SeniorsKS – Rational
Information Technologies and Communication [ICTs] are widely used by society in general. This fact has facilitated the development of an Information Society [IS], characterized by communications through the computer and the Knowledge Society, whose main characteristics are a great potential for knowledge creation, organization, participation and learning. Becoming a part of this society offers great advantages, but the risks of exclusion from it area also could be a serious matter.
Furthermore, the elderly (over 55 years old) are more capable to surf, search and communicate in the Internet, but these are skills related to the use of a tool. The Internet is facilitating the use of the network for purposes that go further from a mere search for information or e-mailing. The KS has great possibilities, which are related to: being included in virtual communities, joining support networks, create knowledge, etc. and also requires other capabilities, like knowing the impact of the tools that they are using or the meaning about the identity in Internet, learning to learn and to help others, the importance of sharing knowledge and defend their rights through the Internet. This makes possible to have active seniors with ICT, on a positive attitude, but also to be critical, to be eager and to be part of the present technological society and capable to help in the building of the new society. The participation of these seniors is positive for themselves, but also for the rest of society, as seniors have great experiences, values, and lots of knowledge to share and pass on.
Educational institutions as the ones that apply for this learning partnership and also political institutions, as the European Commission, recognize this need by promoting “e-inclusion” (in the Digital Agenda for Europe, May 2010) where “no one is left behind” metionoing the “demographic ageing” as a challenge and also pointing out the elderly as one of the targets. Other specific policies are the “Ageing Well in the Information Society Action Plan” (June 2007) and “European i2010 initiative on e-Inclusion – to be part of the information society” -COM(2007) 694 final-