Launch of Knowledge Volunteers Project

Photo © Knowledge Volunteers Project kick-off event
Photo © Knowledge Volunteers Project kick-off event
Article by Kate O'Dwyer, traducción española Diego Beamonte
22 November 2011

The kick-off event of the Knowledge Volunteers Project took place on 22nd November 2011 in Rome, Italy. The project aims to create a network of knowledge volunteers 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 United Kingdom (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 active participation 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; 2) Creation of the knowledge volunteers network; 3) Digital literacy courses based on peer-to-peer methodology; 4) Final competition: at the end of the project, the “Knowledge Volunteers Award” competition will take place.

With regard to the learning flow, one can speak of ‘downstream’, which is from older to younger; ‘upstream’, which is from younger to older and ‘balanced’, which is bi-directional. Interaction between the knowledge volunteers will take place on a one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one basis or also in small groups. 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.

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