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Published on: 14/11/2007
“Silvernet” is a learning partnership for senior ICT learners in Central Europe. It aims to contribute to the development of the learning society in the participating countries with the involvement of learners over 60. Silvernet would like to support this excluded social class in joining the new ICT network, which is able to dissolve their loneliness and help them express their needs. The partnership will run basic internet courses for senior citizens tailored to their special educational needs and interests. They will learn to use high-tech communication accessories, which is a tool to develop their social contacts within the EU.

Policy Context

In line with the European Lifelong Learning Program, Silvernet focuses on one of the main priorities for 2007 that of education of the aging population. By providing senior citizens technical, educational and social (virtual community) support Silvernet helps this disadvantaged target group take advantage of digital opportunities, facilitating their inclusion to the information society (European e-Inclusion Initiative).

Description of target users and groups

senior citizens/retired people

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The project is a cooperation amongst 3 European adult education institutions (Budapest Cultural Centre/Hungary - coordinator, Soros Educational Center Foundation/Romania and Institution for specialized and adult education n.o./Slovakia - partners) with significant experience in project management. These follow general project management schemes both on partnership and local level

Technology solution

Within the three participating institutions PC laboratories with Internet connection serve the target group according to a well defined work schedule. Senior learners participate in a 25 hour-training of basic Internet run by IT teachers. The curriculum is provided by the coordinating organisation (Budapest Cultural Centre/Hungary) and will be adjusted to the target groups' actual needs in the participating countries.

Main results, benefits and impacts

The following impact is expected to have during the partnership: There are staff and learners at all participating organizations who will be directly involved in the project activities (60 senior learners). The senior learners will get motivated to learn to use ICT tools. They will also have the chance to exchange their learning experiences during the face-to-face meetings together with the staff. The acquired new knowledge will allow them not only to use the electronic communication, the internet, but also discover the European dimension of their problems. The internet will help them to get the necessary information to organise their life better. New doors and possibilities will open for the “Net-Grannies”. As the usage of the internet will be part of their daily life, their lifestyle may change, improve. Isolation and solitude will disappear and new communities (on- and off-line) will shape. The members of the communities will help each other, and self-organized groups will start to work. The staff will improve their knowledge in terms of adult education and will form a support network.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

All organisations interested in the project are welcome to follow our partnership's work. (The project website is under construction, for the time being please visit the following one:

Lessons learnt

The enthusiasm met especially amongst the target group, the senior learners, involved the partnership really special. The first project meeting had a very nice opening with 50-60 senior learners from all over Hungary and of course from the partner countries: Slovakia and Romania. The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the history of the program “Click on Granny!” which has been a success story since 2001 and which is the base for Silvernet. The energy and the involvement of these people was one inexperienced so far! Besides, we would like to emphasize that ICT is one of the most efficient instruments that facilitates intergenerational learning. Scope: International