Developing digital skills of adults 55+ DIFA55+

While the pandemic has deeply affected the economic growth of the European Union and widened the digital divide, the European Commission has recommended accelerating the digital transition and investing in it. To contribute to accelerating the digital transition, two partners from Romania and two others from Spain and Turkey, respectively TEAM4Excellence from Constanta, as coordinator, Voluntariat Pentru Viata from Marasesti, Formative Footprint from Spain and Saricam Halk Egitimi Merkezi from Turkey initiated the DIFA55+ consortium.

The DIFA55+ consortium initiated the “Digital Facilitator for Adults 55+” project, which aims to provide better tools for educators to improve their digital and teaching skills and to involve adults over the age of 55 in this learning process, which will help them acquire skills in the digital sphere. The project reference number 2021-1-RO01-KA220-ADU-000035297 was accepted for financing from the European Commission under the ERASMUS+ programme for the period 01.11.2021 until 31.10.2023. In this context, two partnership meetings already took place online on the 1st and 28th of February, as part of the project implementation process.

Going forward, research activities will be conducted in all partner countries to assess tools for digital learning environments and to adapt them to the needs of adults over the age of 55. The activities will include applied research to identify teaching methods and tools tailored to the needs of educators. Subsequently, their analysis will reveal the ability of adults which have limited access to lifelong learning education to adapt to the online and offline training. During the activities, a map of digital facilitators will be drawn up to create active and captivating learning methods.

The target group includes 150 adults over the age of 55 who are participating in a survey and who will understand that efforts are being made to make them active users of technology. Also, 40 educators who are involved in adult education will acquire new skills to be able to adapt to digital education. They will also be the ones to review the digital facilitator map, make improvements, and be directly involved in creating a web application. At the same time, 20 adult education organizations will be involved in promotional activities.

Through the web application, designed by educators, adult learners will answer questions about their digital skills. The role of the questions is to assess their skills and raise awareness of the role of technology in their lives. At the same time, the application will provide advice on how to improve your online behaviour and information about the associated risks, namely cyberbullying, trolling, isolation, etc.

The consortium will next meet in Constanta on 4 April 2022 to boost the participation of the partner organisations in further preparation for achieving the project results.

Follow the project page to be up to date with the latest news on the stages, progress and activities of the DIFA55+ project.