Over recent years social inclusion of seniors emerged as one of the most pressing priorities for EU policymakers. Negative demographic trends along with rapidly increasing penetration of digital technologies in virtually every aspect of human living have promoted the elderly population (seniors) into one of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged societal groups. In this context, digital literacy can no longer be considered an advantage but a necessity for the elderly population.
The aim of BOOMER is to provide solutions for the well-known problem of the elderly population through real-world applicable and easy-to-understand educational content for the upbringing of digital skills and social inclusion. The addressed problem is recognised under several priorities of the Erasmus+ programme and existing data clearly show a level of digital skills among the elderly population which makes them particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged in a digital era.
The main intangible product of BOOMER will be the educational content. Courses specifically for the elderly population with low digital skills and competencies will be designed and delivered. All educational content will be freely available through BOOMER Virtual Corner. The structure of the consortium enables us to utilise the knowledge of social, learning, and the technical dimension of education of the elderly population in order to develop comprehensive, applicable, and easy-to-use educational content.
On June 28th 2023 Matica umirovljenika Hrvatske, largest association of elderly persons in Croatia held gathering as part of its activities in SENIOR 2030 project. BOOMER representatives were invited to present project accomplishments and plans for future activities. Ms. Nikolina Pejović, representative of Croatian Telecom, one of BOOMER partners informed representatives of City of Zagreb, MUH presidency and participants from the target group about the activities of BOOMER project. The presentation of results from BOOMER survey spanned large interest of participants from 3rd age population. In forthcoming period BOOMER plans to launch a series of educational events through which it will help members of 3rd age population to enhance their digital skills.
On Monday, June 12, 2023, BOOMER project consortium organised round table “Digital skills in the third age” and presentation of project results at the Faculty of Economics and Business Zagreb. BOOMER aims to improve the digital skills of third age population, to bridge the intergenerational digital gap and enable the active participation of older people in everyday activities. Over 100 retirees, members of the group that BOOMER is intended for, visited the event. The results of the project were presented by prof. Nebojša Stojčić, project coordinator and director of the UNIDU CREDO research center. As he pointed out, according to the share of people of the third age with digital skills, Croatia is below the European Union average, and this population group is more exposed to the risk of disinformation, financial fraud, identity theft and similar risks in the digital environment. On the other hand, a survey conducted among pensioners from all parts of the Republic of Croatia showed that many elderly people are not only open to using digital tools, but also actively include them in their daily life for the purpose of accessing information, activities on social networks and communication with family and friends. In this sense, the BOOMER project contributes to the reduction of the intergenerational digital gap, the active participation of older citizens in everyday life, the social inclusion of digitally vulnerable social groups and the exploitation of synergies between interested participants. In the round table that followed, the Vice President of the European Commission for Demography and Democracy, Mrs. Dubravka Šuica, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Mr. Ivan Vidiš, representative of the Agency for Mobility and EU Programs, Mrs. Marija Pavlović Bolf , president of the Croatian Pensioners Association, Mr. Višnja Fortuna and Nikolina Pejović from Croatian Telecom discussed project progress and other undergoing initiatives for digital upskilling of elderly persons. Mrs. Šuica highlighted digitization as one of the priorities of the European Union and expressed her satisfaction with the practical implementation of the project so far. Other participants presented the practical experiences and initiatives of the institutions they represent aimed at improving the digital skills of people of the third age. "It was our pleasure to host a round table as part of the BOOMER project, which focuses on the digital literacy of people of the third age. Through BOOMER, we provide support and education to elderly people so that they feel safe and confident in the world of digital technologies. We will continue to work diligently to enable them to remain connected and active in this digital age," said Associate Professor. Ph.D. Mihovil Anđelinović, project manager from EFZG. "In the interest of Croatian Telekom is an educated, digitally literate population in all periods of life, especially the third age. HT has already independently launched digital literacy education projects by donating internet and laptops to homes for the elderly. The BOOMER project represents the continuity of our activities by which we say thank you to the elderly," said Nikolina Pejović , representative of Croatian Telecom in the consortium. "Being a part of the BOOMER project for Croatian Pensioners Association represents an important contribution to the development of digital technologies that will affect the standard and quality of life of the elderly and pensioners. Through the project, the Croatian Pensioners Association will continue to provide support in working with pensioners in order to increase the level of digital literacy that will facilitate their daily activities." - Višnja Fortuna, president of the Croatian Pensioners Association. More about the project: https://www.digital-boomer.eu/
We are pleased to announce that the BOOMER Virtual Corner is now available in English on www.digital-boomer.eu! BOOMER Virtual Corner is the open educational resource (OER) platform that will host the main results of the project, and will be available for the duration of the project and even 2 years after its completion. The platform is available openly and completely free of charge, user-friendly and responsive, so that seniors can improve their digital skills in order to bridge the digital divide. Soon, the platform will also be available in German, Spanish, Croatian and Italian in order to reach a wider audience. BOOMER is a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, and is developed by a consortium of 8 partners from 5 countries (Croatia, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany). The project has the very clear and concrete objective of contributing to the bridging of intergenerational divide, allowing active participation in everyday life of ageing citizens and promoting social inclusion of digitally vulnerable social group. Keep up to date with the project on BOOMER Virtual Corner and on the social networks Facebook and YouTube.
On September 29th, 2022, the consortium joined the Kick-Off Meeting of BOOMER – Booming digital lireracy skills among elderly population, a Project co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Program of the European Commission, which brings together 8 Partners from 5 countries (Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Spain), led by the University of Dubrovnik. The meeting wal held in hybrid mode in Brussels, Belgium. Over recent years social inclusion of seniors emerged as one of the most pressing priorities for EU policy makers. Negative demographic trends along with rapidly increasing penetration of digital technologies in virtually every aspect of human living have promoted elderly population (seniors) into one of most vulnerable and disadvantaged societal group. The recent COVID emergency made this even clearer. In conditions of lockdown, the sad reality of the generational digital divide has become clearly exposed. Adults in general, and among them particularly seniors, are more than ever exposed to digital isolation. This is even more worrisome as it happens in an emergency when the use of digital technologies is a must for event the most essential activities such as online shopping, banking, and access to information (including crucial and reliable health information). Low levels of digital literacy make seniors more vulnerable to cyber threats ranging from fake news to cyber-financial crimes than the rest of the population. Therefore, digital literacy can no longer be considered an advantage but a necessity for the elderly population. In this context, BOOMER addresses the evident and urgent pan-European need for rapid and concrete upskilling of seniors in digital competencies. The BOOMER consortium will contirbute to the prevention of the digital isolation of seniors in the digital age by developing the targeted training materials and making them available via the BOOMER Virtual Corner, an open educational resource (OER) platform. The consortium formed by University of Dubrovnik (HR), University of Zagreb (HR), IHF (BE), d-ialogo (DE), IDP (IT), IWS (ES), Croatian Telecom (HR) and MUH (HR) will work over the next 24 months to fulfil the development and implementation of the project, thus meeting BOOMER’s objectives. More information on BOOMER Virtual Corner: www.digital-boomer.eu