06 SES 05.5 PS, Posterpresentation Network Open Learning: Media, environments and cultures
General Poster Session
Intergenerational programmes as an approach to maintain or develop social cohesion and solidarity between generations are becoming increasingly needed. Although technology, industrialization and urbanization have contributed to important improvements in living conditions, these advances have also led to the creation of barriers across generations (Hatton-Yeo & Ohsako, 2000). Nowadays, there is a growing age segregation and fewer points of contact between young and old in daily life. The transference of knowledge, skills, competencies, norms and values within families is threatened and the older people are increasingly devalued and isolated. For these reasons, intergenerational programmes and initiatives began to emerge as strategy to fill the geographic and interpersonal gap by connecting older and younger persons in formal and informal settings that promote contact, exchange and learning across generations (Newman, 2008). By definition, “Intergenerational programmes are vehicles for the purposeful and ongoing exchange of resources and learning among older and younger generations.” (Hatton-Yeo & Ohsako, 2000, p. 3).
The benefits for both generations are clear and well documented (Gualano et al., 2017). However, more questions exist about how to really and truly create a meaningful and profitable relational experience between individuals of different generations. Bringing together different age groups is not enough to create successful intergenerational dialogue. Fricke and colleagues (2013), from their experience in the project The Mix@Ages, call attention to the importance of the activity, the content and the methods employed. The activities must be planned so both generations learn with and from each other, gain technical skills and knowledge, work creatively and develop a joint product (Fricke et al., 2013).
Intergenerational initiatives based on digital activities seem to be a very promising form to bring and share individual’s skills and personal experiences. The children usually have an open attitude about using digital equipment and applications, contrary to the older adults, which have more constrains and even refusal to use information and communications technology (Schäffer, 2007). But, on the other hand, the older adults hold a valuable knowledge about traditions, stories, places, that constitute our cultural heritage. The combination of digital technologies and reminiscences, i.e. the act or process of recalling past experiences and events, can be a meeting point for different generations, where they can share, re-elaborate, and read memories and meanings (Morganti et al., 2016).
The project VIAS | Viseu InterAge Stories seeks to foster intergenerational dialogue and interaction, through a topic that is meaningful for both groups: places of our cities. Having intergenerational activities connected to the city and to heritage also contributes to identifying benefits and challenges of synergistic efforts to create livable cities for all ages (van Vliet, 2011). It is through human activities that urban spaces become "places". How people experience and conceptualize "place" is formed by the scope and range of what happens in that space and those that inhabit it (Wouters, Claes, & Moere, 2015).
In this poster, we analyse data from one of the project's workshops regarding the different ways five intergenerational groups used ICT for knowledge exchange about favourite places in their city.
VIAS | Viseu InterAge Stories aims to promote interaction between different generations, deepening the sense of belonging to the city and the practice of outdoor activities through a collaborative app. Using technologies of everyday life, such as "smartphones" and "tablets", and having the city of Viseu as the setting, the project intends to foster the development of intergenerational outdoor activities. The application will include a set of "placemarks" - city places with cultural and natural heritage value. Based on this mapping, the habitants will be invited to create and share stories about their city, collaboratively, while touring and interacting with the various places. The several stories will integrate memories and reminiscences of the elderly, meanings of the present and future expectations of children and youth concerning the same sites. Younger and elder will have the opportunity to walk from place to place making their own stories, uploading new content to the placemarks. The first workshop for the project gather 25 participants, 15 "young", between the ages 8 and 13, and 10 "senior", between 60 and 78 years old. During the workshop, young and old stories about their favourite places in the city. each of the five groups had a tablet, a laptop and mobile phones available, as well as paper and coloured pencils and printed photos of some of the places. The groups were accompanied by a monitor from the project during their storytelling and exchange of experiences and arguments. Th available materials could be used for searching information and/or creating supports for the stories. Three independent researchers observed the two hours of interactions. The observations focused level of involvement, configuration of interactions, initiative and leadership, ICT use. After the workshop, the three observers discussed their notes with the monitors and the coordinating team of the project and wrote independent reports on the workshop. The written reports were the basis for the content analysis that adopted both a deductive and and inductive approach (Amado 2014), focused on the four foci. For this poster, we will use data regarding ICT use.
The analysis is still ongoing. All groups used ICT but in different moments of the process and with different purposes. The descriptive analysis has shown that: seeing the places that had been chosen as favourites was very important and Google Maps was the preferred tool for that; when there were printed or paper materials (one of the seniors had many materials from having worked in one of the places), these were favoured by both young and old; for the creation of graphical depictions of the lived stories, the young preferred paper and coloured pencils - both for drawing and for making posters; the senior participants enjoyed using the audio recording software; presentation software was used to combine different media, but only by one group. We are now in the process of analysing the different moments and paths of ICT use by each group. The intention is to suggest different ways of presenting the ICT in the workshop dynamics that can foster meaningful use.
Amado, J. (2014). Manual de Investigação Qualitativa em Educação [Handbook of Qualittive Research in Education] (2nd. ed). Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra. Fricke, A., Marley, M., Morton, A., & Thomé, J. (2013). The Mix@Ages Experience: How to Promote Intergenerational Bonding Through Creative Digital Media. Remscheid, Germany: Institut für Bildung und Kultur e.V. Gualano, M., Voglino G., Bert, F., Thomas, R., Camussi, E., & Siliquini R. (2017). The impact of intergenerational programs on children and older adults: a review. International Psychogeriatrics, 9, 1-18. doi: 10.1017/S104161021700182X Hatton-Yeo, A. & Ohsako, T. (Eds.) (2000). Intergenerational Programmes: Public Policy and Research Implications an International Perspective. Hamburg: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Morganti, L., Scaratti, C., Cipresso, P., Gaggioli, A., Bonfiglio, S., & Riva, G. (2016). How can technology help intergenerational reminiscence? A pilot study. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12(1), 35. Newman, S. (2008). Intergenerational Learning and the Contributions of Older People. Ageing Horizons, 8, 31–39. Schäffer, B. (2007). The Digital Literacy of Seniors. Research in Comparative and International Education, 2, 29-42. van Vliet, W. (2011). Intergenerational Cities: A Framework for Policies and Programs. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 9(4), 348-365. Wouters, N., Claes, S., Moere, V. (2015) Investigating the Role of Situated Public Displays and Hyperlocal Content on Place-Making, Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, 25, 60-72.
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