ELKS Seminar on Lifelong Learning for Senior Citizens in the Digital Age

I thought you might be interested in our next ELKS (E-Learning and Knowledge Sharing Community) online event scheduled for the 15th of December at 11am to 1230pm GMT. Come and join this pre-Christmas ELKS seminar. Our colleague Ricardo Torres Kompen from Spain has kindly agreed to share his and his colleagues’ work on the use of ICT with senior citizens. The URL for the seminar is on the ELKS website at http://elkscommunity.wetpaint.com Please read the abstract below.

Seniorlab: Lifelong learning for Senior Citizens in the Digital Age

Speaker: Ricardo Torres Kompen, i2Cat Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, and The Education research group at Citilab, Cornellà, Spain

Senior citizens are usually the group with less experience in the use of the Internet, as shown by numerous studies. Society’s image of senior citizens is, in general, shown in a negative light, mainly because of social prejudice and economic factors, that associate old age with a plethora of negative concepts, such as burden, dependency, cost, illnesses, obsolescence and lack of productivity. On the other hand, this growing segment of the population is being perceived as a potential market for service companies, and is also being addressed by governments, which are providing support for the social and health needs of this age group.

The objective of Seniorlab project is to put senior citizens at the centre of the knowledge society, under the belief that senior citizens should not have to adapt to new technologies and tools, but rather that these should be adapted to senior citizens’ needs, and it should also be taken into account what they can provide to society. Seniorlab is, in this context, a social innovation that regards people – senior citizens in this case – as the drivers of social and cultural innovation.

In this seminar, we will provide an overview of the Seniorlab project and its planning and development phases followed by a description of methodologies and participants. We will outline how we use project-based learning, Living Lab methodologies and social networking. We will also provide results from evaluations and future plans for the Seniorlab.

About Ricardo

Ricardo Torres Kompen is a researcher in the field of technology enhanced learning and multimedia. Currently enrolled in a Doctoral programme in Multimedia Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Ricardo’s PhD thesis is focused on the personalisation of learning through the use of multimedia and technology. He works as e-Learning cluster coordinator for the i2Cat Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, and is also involved in the Education research group at Citilab, an innovation center based on Cornellà, Spain. He collaborates with the Seniorlab project, a project whose aim is to help senior citizens use ICTs in innovative ways, and also coordinates the Hort Digital project (The Digital Orchard), a living lab approach to helping high school teachers use technology in the classroom, by developing innovative projects and strategies.

Ricardo collaborates with the Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester, UK, since 2008, on the PELICANS project.

Palitha Edirisingha, 6th December 2009.

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