With the cooperation of COSMOTE, AGE Greek member organisation 50plus Hellas contributes to the development of technological skills of older people with the program “Access to the Digital World“. Under the motto “Become digital”, the program has been running since 2012 and aims to promote lifelong learning and improve the quality of life of older people. By the end of 2017 over 7500 people will have been trained to use new technologies in Greece under the supervision and know-how of 50plus Hellas.
For this year, 4 educational centers operate in total in the Attica area, in the municipalities of Agios Dimitrios, Agioi Anargyroi – Kamatero, Maroussi and Piraeus, which also accommodate the inhabitants of 8 neighboring municipalities (Lykovrisi – Pefki, Heraklion Attikis, Alimos, Argyroupoli-Elliniko, Dafni-Ymittos, N. Philadelphia – N. Chalkidona, Petroupolis).
All the participants learn how to use the tablet, navigate the internet, enter the “world” of social media, and use applications to make their everyday life easier (notes, calendar, notifications, webcam, maps e.t.c.). At the end of each learning cycle participants are asked to evaluate their learning experience online through a survey monkey questionnaire.
The results have been very impressive:
- The percentage of people who “used the Internet daily”doubled after the end of the lessons
- Increase of 30% the percentage of people who say that “through the Internet they can maintain their social contacts or make new ones”
- Increase of 33% of people saying that “knowing the use of their Internet makes them feel more secure in dealing with their everyday issues”
- Increase of 35% of participants who state that they “…feel more autonomy and self-efficacy when using the Internet and other applications such as Email and Skype”.
- Increase of 53% of people who state that “learning about the Internet and new technologies does not scare them anymore and they are not afraid to experiment on their own”.
- Increase of 36% of the people who say that “through the course they realized the security risks for the interception of personal data that exists while browsing”.
Moreover, other secondary effects of the learning processes in the participants lives are visible in their own statements such as:
- improvement of intergenerational relationships: “Thank you, because you showed me not only that older people can learn but also that younger people can be patient with older people”, “My children are now proud of me.”
- shift of interests and hobbies: “It should become our new occupation, our new hobby and not only the trimmings and embroidery, curtains, carpets and other such meaningless things.”
The project “Access to the Digital World” has been covering the need of digital literacy in the population of people over 50 in Greece in the last 5 years with great success and will continue to do so with new ideas being implemented and developed every year by the experts of 50plus Hellas and the contribution of COSMOTE for as long as possible.