What is ICTskills4All?
Europe is facing demographic changes as its population is ageing faster and increasingly. This ageing is visible in the development of the age structure of the population and is reflected in an increasing share of older citizens and a declining share of working-age people in the total population. 65-74 years old Europeans citizens, together with people on low incomes, the less educated and the unemployed are largely represented within the 30% of Europeans that have never used the Internet (from: Active and Assisted Living Programme).
ICTSkills4All appears as a project that aims to explore and test innovative practices and effective approaches for educational program design and delivery, to support the acquisition of digital skills among 55+ aged citizens who have limited or no digital knowledge. Unlike senior universitites, by analyzing and answering to the specific individual needs of this target group, we specifically focus on the acquisition of digital skills. Ultimately, by improving digital literacy among seniors, we expect to benefit future attempts and types of training programs created for this audience (senior universities, courses for retired people etc). In this context, the project will also improve and extend the relevant offer and quality learning opportunities available for this public. Besides its contribution to empower this segment of population in terms of its quality of life and autonomy, ICTSkills4all will positively impact the adult/senior education sector and contribute for the digitization of training for older adults, keeping pace with the latest trends in the educational scenario and the current information society.
Methodology and Objectives
The proposed methodology connects multiple factors related with both technology (access, availability and level of difficulty of use) and users (several dimensions: age, gender, physical, mental and cognitive skills, expectations, lifestyle, socioeconomic backgrounds). To ensure the development of relevant and high-quality skills through innovative practices that are adequate to the current digital era, ICTSkills4All brings together a diversified group of experts and different types of organisations. Finally, by involving younger people to test different approaches to promote quality ICT skills acquisition, partners will contribute to bridge generational gaps between older and younger people. In addition to the training modules, this will be achieved by implementing a comprehensive tool that will be tested at (inter)national level, by developing and stimulating the use of specific ICT tools and resources, and through personalized support using different approaches (peer-to-peer and intergenerational).
To summarize, this methodology aims to improve confidence in terms of digital skills and online safety among the old adults. This will contribute to foster inclusion, active citizenship and participation amongst seniors. Furthermore, ICTSkills4All will actively contribute to minimize isolation and frustration feelings connected with difficulty and age stereotypes as well as promote growing interest in Information and Communication Technologies, open and online resources etc.