Malta, as leader, kicked off the second piloting training on the 13th of September.  The ICT for the Elderly strategic partnership project is funded by the Erasmus+ and brings together five different countries from different levels of the digital gap spectrum.  Maltese participants together with senior citizens from Germany and Switzerland participated in the training programme and parallel workshops over 5 days in Malta.   Partners from Slovenia joined the training sessions online.

Learning plays a key role in ageing societies as it can help to address many of the related challenges and leverage opportunities, such as increasing social expenditures, older people’s inclusion and participation and contribution to the economy, re-skilling and up-skilling in the knowledge-based information society and the sharing of experience and knowledge between different generations.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lock down, the use of information technologies by the elderly have become important tools for social participation not just of elderly people but the general society as a whole.

Digital technologies play an important role in the everyday life.  The Internet allows us to transform the ways we communicate and engage with one another as well as prevent social isolation.  When developing ICT-enabled learning, special consideration should be given to older people who might have little experience of ICT interfaces.  Difficulties in learning to use ICT tools may prevent them from learning effectively or even defeat their motivation to pursue learning.  For this reason, participants had a workshop on the pedagogy for training in ICT for the elderly.   Tips were given on how courses should be organised and the pedagogical methodologies that must be adopted to maximise digital literacy and decrease the digital divide.

Whilst in Malta, participants also had the opportunity to visit some interesting historical places such as Valletta and the old capital Mdina and Marsaxlokk, a traditional fishing locality.  They also visited Esplora for some hands-on science and tech exhibits.

Improving the quality of life of older people requires taking into account their community and social relations, their home environment, and their personal well-being.  Apart from receiving training, participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and collaborate through different tasks.  Through group discussions they also had the opportunity to share their knowledge and the techniques they use in their countries.  As such this experience also helped participants to integrate with people coming from different backgrounds, traditions and way of living.