On the 21st of March 2023 an event regarding the project ICT4Elders took place. It was realized by the organisation APSS ČR with the cooperation of SeneCura SeniorCentrumKlamovka, Život+ and EAN. The event was held with the participation of more than 120 people. The main goal for this event was to bring attention to the experiences and knowledge of elderly people regarding the usage of IT technology. Turns out that according to the international studies, whose main focus is regarding the quality of life, that the usage of ICT technology leads to the improvement of quality of life for the whole population. That´s because the elderly are placed to the part of population that is the most endangered with digital literacy such as fear, technological barrier or the absence of skill. This can all lead to social exclusion of the elderly. To prevent this exclusion all involved partners created projectICT4Elders.
As a part of the implementation of this project the partners presented the results of an analysis in their respective countries from available resources, data and activity directly concerning the elderly, social services workers and family members. The result of the analysis showed that about 40% of the elderly that are 65 years old or older owns a computer and actively uses the internet. But on the other hand, around 40%of them don´t have an access to the internet and around 50%of them can´t even work with the internet. One part of this analysis was also a social experiment in which the elderly took part in. The social experiment main goal was to evaluate the vulnerability of the elderly regarding their IT knowledge and to raise awareness and perception of the area of threats in the digital world.
This all lead to the creation of educational program for the elderly which gives them the opportunity to grow and to be actively involved with the rest of the population. The program was presented to the participants at the event. Thecourse can be completed through online platform or through the help of social services workers, who had already completed the “Training guide for lecturers”. The whole program also includes number of practical examples for practise and for mastering the usage of digital technologies. The educational course itself contains 3 main modules. First one is named: The equipment, internet and apps. This Module contains three lessons in total. Second Module is named: Online communication, entertainment and health, which also contains three lessons. Last Module is named: Online security. This Module focuses in its three lessons on the internet banking, electronic payment, online shopping, disinformation and inappropriate content.
According to the feedback, that was received after we have presented to the participants, Module 1 looked the most interesting too them. Around 80% of the responders were most intrigued in Lesson 2: The internet and web browsers, then 70% took interest in Lesson 3 and around 40% in Lesson 1. For Module 2 and 3 their interest in the topics was gradually lowering except for Lesson 1: The communication in Module 2 where 80% of the elderly thought this was the most useful Lesson. Module 3 which regarded the online security had the lowest interest out of all of the previous Modules. Only between 0-10% of participants thought all of the Lessons in this Module were useful. When it came to the question of how much new things the elderly learned after completing the educational program around 30% learned only new things, 30% haven´t learned anything new and 40% learned more new information than they already knew.
This shows that even though the elderly are interested in having a better knowledge about the IT, there are still some areas that needs more focus on, which this program tries to cover fully. Starting from the most basic knowledge about the IT to the help with adapting to the new digital world. The feedback from the participants was really positive. They were really excited and happy about the project and its outputs. The participants of the event even claimed, that the project outputs are very helpful to them and that it´s a very unique concept of educational seminar. If you want to learn more about the project you can visit the official website https://www.ict4elders.eu.