Title: Ageing Societies, Learning and ICT
Authors: ALA-MUTKA Kirsti MariaPUNIE YVES
Publisher: Garant Publishers
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC38203
URI: http://www.europace.org/articles%20and%20reports/EuroPACE%20Final%20Book%20Folder.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Ageing societies are facing several challenges, for which lifelong learning and ICT supported learning opportunities can support and even provide solutions. However, it is important to recognize that at the same time the role and objectives of learning are changing as well. Learning is a way for older people to stay active, to participate in to society and to share the knowledge and experience gained during life. Learning can enrich the quality of life of older people as well as of the people interacting and learning from them. It is important to develop both the content and conditions of the learning opportunities for older people. There is evidence that older people want to learn, but meaningful and real opportunities for it are scarce at the moment. Learning needs often relate to acquiring information about issues relevant for one's daily life, environment or intellectual interests. Older people’s barriers for learning are related to learning skills, access, and motivation as well as the suitability of the learning approaches. Personal issues like health and prior knowledge can form barriers as well as affect which type of learning appeals most and feels most reachable. ICT can support learning in many ways, allowing more individual learning approaches, compensating disabilities and providing new opportunities to access information and services as well as to interact with other people and communities. However, it may also bring new obstacles. ICT are new for many older people today and the threshold for taking up new tools and applications for beginning new learning activities may be high. Attention is needed to improve the usability of tools, access to the equipment, and to the types of learning opportunities provided. As the background and motivation of older people may differ from each other as well as from younger generations, special considerations are needed to design ICT supported learning approaches that can provide relevant learning for all participants. In the knowledge based society with continuously changing technologies, learning is important for everyone. Lifelong learning needs to be supported and recognized in all aspects as a considerable amount of learning takes place outside formal education, especially among older learners. Supporting lifelong learning for all age groups with continuously changing technologies and generations is a great challenge for researchers, stakeholders as well as for the older people themselves. The whole role of learning is changing, together with the availability of a new wave of promising ICT applications and it needs to be studied how learning can be best supported and provided in ageing society.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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