The Annual Conference will approach the key questions of learning methodology and technology focusing on the “Open learning generations”, the contexts of socially significant target groups: junior and senior e-learners. We will explore their learning cultures, technology use patterns, and discuss new approaches in pedagogy and andragogy that respond to them.
The changing technology dimension: development of networking tools, new platforms and standards, and interoperability questions, will also be addressed from the perspective of different groups of users.
The European Distance and E-Learning Network exists to share knowledge and improve understanding amongst professionals in distance and e-learning and to promote policy and practice across the whole of Europe and beyond.
With more than 200 institutional members and over 1200 members in the Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP), EDEN assists a wide range of institutions, networks and individuals to become involved in professional information and networking activities. It does so through the organisation of acknowledged European conferences, its publications and information services, and by taking an active role in a wide range of important EU projects. EDEN has also proved successful with thematic activities such as the Open Classroom Working Group (school level distance education), and by contributing to, and promoting, ‘cutting edge’ research in the field. In addition, EDEN has also provided extensive secretarial support to the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL).
See more detailed information about the 2012 EDEN Annual Conference key note speakers and conference scope and programmes here.
Read an interview with Dr. Ulrich Bernath - Committee member of the EDEN Conference programme committee and Chair of the Board of Directors and Trustees of the Ulrich Bernath Foundation here.
International conference presenting the latest research and trends on ICT and elderly citizens (over 55). This includes pedagogy of ICT, Knowledge Society, ICT tools for education, social impact and QL, e-inclusion, potentialities, changes.
Researchers, teachers, professionals, and learners are invited to present their recent work and innovations and share experiences and expertise.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play an essential role in today's society. Knowledge of these ICT is increasingly necessary to access a wide range of services, knowledge and new forms of social organization are becoming more and more important in the field of education. Nowadays elderly people need to have some knowledge of these ICTs if they are to remain an active part of our society. All citizens should be included in this new society. Being part of this society offers great advantages, while on the other hand, the risk of being excluded is also an important issue.
Educational institutions, as Universistat per a Majors have created some programs to promote the use of these ICTs among the elderly, ranging from simple e-mail users or search engines to use other tools to get some experience with these technologies.
The motto of this conference: "No one is left behind" promotes the idea of teaching the elderly in the use of ICT so they do not feel excluded from society. The III International Conference on Elderly and New Technologies are intended to facilitate the inclusion of older people in the ICT society. Therefore, this conference aims to expand and share experiences, technology and tools, while discussed in depth the social realities and social impact arising from the impact of technological advances in the field of training of the elderly. Researchers, teachers and professionals from around the world will be taking on the task of explaining the technological development and progress and benefits to present and explain their research and results in the field of ICT for the elderly.
This conference is aimed at researchers, teachers, staff and students over the world. In addition, older students have not only the role of spectators, but once finished the conference, will establish a network among all participants to continue to innovate and exchange experiences, tools, content and other approaches and methodologies in the field of education ICT for the elderly.
Tehnologia nu a schimbat noţiunea de învăţare ci a deschis alte piste de reflecţie în legătură cu felul în care se poate face acest lucru. Dacă dorim ca persoanele în vârstă să devină autonome în utilizarea tehnologiilor digitale, trebuie să ne concentrăm pe obiectivele lor privind utilizarea digitală, pe domeniile în care activitatea digitală capătă un sens social şi contribuie în mod direct la dezvoltarea sensului şi a identităţii.
Acest articol prezintă un model de alfabetizare digitală pe trei niveluri, care pleacă de la principiul că, daca suntem conştienţi de provocările cu care se confruntă vârstnicii în societatea modernă, putem înţelege mai bine rolul pe care alfabetizarea digitală, precum şi legătura dintre aceasta şi învăţare îl pot juca în rezolvarea situaţiei lor dificile. Din cauza incertitudinilor privind rolul persoanelor în vârstă în societate, alfabetizarea digitală poate fi foarte un mijloc valoros de participare şi de afirmare socială. Dobândind cunoştinţe legate de instrumentele de lucru digitale, persoanele vârstnice îşi pot păstra controlul asupra felului în care existenţa lor evoluează într-o epocă din ce în ce mai nesigură. Într-o societate în care prăpastia dintre generaţii este mai mare ca niciodată, alfabetizarea digitală poate juca rolul unei punţi de legătură între generaţii.
These days we are seeing more and more learning opportunities for seniors that seek to meet the challenge of including older people in the information and communication society. These training opportunities are mostly in traditional learning settings and less frequently in a context of mutual support where older people work in a self directed way. And yet seniors could be one of the target groups who would profit most from online learning opportunities, if appropriate e-learning scenarios are developed for meeting the needs of older people and dealing with some of their constraints.
