The Knowledge Volunteers Project, aims to create a network of âKnowledge Volunteersâ of all ages who can share their experiences and skills, thus contributing to the development of an inclusive knowledge society. This European Union funded project is coordinated by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale. ICVolunteers is one of the project partners, together with organizations based in Greece (50plus Hellas), Spain (Fundetec), Turkey, Romania (SREP) and the UK (University of Edinburgh).
The project is primarily aimed at elderly and young people and promotes intergenerational exchange between these groups. Its purpose is to encourage âactive participationâ of elderly people in society through voluntary activities while contributing to the creation of a more volunteer-friendly environment throughout Europe, with more people becoming involved in volunteer activities.
Lifelong Learning strives to improve the production, testing and dissemination of innovative curricula, methodologies and modules for adult learners while developing alternative learning approaches based on a Phyrtual (physical and virtual) environment and creating a database of good practices in the field of formal, non-formal and informal adult learning education.
The activities of the project will take place in four steps: 1) Digital Literacy courses for elderly people: In each of the countries involved, young volunteers will teach elderly people how to use new technologies, at four levels: Basic ICT use; Social Networking; E-Government Services and E-Health Services. A digital literacy didactical kit made up of handbooks, guides and evaluation tools will be developed, customized, translated, implemented and evaluated at each level; 2) Creation of the âKnowledge Volunteersâ network: Following Step 1, a network including young volunteers and elderly volunteers will be created. The young volunteers will continue to tutor the elderly volunteers. However, the elderly volunteers will also have the opportunity to tutor other elders and offer their personal knowledge (e.g. language skills, artistic skills, management skills etc.) to the young volunteers, thus creating veritable knowledge exchanges at all levels; 3) Digital Literacy courses/ Peer-to-peer methodology: At this step, chosen elderly people who have completed an ICT course can teach other elders how to use a PC and the Internet. Young volunteers monitor these courses and in parallel, can participate in courses where elderly people share their personal knowledge; 4) Final Competition: at the end of the project, the âKnowledge Volunteers Awardâ competition will take place. For each country involved in the project, an elderly volunteer who is particularly skilled will be chosen and will have the possibility to visit other elderly volunteers who attended the ICT courses in the other countries.
With regard to the learning flow, one can speak of âdownstreamâ, which is from older to younger; âupstreamâ, which is from younger to older and âbalancedâ, which is bi-directional. Interaction between the knowledge volunteers will take place on a one-to-one, one-to-many/many-to-one basis or also in a small group. Learning materials will be supplied in the form of dedicated manuals, created by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, supporting the courses and innovative didactical resources, such as video lessons, interactive stimulation and the exchange of digital content as part of the Phyrtual online environment.
The project will be evaluated mainly through in-depth case studies, including three case studies focusing on the learning process among elderly volunteers when learning about new technologies.