Lifelong Learning: Using Technology

Online Learning. As described on page 6 of the Linked Pass It On Network report (April 2020), online learning is fundamental to Lifelong Learning and Earning in the 21st century. The report describes five innovative programs out of the many that empower online education. Recommendations on page 5 of the linked Pass It On Network report on Continuing the Conversation say that internet access with digital education should be seen as a human right for older citizens.

Seniors and Technology – COVID-19 is changing the airwaves. The technology marketplace for older adults is accelerating in interest level and adoption, according to Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging and Health Technology Watch (www.ageinplacetech.com).  Firms with telehealth technology are finding a one-year-planned growth compressed into one month. All aspects of Wi-Fi deployment, including donation of tablets and online video tools, are accelerating in the time of COVID-19.

Age Without Borders – Founder, Kari Henley offers consulting services to help use videos to leverage their messages, content, and community to new levels – increasing impact, profits, and global reach. She and her staff host, record and edit video sessions, develop and manage webinars and virtual round tables – all to help organizations develop up-to-date online strategies. 

Call to Action – Together We Can. The Creative Commons (CC) is dedicated to the idea that knowledge should be free and open. Since 2002, CC licenses have been the digital keys to unlocking and sharing over 1.6 billion works of art, rare books, scientific research, textbooks, 3-D scans, and more.  CC is inviting individuals and institutions to join the  CC Global Network, with chapters in 43 countries dedicated to growing the Commons movement and continuing to optimize free and open tools such as CC Search access to openly licensed photos, GIFs, and illustrations

Digital Accessibility — GPII Accessibility Masterlist  – Building on the political momentum generated in 2016 adoption of its web accessibility directive, AGE Platform kept advocating for digital accessibility through the European project Prosperity4all. The project ended January 2018 and the field results for digital accessibility and personalization of technologies are now freely available.  

Digital Literacy – Agewell Foundation has launched a campaign to bring joy and fulfillment to older adults. “We aim to unlock the digital doorway to the world”, says founder Himanshu Rath. “When your family’s far away, a photo, a video, or a chat makes all the difference.” Volunteer trainers are prepared to cover social media, on-line banking, administrative issues and other useful topics. 

@Digital Update – Workshops offer practical training in today’s digital skills from wi-fi and interactive points in public places, to leisure appliances, Skype, and smart phones.

Information Literacy about Social Media (NATO report)Research from NATO Strategic Communications highlights how social media platforms like Facebook are being used to spread misinformation at frightening levels.  This is a massive problem.  Social Media manipulation is big business. Peter DuToit from Future Skills suggests that reading the full NATO report will equip you with the necessary knowledge to navigate Facebook with necessary caution.   He says that Information Literacy is a critical skill and offers 10 tips to spot false stories on this short download.

Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) –  The growth of computer clubs developing tech savvy seniors in every Australian community is encouraged by their national association founded by the current president, Nan Bosler.  For 18 years, the association has brought the member clubs to a national conference where top level speakers bring the latest hands-on information on today’s technologies and prepare club leaders to spread their use locally.  View Pass It On’s report from the 2016 conference, with links to the program, presentations, and handouts. 

TV Studio “50+” in Russia – Volunteer pensioners become TV journalists and produce content for “Studio 50+”, a program that is on the air twice a month.

Top 10 Technology Tips –  Rather than letting the “technical divide” get the best of your family, use technology to your advantage. Bridges Together has created a list of their Top 10 (plus one bonus!) tips for using technology to facilitate intergenerational connection. The first tip is all about setting it to music and designed to be a springboard for tech-savvy interactions. 

Video conferencing has many advantages – Frank Nicholson, a leader of the U3A in Canada, is an enthusiastic and convinced user of video conferencing, so much so that he produced an easy-to-follow presentation at a recent technology-assisted learning symposium in Canada to help others get started.