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Silver Economy 2007 Conference, 15-16 November 2007, Sevilla 1 Ageing Societies, Learning, and Information and Communication Technologies Kirsti Ala-Mutka.

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Presentation on theme: "Silver Economy 2007 Conference, 15-16 November 2007, Sevilla 1 Ageing Societies, Learning, and Information and Communication Technologies Kirsti Ala-Mutka."— Presentation transcript:

1 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 1 Ageing Societies, Learning, and Information and Communication Technologies Kirsti Ala-Mutka & Yves Punie EC JRC, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Information Society Unit The views expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the EC

2 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 2 IPTS : Part of the JRC of the EC: 7 Research Institutes across Europe Mission : to provide customer- driven support to the EU policy- making process by researching science-based responses to policy challenges that have both a socio-economic as well as a scientific/technological dimension Institute for Prospective Technological Studies

3 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 3 Outline Key challenges in the ageing context Active ageing and Ageing well Lifelong learning Learning needs and barriers of ageing learners Role of ICT Challenges Policy issues Conclusions

4 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 4 Key challenges in the ageing context Preventing of significant physical and cognitive impairments Changing health visions: from cure to prevention and importance of mental health Enhancing the perceived quality of life of older people Inclusion: Independent living, social networking and participation/integration Using the experience and knowledge of older people for society Employment, competitiveness, voluntary work/care

5 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 5 Definition of active ageing (Based on WHO 2002) Active ageing refers to a continuous participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, not just the ability to be physically active or part of the labour force. Active ageing views older people as active participants in an age-integrated society. Ageing Well in the Information Society (EC COM(2007) 332 final): Ageing well at work or active ageing at work: staying active and productive for longer Ageing well in the community: staying socially active and creative, improving quality of life and reducing social isolation Ageing well at home: enjoying a healthier and higher quality of daily life, maintaining independence, autonomy and dignity. Active Ageing and Ageing Well

6 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 6 Lifelong learning (LLL) –Encompasses formal, non-formal and informal learning life wide learning –Objectives include active citizenship, personal fulfilment, social inclusion, as well as employment-related aspects –Effective implementation emphasises centrality of the learner, equal opportunities, quality and relevance of learning opportunities all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective (EC COM(2001) 678 final) What does this mean in the ageing context?

7 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 7 From Purdie & Boulton-Lewis. (2003). The Learning needs of older adults: Ive got my limitations. But Im not going to lie down and bloody die. (a statement from a 79-year-old interviewee given as an example of positive attitudes to learning and the willingness to overcome challenges)

8 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 8 Learning needs and barriers Learning needs of older people Learning to manage and improve everyday life –Health, safety, independence Learning for keeping mind and life active, life is learning –Learning for activities, new things, to keep up-to-date To understand changes –Society, politics, people, cultures, ageing Learning as participation, being in contact and interacting with other people Learning situations as giving back, showing and using skills, helping others to learn Barriers for learning Prior learning, learning skills, self-confidence Health, mobility, cognitive abilities Financing Interest vs. non-interest Main sources: Purdie, Boulton-Lewis (2003). The Learning needs of older adults. Educational Gerontology, 29, pp Boulton-Lewis et al (2006). Learning and active aging. Educational Gerontology, 32, pp

9 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 9 Learning and ICT Learning to benefit from the ICT tools (learning ICT) –Technology tools for everyday tasks at home and for work –Aids for compensating disabilities –New possibilities for communication, participation, entertainment Learning with ICT –ICT as enablers for learning Distance learning compensating mobility limitations New information resources available, new ways to access Specific learning tools –ICT for allowing more personalization in learning Flexible learning approaches –ICT for interacting and sharing through ICT Informal learning in communities –Also using ICT in collaboration in physical meeting places

10 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 10 ICT as a Regenerator of Local Economy: Kamikatsu – Japan Swedish Learning centres

11 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 11 Challenges for Ageing, Learning and ICT Challenges with ICT –Current generations of older people have very low ICT skills –Strong need for more user-friendly interfaces (e.g. speech vs keyboard) Different technologies, e.g. digital television Smart, unobtrusive ambient intelligence technologies in the future Designing suitable learning opportunities –Accommodating differences in interests and learning barriers Dilemmas –Inter-generational learning vs. peer-learning –Dedicated approaches vs. stigmatization –Inter-generational justice vs. inter-generational competition

12 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 12 Policy issues Increasing digital competencies and ICT access –Local learning centres, bringing ICT close to learners –Promoting benefits of ICT, developing relevant resources available More holistic policy and financing approaches –Not only education & training budgets but e.g. sectoral financing Support Lifelong learning for all –Prepare for LLL skills and attitudes already in obligatory education –Organized LLL at workplaces, mentoring schemes Support R&D for intergenerational and integrating learning –User-friendly tools and interfaces –Pedagogies, learning approaches –Involving older people in R&D and as teachers

13 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 13 Learning can contribute to addressing the challenges of the ageing societies ICT enable learning for older people in new ways However, low digital literacy is a key challenge for realising the benefits Ageing challenges affect several policy areas, and thus, holistic policy approaches are needed to support Lifelong learning for older people To maximize the potential of learning in the later period of life, LLL needs to be promoted in all stages of life More research is needed to develop accommodating tools and approaches for older learners Conclusions

14 Silver Economy 2007 Conference, November 2007, Sevilla 14 Thank you for your attention References: Ala-Mutka, K., Malanowski, N. Punie, Y. & Cabrera, M. (Forthcoming). Active Ageing and the potential of ICT in Learning. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, European Commission, Joint Research Center. Ala-Mutka, K. & Punie, Y. (2007). Ageing Societies, Learning and ICT. In: Boonen, A. & Van Petegem, W. (2007). European Networking and Learning for the Future. The EuroPACE approach. Purdie, Boulton-Lewis (2003). The Learning needs of older adults. Educational Gerontology, 29, pp Boulton-Lewis et al (2006). Learning and active aging. Educational Gerontology, 32, pp Willis et al. (2006) Long-Term Effects of Cognitive Training on Everyday Functional Outcomes in Older adults. JAMA, 296, 23, pp


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