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How senior citizens can improve their digital skills

With such rapid advances in technology, particularly within the last decade or so its easy to see why some people get left behind.  Those that were born of a bygone era often struggle the most as they reach their twilight years. The children of today grow up finding it seemingly effortless to navigate even the most complex digital tools of our time – as though it were second nature. In direct contrast to these children, those at the other end of the spectrum, who once marvelled in astonishment as their neighbours bought ‘colour televisions’ into their homes now marvel instead at trying to interpret the somewhat sophisticated jargon that comes with the latest SMART TV’s.  ‘4K Ultra HD quantum dot screens with over 8.3 million megapixels’ and that’s before they’ve even manged to turn it on, usually with the much-needed assistance of their 5-year-old grandchild.  

In a 2020 study, Eurostat found that 88% of those aged between 65 – 74 residing in the E.U had used the internet within 3 months at the time of the poll. The two countries with the lowest figures were Bulgaria and Greece coming in at 25% and 33% respectively.  

The need for seniors to be educated in matters of technology has never been More so than now. With everything from medical care to banks moving to digital formats it is crucial that steps are taken to aid senior learners in boosting their digital skills.  

At present there are already in place several initiatives to help with this issue.  Some of the big banks like Barclays, HSBC, RBS & Llyod’s  offer courses in digital lessons for the elderly. Many of these courses are online and can be accessed anywhere.  In addition to these courses many charities throughout Europe offer workshops / drop-in centres for older citizens who wish to brush up on their technological skills.  In Ireland the mobile phone company Vodafone has joined forces with ‘Active retirement Ireland’ and ‘ALONE’  and created an educational platform to help close the gap that exists between older learners and younger learners within the digital sphere.  

The NewTechLeaderSenior Project aims to go one step further and support educators in delivering activities for senior learners in the area of new digital technologies by providing them with tools for working with simple robots.   

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