaching their peers are at the same time facing difficulties when it comes to technological novelties. On the other hand a large group of people working for the benefit of seniors are young with great and dynamic approach and knowledge in the field of ICT, who can immediately recognize new applications, tools and devices. Not many people are aware of the enlarging digital gap between generations. The youth and the seniors have a completely different approach to virtual reality and the attempts to educate seniors with the tools created to suit the young ones are both difficult and ineffective.
The key part of the project will be a training programme for senior citizens regarding in particular:
- Learning computer literacy and new technologies to facilitate daily life of a modern citizen of Europe
- Learning English as a tool to communicate with peers all over Europe
- Encouraging the habit to participate in cultural life at the place of residence as well as around the globe using newest tools and applications (e.g. virtual museum tours)
- Exchanging cultural experience and reporting the reception of particular artefacts, finding common interest etc.
The project will include groups of seniors from member states, each of them with the same number of participants of similar profile. Trainers in the program will work in pairs: one of them computer literacy teacher at the age of 60+ and the second, new technologies expert aged 18+ (preferably graduates without previous work experience). The combination of their skills will enable better access to learners who may otherwise be digitally excluded. The teaching tandems will be given a unique chance to improve their most desired skills and become ideal teachers for seniors (equipped with both technological expertise and appropriate approach to older students needs). Seniors will work remotely in pairs consisting of people from a partner group.
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On the direct actions stage, the learners participate in cultural events in their home cities. During subsequent virtual meetings they will be able to report and review their cultural experience via skype, e-mail or more advanced digital communication channels. The possibility to take part in cultural events with other participants will be an impulse to break barriers such as fear of going alone to an unknown place, high admission price (discounts for group tickets), communication barriers (e.g. persons with age related hearing or eyesight problems who will be supported by other group members), geographical barriers (e.g. car polling to remote locations or virtual tours to foreign museums). Sharing cultural experiences will enable English vocabulary improvement and will provoke better understanding of new technologies, which shall in long term perspective, lead to creation of content based on newest applications such as video relations, video blogging, photo blogging etc.
One of the priorities of the project will be combating barriers and stereotypes. It is common among elderly to have strong ideas about others, often based on stereotypes or historical grudges. Working together will help them notice similarities rather than differences (e.g. common problems of old age) which may lead to relations based on dialogue and mutual understanding.