DIGITOL: Digital Inclusion for Older People - Intergenerational synergies for the active participation in society
The purpose of DIGITOL is to promote EU common values, such as solidarity and diversity, by developing and delivering innovative digital literacy training with younger trainers and older learners. The project contributes to combating forms of discrimination within the EU that are driven by xenophobia, populism, and homophobia, by increasing the digital skills and critical thinking of older adults and training them for the identification and evaluation of fake news, with the goal to filter them out and not spread them further.
The DIGITOL project used an innovative, dual (i.e. online and offline), non-formal educational method to promote knowledge transfer between younger and older adults. The intergenerational approach aimed to close the gaps between these two groups and to find new ways to cooperate and interact with each other. In the project framework, young people are “intergenerational social mediators”, namely professional figures capable of activating empowerment programmes for senior men and women in an intergenerational and intersectional perspective, thus taking into account the gender, social capital and cultural differences of the individual.
For achieving its objectives, DIGITOL developed the DIGITOL Online Academy, a Training of trainers programme for young trainers and a Capacity building programme for older learners.
More information on the project can be found here: https://digitol.eu/resources/
Target group(s): Young people as trainers (18-30 years old) ; Elderly people as learners (55-70 years old)
Website or other online channels: https://digitol.eu/
DIGITOL has used a mixed methodology to achieve its goals. Being a project involving different actors for its implementation, DIGITOL implied the use of different approaches either for the selection of participants, for the co-design of training and capacity building activities and for its effective implementation.
The project has been developed in three subsequent phases, and namely:
- Phase 1 – Analyse
o Surveys sourcing knowledge on seniors’ digital literacy and active citizenship in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, and Italy
o Interviews of experts providing qualitative insights on the current initiatives to combat fake news, develop digital literacy and critical thinking, as well as support older persons to engage online.
o Focus Groups with local stakeholders and seniors discussing the data collection findings.
- Phase 2 – Empower
o Develop the DIGITOL Online Academy, a content-aware & multifunctional tool allowing users to access data, training materials and the other interactive educational tools.
o Engage 10 young people (aged 18-30) in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Italy who will participate in the 30-hours train-the-trainers programme, focused on combating fake news and polarisation.
o Engage 25 older adults (55+) to participate in the DIGITOL 60 h capacity building programme to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the digital world and find solutions with young people to fight fake news.
- Phase 3 – Engage
o Engage with local communities to promote the importance of digital skills and the relevance of active engagement and participation for enhancing social cohesion of communities and cities.
o Human Libraries – people who experienced prejudice, social exclusion or stigma, will share episodes of their life they wish to talk about.
o DIGITOL Festivals that blend together traditional and innovative actions, including public workshops on controversial topics run in partnership with schools and non-formal training providers.
Type of product
Online resource Course / Training
Brief description of the outcomes
Training of Trainers (ToT) programme:
A 30-hours ToT programme aimed at building capacities of a group of young people (The Young Ambassadors) willing to improve their digital skills in identifying and managing fake-news, as well as increasing awareness of the European common values. The programme provided the general framework which was then adopted by each of the partner countries for online environments and to respond to country-specific contexts. The programme deals with issues like media and misinformation, racism and discrimination, hate speech, human rights, media literacy; etc. It also focuses on intergenerational work, approaches for working with elderly people according to age group (55-65, 65-75, etc.), age discrimination, good practices in adult education (55+), information on training needs and the needs of elderly people, different methodologies and methods for engaging and training older adults, etc.
Following the TOT Programme, the Young Ambassadors were prepared to co-design and run a Capacity Building Programme targeting older adults, following an intergenerational approach.
More information on the ToT programme is available here:
Capacity Building programme
A 60-hour capacity building programme to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the digital world and find solutions with young people to fight fake news. The participants in the capacity building programme were able to increase their digital and media skills and to deepen their knowledge on issues such as the importance of access to reliable and correct information, combating stereotypes and hate speech, promoting human rights and acceptance of diversity.
The capacity building programme was given by motivated and skilful “young ambassadors” who were trained to work with older people within the ToT.
Overview of the capacity building programmes in the partner countries can be found here:
Following the capacity building events, DIGITOL designed and implemented Pilot Actions in the partner countries, addressing concepts such as the importance of digital skills and the relevance of active engagement and participation for enhancing social cohesion of communities and cities.
With the support of the partners, young ambassadors and seniors developed ideas and delivered impactful pilot actions in order to engage as many citizens as possible in the project and to raise awareness on the project key messages, such as media literacy and the importance of good quality information. These activities capitalized on the knowledge transferred to the senior participants.
The idea of the pilot actions was to provide the target groups with concrete opportunities to take into practice what they have learned during the programme in an intergenerational environment, and therefore to enhance their “visibility” and “participation” in society. The pilots were co-designed and delivered by the seniors together with the Young ambassadors, and it was their turn for proactive participation.
DIGITOL Online Academy
The DIGITOL Online Academy is a learning online environment for young ambassadors, older adults, trainers and experts involved in the training and educational activities of the project, as well as a publicly-accessible repository space for information, data, resources and knowledge on topics related misinformation, diffusion of fake news, critical thinking and media literacy.
The DIGITOL academy is available here:
Impact on target groups / Transferability potential
DIGITOL managed to create an intergenerational environment capable of benefiting from the contribution of different age groups for building a more inclusive society.
Promoter of the initiative: Consorzio Comunità Brianza (IT) – coordinator ; Znanie Association – Bulgarian partner
Country: Bulgaria Germany Greece Italy
Languages available: Bulgarian English Greek Italian German
Website or other online channels: https://znanie-bg.org/