The new 2 years Erasmus+ project Walk & Talk promotes non-formal learning of Europeans 65+, along with physical activities taking place outside the classroom. While the seniors are walking, they will learn about the interrelation between physical activity and active and healthy aging. They might learn a new language, discuss local culture and history, traditions, use apps etc. Senior learners can meet outside the centre of their home towns, in nature, or within their own surrounding or neighbourhood, which will be easier for the seniors living in big cities.
Nowadays, retirement can be seen as an increasingly active phase of life where people still have the opportunity to continue contributing to society. They wish to be independent and live participative lives well into older age and take responsibility for their own wellbeing. This, however, requires physical and mental health. The Walk & Talk project integrates both aspects, learning and physical activity, in a unique way.
Walk’n’Talk is actually a therapy that originated in the US in the 80s. This therapy combines talking and walking outdoors that was proofed to be an effective method to make retirement an active phase of life. According to the demographic changes, people at the age of 65 and above, who have withdrown from the labor force, need to have the opportunity to stay healthy and active and watch life from a positive perspective as the chance for learning and enjoying. However, mental and physical health is necessary to increase quality of life. That is why taking part in Walk’n’Talk is a great chance to foster this overall health by means of taking advantage of its walks and talks through the inspiring nature with a group of people with the same needs and interests. As the name of the project suggest, this course is not developed to be taught in a normal formal setting as it is a traditional classroom but to be given outside in the nature where senior will walk in small groups and talk – and learn while sharing experience, knowledge and interests.
The main result of the Walk’n’Talk project will be a course curriulum and training materials, which will enhance the life quality of people at the age of 65 through outdoor non-formal learning activities. With this course for senior people, the partners intend to reduce social barriers and foster social inclusion and participation.
The increased competence of staff/adult educators in implementing activities in the field of adult education and thus activate local communities will be another important result. Last but not least, the participation of trainers/instructors is expected to deliver enhanced knowledge, skills and competences in training seniors; increased awareness of age-related differences in dual task situations and improved intercultural communication and understanding by contributing to the development of a European project.
Source: Walk & Talk Website
An interesting webinar on Family Learning and Digital Citizenship took place on 26 April 2016. More than twenty participants joined the webinar under the lead of Susannah Chambers, expert in Family Learning.
This webinar, organised by School Education Gateway, explored and presented the links between digital communication technologies, Family Learning and digital citizenship. The webinar highlighted examples of how the power of digital communication tools are used by schools to maximise the positive impact on teaching and learning, enhance home-school communication and increase community engagement.
The European Map of Intergenerational Learning (EMIL) is a collaborative network of members working together to support intergenerational learning taking place across Europe. Established in 2009, the network uses the existing expertise of partner organisations already working in the field to create a learning network for others involved in bottom-up as well as top-down intergenerational programmes and initiatives and across Europe.
The AAL Association needs independent experts for the AAL Programme, the renewed € 700 million applied research and innovation programme in the field of ICT-based solutions for ageing well jointly undertaken by several Member States with the participation of the Union. The call for interest is launched now and will remain open until 2020. As well as attracting the best specialists of business in the field of ICT for ageing well, the AAL Association wants to boost the number of experts in the area of end-users integration in the context of AAL.
Big Foot is set out to tackle key issues at European level: marginalization of the rural mountain areas and their ageing population - by focusing on the valorization and maintenance of the elderly population, traditional knowledge and specific local culture. The Big Foot approach is implemented in three rural municipalities: Berkovitsa, Bulgaria; Trikala, Greece and Gubbio, Italy.
Europe’s ageing population has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be harnessed to benefit future generations; however this is at risk of being lost as older people face social exclusion. Part of Europe’s 2020 Strategy seeks to address this issue by focusing on the sustainability of knowledge and experience. This strategy is relevant to all sectors of our society.
Research across Europe has revealed that many people over the age of 50 are socially isolated and don’t participate in cultural activities or in the civic life of their community. Since 2011 (European Year of Volunteering), volunteering has been promoted as a solution for social inclusion and intergenerational cohesion, however there are still barriers that prevent over-50s from taking part.
Main challenges of the ageing knowledge economy are constant upgrading of the skills of the active population and mitigating new and old social risks. In the aging society and the globalised knowledge economy, the people in mid-life are increasingly exposed to social risks of exclusion from the labour market. They are also excluded from formal Lifelong Learning (LLL), specifically Tertiary Lifelong Learning (TLL). The access of mid-life learners to TLL and their retention in the system have an increasing relevance for the socio-economic sustainability of the ageing European knowledge society.
TLL is considered a key to develop more inclusive and responsive universities. Opening HE for mid-life learners, designing flexible pathways from VET and professional experience to higher education, flexible learning arrangements conciliating family-work life and learning and the adaptation of didactical methods in HE are challenges to affront problems of the aging knowledge society. Opening Higher Education (HE) to this group is still a minor aspect of education and training reforms, but it is a strategic goal to raise the skill level of the adult EU population, as well as closing the mismatch between supply and demand for high-skilled workers.
The project aims to study the TLL of HE institutes in several countries with respect to inclusion of mid-life learners. At the core stands a comparative study with concrete example analysing statistically available data, making series of interviews with decision makers, stakeholders, lecturers and mid-life learners. The study will analysis the efficiency of TLL programs in achieving the integration of mid-life learners in terms of access to and retention in programs, their duration, the creation of learning pathways and didactical innovation. The results of this study will allow advances in the design of core conditions of socially and economically effective TLL programs for mid-life learners.
Be it because they lack the knowledge or because they lack motivation or opportunity, older people are traditionally excluded from Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). So a partnership was created to encourage senior citizens motivation and knowledge about ICT, thus helping to overcome the exclusion of elder people in the field. The project made use of non formal education and innovative methods, to address older people’s learning needs.
A partnership was made up of two Local Authorities (Spain and Portugal), a French organization working in the field of education and training (GIP) and a Greek organization working in the field of the new technologies (IDEC) was created to encourage senior citizens motivation and knowledge about ICT, thus helping to overcome the exclusion of elder people in the field. The Senior TICs project lasted 18 months and reached directly 110 people over 50 from elderly centres in Spain and Portugal and developed an innovative training methodology specifically oriented to older people and ICT.
ELDER supports seniors coming from restructuring sectors on transmitting their knowledge to other generations. The main aims are related to: active participation of seniors in continuing learning processes; share experiences and good practices developed at European Level in the field of knowledge transfer among generations; identify and analyse the necessary competences to favour the intergenerational knowledge transfer.
At the same time the project offered to SENIORS a specific training program and tools favouring the exchange and transfer of knowledge. In this way the project promotes active ageing, volunteer work and the social participation, reinforcing their social contribution to other (younger) people learn from their experience.