This information is based on the feedback of trainers and learners who participated on the 4 workshops
Workshop 1 took place in Dublin, Ireland, on 21 – 24 March 2011
The venue on Day 1 was the European headquarters of Google and on Day 2 Rathmines Community Centre
The aims were to teach learners how
- To write e-mails in different languages using Google Translate
- To attach a photo to an e-mail
- To save a photo on a USB key
Based on 14 evaluation forms returned by both Learners and Trainers, these 3 aims were achieved. In addition Trainers benefited from gaining an insight as to what it was like to be a student with the need to go slowly and patiently
Most Enjoyable aspects of the Workshops
8 participants found the tour of the offices of Google, working with volunteer employees and enjoy the hospitality offered the most enjoyable aspect of the workshop
7 mentioned enjoying meeting and interacting with likeminded people from other countries, sharing information and working on a 1:1 basis
2 specifically enjoyed the cultural tour of Glendalough
2 enjoyed the contrasting working environments – an office and Community Centre
Without exception, participants enjoyed the opportunity of mixing with other nationalities in the learning process, finding common interests, and recognizing the importance of English as an international language
Suggestions to improve the workshop
- Hosting participants could meet with a visiting participant before the workshop
- Trainers need to be well prepared
- Provide worksheets in advance
- Do not be too ambitious in the material to be covered
- 1:1 training at an appropriate pace
- Involve family and friends (communicating via Skype & e mails)
- Highlight the need to have computer skills with reference to day to day tasks
- Make the learning process fun
3 Important Uses for a computer highlighted by participants
- Communicating with friends and family
- Getting information and accessing e-services
- Managing personal affairs eg photos and shopping
“The world has become so small through the use of computers. The different languages is the only real difference between us all” (senior participant)
Workshop 2 took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 6 - 9 June 2011
Finland: 1+7 (coordinator and 7 teachers/learners)
On the first day of the Helsinki Workshop the participants stepped on board of Viking XPRS to make a one-day cruise to Tallinn, Estonia. In the conference room of the ship the participants were divided in groups to work on the topics agreed. During the two-hour session the groups carried out exercises on the computers and made presentations of their respective topics.
- create a presentation using PowerPoint
- work with Picasa
Based on evaluations by both Learners and Trainers, the session was useful and gave new ideas of how to add pictures in presentations. More time on practising would have been preferable.
It was one of the warmest days of the summer, so walking on the narrow streets of the medieval Old Town of Tallinn in the afternoon we all had to look for the shade and keep us out from the bright sunshine. Back on board in the evening a nice buffet dinner was served.
Day 2 had a busy program with many visits and presentations. At the Finnish Adult Education Centre Helsinki we were first given a general guidance of the Centre and then gathered to a classroom to hear the groups’ presentations prepared the previous day. The main topic to practise this time was Facebook. In addition, a software which enables one trainer to deliver a class to several learners situated in other places at the one time, i.e. remote training, was presented to us.
After lunch the Group participated in a conference held by Helsinki City Council. The coordinators of Ireland, Lithuania and Poland gave presentations on the work of their respective organizations.
Comments of the participants:
What, if any, advantages did you experience from learning with people of other European nationalities? (these may not just relate to computer skills)
- one can practice English and perhaps other foreign languages too
- background of participants was quite varied which made the event interesting but also challenging
- it was a positive surprise that I could follow it all so well. It was impressive to see the motivation and the will of one participant to learn more in spite of the language barrier
- It was a wonderful way to learn and understand other cultures. I discovered that the issues I found while teaching were similar for other tutors and learners
- I was excited about the friendliness and sincerity of all participants
Suggestions to improve the workshop
- concentration on fewer topics, more breaks, chances to discuss with other participants
- presentation of Facebook leaflet and practicing how to use Facebook
- make the workshops more hands-on by having a task to complete, for example in the Facebook session participants set up accounts.
How to motivate /encourage Seniors to learn Computer Skills
- find what they’re interested in and use it in the teaching.
- give examples how IT can make life easier and more interesting
- relaxed atmosphere, empathy and positive feedback.
- develop better computers easier to use
- raise awareness that computer knowledge is now a necessity rather than a skill
- relate knowledge to the real world e.g. Internet banking
- make the learning process fun and unintimidating
3 Important Uses for a Computer highlighted by Participants
- communication (e-mail, Skype)
- online banking and shopping
- makes it easy to get things done at home (if the connections work)
“Good atmosphere, friendly attitude of all participants are very important. I am happy for the possibility to experience that.” (Participant)
Workshop 3 took place in Kaunas, Lithuania on 10 –12 September 2011.
