From September 13 to 17, 2021, the international training took finally place in Malta.
About one and a half years have passed since the originally planned date. Back then, at the beginning of March 2020, everything was prepared: the flights and accommodation had been booked, the training venue had been prepared and the participants from Switzerland, Slovenia and Germany had already packed their bags for the trip to Malta. But then, like the rest of the world, Europe had to go into pandemic lockdown.
In late summer 2021, participants from Switzerland, Germany and Malta were finally able to take part in the workshops at the University of Malta’s site in the Lija district. The participants and trainers from Slovenia were connected online.
The training schedule included a variety of topics covering different areas of digital skills and competencies. An overview can be found in the Online Academy [https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/ICT4_Elderly].
For example, communication in the digital world using AI-controlled bots or interaction with voice assistants were discussed, as well as ways of collaborating online using shared documents and folders, opportunities for online political and social participation in the various European countries, and issues of security and privacy on the Internet.
The participants from Germany took home a lot of new information from the training in Malta that they can incorporate into their voluntary work in supporting older people with regard to the digital world. On the one hand, they gained new content, but on the other hand, they were inspired and motivated by the exchange with the volunteers from different countries.
“The workshops were not just about learning or imparting knowledge, but about discussing and sharing experiences”, remarked one of the participants.
Here, the advantages of having the Digital Ambassadors from the various European countries meet on site in Malta became particularly apparent. The direct personal contact often resulted in interesting exchanges and varied debates, which were often continued during the joint leisure activities organized by the hosts from Malta. In the course of the week, the participants were thus able to get to know each other better and better. Some of them are still, weeks after the meeting, in regular contact across the borders via digital channels.