As part of our European project ICT for the Elderly (funded by the Erasmus+ program), a training for senior citizens took place on August 10-12, 2021. The participants from Berlin are themselves active in supporting older people with regard to the use of digital devices and applications.
On the two training days, these three topics were on the agenda:
- How do I find and recommend a suitable device and mobile service?
- Smart (voice) assistants and the "Internet of Things"
- Exploring cultural places and distant landmarks with digital tools
On the first day of training, participants first looked at how they can recommend suitable devices and services to others as part of their support work. After all, the "best" or most powerful offer does not have to be the most suitable one. The focus was therefore primarily on what individual needs, wishes and requirements different people have and how comparisons in trade magazines and on online portals can help to find a suitable offer at a good price.
The second part of the day then focused on the functionality and benefits of voice assistants as well as smart home applications. It was discussed how they can make people's lives and daily routines easier, but also what consequences and risks they entail in terms of privacy, data protection and online security.
The second day was then all about digital voyages of discovery. First, various forms and areas of application of digital tools and applications for tours and excursions were presented. Participants explored natural wonders and cultural offerings in digital space. Using 360° videos and augmented reality applications, they familiarized themselves with the field of digital cultural mediation and digital learning.
The training concluded with a trip to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The museum's diverse digital offerings can be experienced here in a practical way. For example, the Museum of Natural History's digital guide can be accessed via visitors' own smartphones. The guide leads visitors through the exhibition in eleven different languages and also offers sign language functions for a barrier-free visitor experience. Such low-threshold offers can be used by multipliers to reduce inhibitions among senior citizens, to make it possible to experience a concrete benefit, and to provide informative and entertaining examples of use.
The training took place in the presence of the participants and in compliance with the required hygiene precautions.