Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Geomedia 50+" - ...beating the tech generation gap!

In the last years, the way we communicate and exchange information has undergone big changes. According processes are increasingly web2.0 mediated and especially the use of geomedia in everyday life has gained its importance. The intrusion of new communication channels and media is closely related to discussions and research on topics such as geo-communication, spatially enabled society, and spatial citizenship. In order to handle this competently, sophisticated geomedia capabilities and abilities are required. While school education recently has started to impart geomedia competencies, (Geo-)ICT empowerment opportunities for seniors and elderly people just barely exist. Owing to a number of reasons (e.g. social inclusion, information access), suitable adult education and learning activities need to be established. This is in line with numerous, actual efforts of the European Union addressing the demand to increase and intensify approaches to adult education and learning. 

Facing the existing gap on seniors’ geomedia literacy on one hand and thus the promises made by a spatially-enabled society on the other, Z_GIS staff members Sabine Hennig and Robert Vogler held a pilot course “Geomedia 55+” (in the framework of “University 55+” at Salzburg University) that aimed at providing geomedia skills especially for elderly people. This pilot course served as basis for gathering the target group’s specific educational needs concerning geomedia use and started a Z_GIS initiative to provide geomedia skills also beyond (post)secondary education in co-operation with the digital-earth.eu network. 

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