Don’t Stop Me Now!

‘Don’t Stop Me Now!’ is a research report compiled by Aontas (The National Adult Learning Organisation) on the lifelong learning needs of older people in Ireland.  The report sets out to map service provision in Ireland for older learners.

In addition to the research statistics, the report contains a number of case studies.  The first, ‘Exploring the New World of Technology’, describes the ‘Embrace IT’ programme which enables senior citizens to learn about emerging technologies.  This is a good example of how ICT is enabling media literacy and social inclusion – summed up well by the following quote:

“We also promote the use of ICT as a tool for enhancing citizenship and social rights for older people by enabling them to access government information. The consortium perceives this to be especially important as more and more government information is becoming more readily available on the internet, while paper based documentation is becoming hard to find. Also we work with older people to develop our website, producing web content and information about their communities that counters negative or absent commentary in the mainstream media”

(Don’t Stop Me Now!, p.49, Aontas)

The full report can be found here

Call to support ICT literacy for Silver Surfers

In a recent report, “Learning for Living”, Help the Aged have noted that many older people feel left behind by the pace of change in technology and the lack of support needed to keep up-to-date.  This raises concerns that many will be left digitally exluded as more information and services move online.

The report states that:

“Government and policy-makers need to take action to provide older people with real opportunities to learn about the benefits of being online.”

There are eight recommendations:

“Government must invest in ICT literacy …”

“the silo structures of government must be broken down …”

“… campaign is needed to highlight the benefits of getting online”

“… make the most of the available resources … to deliver digital inclusion”

“… force accessibility up the agenda and … highlight the business benefits of ICT accessibility”

“… Government needs to review its digital strategy …”

“Government should continue funding ICT initiatives …”

“… BBC and other bodies should take proactive steps to guard against all learning content being moved online …”

Interestingly, the report notes that understanding technology is the second most popular course choice among older people at 59% (page 6).

Direct link to report (pdf 965k)

Other articles covering the “Learning for Living” report:

Silver Surfing needs boost (NICVA)

Help the Aged in Northern Ireland has launched a new report highlighting the importance of adult learning (CARDI)