FIM-NewLearning at the university of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, together with six European organisations, e.g. Bavarian Senior Citizens Network (BSNF) and the University of the Third Age (U3A) from the UK, have taken up the challenge by initiating the project eLSe – eLearning for Seniors, a Socrates-Minerva project, aimed at developing an overall pedagogical and technological concept for an appropriate e-learning environment especially dedicated to older people with no or almost no experiences in ICT. At home with a special eLSe Computer, the eLSe participants were able to acquire enough ICT skills write e-mail, use the internet and to use a computer as a gateway for virtual learning opportunities.
The eLSe project focuses on three main development areas
- Development of seven e-learning modules especially conceived for the needs and interests of older people, following a carefully designed didactical concept. These e-learning modules are in part developed or at least reviewed by senior citizens with long-term experience in ICT training and the support of senior citizens. The approach is based on the immediate use and transfer of the skills learned, with regular retraining loops to consolidate skills already acquired and constant feedback.
- Secondly, an open source learning platform has been adapted for the target group taking strict account of pedagogical needs and usability. The screen layout is very clear and easy to handle, and provides only the necessary information. The introduction to using the e-learning platform is based on a three-step approach aimed at ensuring a stable handling of the learning environment and the elimination of existing fears. To start with, older learners learn how to display the content and navigate through the e-learning modules. Additionally, the handling of embedded media, e.g. simulations, demonstrations, interactive elements, audio and video elements is well explained and supported, for a better understanding online training is provided Finally, the use of the communication facilities within the platform (e.g. discussion boards, e-mail, chat) are explained and incentives for their use are provided by the members of the support team. This phase is also extremely important for the essential development of a sense of community among training participants.
- In the training phase, support related to content, technical aspects and motivational factors is provided in depth by the support team as a way of maintaining motivation and learning progress while paying attention to a range of individual differences . Feedback and self-training features are reinforced, complementary sound and visual elements are included in order to compensate for physical impairments and synchronous support elements are especially emphasised
In its third year – almost at the end- with its concepts and products implemented, tested and evaluated in Germany and United Kingdom (Sweden and Spain are starting) with a total of 60 participants, the eLSe Project definetely can state that e-Learning environments, if didactelly well designed, can absolutely meet the needs of older learners and are extremely well accepted by these. There are many reasons for these:
- eLearning comes to people and not vice-versa. This aspect addresses seniors’ frequent mobility constraints due to physical impairments, domestic responsibilities (e.g. taking care of relatives) or living outside urban areas, where ICT- training offers are available;
- eLearning works best for those with variable free timeslots. The Post-professional life is often characterised by free variable daily rhythm and plenty of leisure activities. In these cases, asynchronous eLearning offers are extremely adjustable;
- furthermore, it is a fact that, due to their life experience, many seniors are experienced in self-management and motivated to try something new, a fact that well supports the demands of eLearning;
- eLearning enables people to choose their own learning speed, as they are not driven by others, and it enables them to repeat things as often as they wish. These aspects effectively support the changes in memory processing that occur as we get older. For example, older adults have difficulty in novel situations in which they must respond flexibly to memorise things;
- in addition, it should be emphasized that mentoring and tutoring can be done much more individually in eLearning. A factor that again adapts to the individual needs of older adults;
- competitiveness and pressure to perform amongst course participants, which often is seen as rather a problem in face-to-face offers, is almost non-existent. The pressure of having to be as fast as the other participants declines extremely in virtual learning environments. This aspect is of major importance since third agers tend to have less self-confidence and are more afraid to make mistakes. In learning processes, fear leads to increased activity in the amygdaloid nucleus, which decreases cognitive processes;
- mutual support amongst participants in virtual learning communities is one further positive aspect. Community building is supported by personal and technical assistance. Learners are engaged in the whole learning and teaching process and gain self-confidence.
Quoting a 75 years old learner: “I liked being able to get to grips with this new (to me) technology in the privacy of my own home in my own time. Being able to work at my own pace - some things came quickly, others not so. Being able to contact our mentors and other course members from time to time and when necessary”.
- FIM-NewLearning, University of Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany (Project Coordination) www.fim.uni-erlangen.de
- Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen (BAGSO) www.bagso.de
- Bayerisches SeniorenNetzForum e.V, Germany www.bsnf.de
- EDUCALINE S.L www.educaline.com
- imaginary www.i-maginary.it
- The University of the Third Age www.u3a.org.uk
- Centre for Distance-Spanning Healthcare, Luleå University of Technology www.cdh.luth.se
- Kauno technologijos universitetas, Lithuania http://www.ktu.lt or http://www.ktu.lt/en (English version)