Presentation of the project results at the German Senior Citizens' Day

From 28 to 30 May, visitors to the 12th German Senior Citizens' Day had the opportunity to learn about the activities of the Digital Opportunities Foundation. They could try out Tablet PCs and the foundation’s staff presented the support services of the projects Connect Seniors to the Digital World and Digital mobil im Alter” – “Digitally mobile in old age”.

Many seniors are interested in using the internet on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet PCs, but they have inhibitions and need support. This can be made possible by enabling volunteer and full-time multipliers who work with senior citizens to teach media skills. More than 45 participants of the workshop "Fit am Tablet - Multiplikatoren qualifizieren" (Seniors@DigiWorld) at the Senior Citizens' Day learned how activities for tablet use can be set up in community centres, libraries and senior citizens' organisations. There are various formats, such as courses for groups, individual consultations or joint exploratory tours, which can attract older people’s interest to use Tablet PC and provide them knowledge of how to use the devices, the internet and the numerous applications. The Online Course of the same name is now available to the public free of charge. It was developed with partners from Lithuania, Spain and Romania, as part of a strategic partnership in the Erasmus+ programme.

With the support of students from the Social Research Centre of the TU Dortmund, Tablet PCs could be tried out directly on the spot. In addition, the booth of the Digital Opportunities Foundation was a contact point for multipliers who were particularly interested in the results of the study „Nutzung und Nutzen des Internets im Alter - Use and Benefits of the Internet in Old Age" (Prof. Herbert Kubicek and Barbara Lippa, 2017) and in the guide „Digitale Kompetenzen für ältere Menschen - So plane und gestalte ich Angebote zur Unterstützung von Senioren“ - "Digital Competences for Older People - How to Plan and Design Services to Support Seniors". The study and the guidelines based on it were developed in the foundation’s project "Digital mobil im Alter", which is being carried out with support and in cooperation with Telefónica Deutschland. Based on this guide, multipliers can use the Tablet PC in a targeted way, for example, to convey the topics "expanding knowledge", "staying in touch with family and friends" and "online and on the move in new environments" and to create everyday learning opportunities for seniors. A special feature of this project is also the possibility to lend tablets free of charge to institutions for senior citizens.

Three exciting congress and trade fair days attracted more than 15,000 visitors to the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund for the German Senior Citizens' Day 2018. The Federal Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Seniorenorganisationen - BAGSO), an advisory board member of the Digital Opportunities Foundation, hosts the German Senior Citizens' Day every three years. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey and BAGSO Chairman Franz Müntefering emphasized the importance of volunteer work by older people.

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