GOW17 Slovenia: Digital inclusion between generations
Despite the efforts in digital participation of all generations amongst EU countries in the recent years, there is a still big digital gap between generations. In Slovenia, the population is ageing rapidly (ranked 8th in the world) with a high number of early retirees (from 55+ on) and late entry of youth workforce to the labor market (27+ years).
Based on these facts, Simbioza Genesis, social enterprise, highly welcomes European partnerships and initiatives like Get Online Week, as we see these actions as opportunities for bridging digital divide and empowering those who did not have the possibility to enter the digital world of modern technology. As Generation Y representatives, we recognized that seniors are wrongfully left out from digital society, especially with growing numbers on rapid ageing in European countries. With extensive experiences in teaching seniors how to get online on a nationwide basis and building intergenerational cooperation, Simbioza's strongest impact is in innovative intergenerational cooperation and teaching, where we directly empower youth as well as seniors.
In GOW 2017 action we had the pleasure to include over 85 seniors and youth participants on the topic of digital skills across Slovenia: how to use smartphones; tablet computers; beginners and advanced classes of using computer and Internet; how to use e-portal for Public services; Safe Online Shopping workshop; Tips and tricks of the Internet and workshops on advanced digital skills of the 21st century for the young as well as employed. Together with Career center of University of Ljubljana, we also launched a set of workshops of graphic design tools for students and alumni to promote advanced digital skills.
Our Simbioza Schools network was also very active – this is a network of primary and secondary schools in Slovenia, where these schools open their doors and computer classrooms to seniors in their local community. During GOW we had some schools decide to join with Simbioza workshops, joining young pupils and seniors together to learn about computers and internet – getting online! This is an innovative teaching, because here pupils are "teachers" and seniors are "learners". Simbioza team provided the curricula, with adjusted methods of teaching.
A glimpse from the workshop: During the class seniors visited a website with city bus timetables. A young volunteer asked his senior student where she wanted to go that day, and she replied: "Well, home!"
Besides workshops, Simbioza actively connected different networks and stakeholders through active promotion, most importantly in the field of youth and senior organizations: Slovene Federation of Pensioners' Associations, University of Ljubljana, Youth Council of Slovenia, National Youth Portal Mlad.si and some student organizations.
Simbioza Genesis also had the chance to participate in some events relevant for promotion of GOW activities on the topic of digital inclusion and skills development:
- Yearly conference on current challenges of adult learning (Lifelong learning week) with Andragogic Center of Slovenia
- Conference on Digital transformation organized by Rotary club Ljubljana Center, Rotary club Logatec, Department for ICT (Faculty of Electrotechnical Engineering and ePrvak Group with a collaboration of Minister of Public Administration Boris Koprivnikar.
- Member meeting of Network of Inclusive Information Society (Mreza NVO – VID) on common activities and collaboration of inclusive digital society. Simbioza sees the biggest impact in raising awareness through practical teaching: citizens get empowered by getting online, and for that they need the necessary e-skills to take advantage of the ICT tools available.
Simbioza – a ticket into the modern world - between generations!
by Tjasa Sobocan, Simbioza Genesis