The learning topics were: online booking, shopping and banking.
- To book flights online. Compare different flight booking systems
- Understand the principles of online shopping based on www.amazon.co.uk, search and compare sites in the countries of project partners
- Learn the importance of online banking in today’s world
- Acquaint with the Seniors Academy program in Swedbank
Day 1: Computer class at Economic and Legal Consultancy centre
Day 2: Branches of Swedbank and SEB bank in Vilnius
Most Enjoyable aspects of the Workshop:
- Being together with people of the same age from different countries
- Spending most of the time together and discussing things of common interest, good communication in the group
- Learning the opportunities of online banking, the approach of servicing seniors by seniors
- Learning how to book flights online and the possibilities of planning the trip independently
- Discovering that google translate tool can be used for communication between 2 people sitting at the same PC
- Realizing that older people, even if not very skilled, can still help each other to learn
- Čiurlionis Gallery and the Ballet Barbora Radvilaitė
Suggestions to improve the workshop
- Staying on schedule and planning enough time for feedback
- More input by learners, e.g. produce something tangible at the end of the Workshop
- Reflection session of all participants together
- Lengthen the workshop time so that learned skills could be practiced
Tasks to cover in future workshops
- Internet security
- Digital photography and image editing
- Blog writing
The cultural program included sightseeing in Kaunas Old Town and in Vilnius, a guided tour in Ciurlionis Picture Gallery, seeing a ballet performance based on historical drama Barbora Radvilaite.
As a teacher I enjoyed the fact that the whole group spent a lot of time together. We could exchange comments about the project and the workshops not only during the workshops itself. To me, the topic we were covering seems very important in our day to day life. (Trainer from Poland)
Workshop 4 took place in Lodz, Poland, on 17–18 January 2012.
The learning topics were: talking on Skype and introduction to blog writing.
- Using Skype (Participants created their own Skype accounts, added Skype contacts and searched for other Skype users. Then they were divided into two groups working in different rooms to make a call using Skype).
- Writing blog (Participants watched the presentation on how to write your own blog).
Learning venue: Computer class at Technical College Nowoczesna Szkola
According to 18 evaluation forms returned by both Learners and Trainers, the learning goals were achieved.
The most enjoyable aspects of the 2 days:
- Meeting and learning with people from different countries of the same age- make new friends (11 from 18)
- Spending most of the time together and discussing things of common interest, good communication in the group (6 from 18)
- Learning about history of Lodz and important historical personalities. (6 from 18)
- Excursion to Museum of the Factory in Manufaktura, Museum of Cinematography (5 from 18)
- Polish care and hospitality (5 from 18)
- Make better computer skills (4 from 18)
The most important things learned during this workshop
- Skype (14 from 18)
- Blogging (8 from 18)
- Knowledge of English (4 from 18)
- Google search skills (2 from 18)
- Other (7 from 18)
What 3 specific tasks would you like to learn about at future workshops?
- Photo editing (Picasa) (10 from 18)
- Movies online (4 from 18)
- Facebook (3 from 18)
- Downloading programs ( 3 from 18)
Advantages from learning with people of other European nationalities
- Learn about other cultures (8 from 18)
- Practice English and motivation to learn (7 from 18)
- Make friendships (4 from18)
How to encourage seniors to learn computer skills?
- Show how a computer makes life easier (10 from 18)
- By people close them (7 from 18)
- Lerning should be interesting and fun (4 from 18)
The most important uses of a computer
- Communication (15 from 18)
- e-service (14 from 18)
- Fast search for information (13 from 18)
- Reading newspapers (4 from 18)
- e-lerning (4 from 18)
- listen to the music, playing games (4 from 18)
The best way for seniors to receive information about learning computer skills
- Personal contacts (17 from 18)
- Events (10 from 18)
- Newspaper (8 from 18)
- Printed leaflet (3 from 18)
- Internet (3 from 18)
- Other (3 from 18)
On the second day the project was introduced to the wider public in the Municipality of Lodz. The project presentation given by the Polish trainer was followed by partners presentations of about their organizations and IT training for seniors.
The cultural program included the museum textile factory of Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznanski, the Jewish Cemetery in Lodz, the Radegast station and the Museum of Cinematography situated in Karol Scheibler’s Palace.
"It's OK to fail, keep trying until you get it right" (Senior trainer from Ireland)