Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): 60+ Digital Program creates unprecedented course for the technological inclusion of older people

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With 100 free places available until Sunday, August 21, the initiative – which arises from a collaboration between the UC, Coopeuch and the Conecta Mayor Foundation – will provide knowledge on digital gerontology, to train monitors who guide those generations that have had an adaptation more complex in this age of communication technologies.

“What’s that about an app? How is it possible to send an audio via Whatsapp? Is it true that I can do this procedure online and I no longer have to go to the place?” There are multiple doubts and they are often repeated several times: those who have helped their older relatives and close friends to join this digitized world know that patience is key and that it is not very easy to explain those new technologies that have been born in this era of the internet .

Sometimes due to lack of time, sometimes due to lack of a teaching methodology. The factors may be diverse, but the result is the same: today the immediate networks of the elderly are not fully trained to help them in the process towards the digital integration that Chile and the world need, considering the global context of aging.

“From the 60+ Digital Program, we believe that this urgent need to promote the digital inclusion of the elderly requires specially prepared teachers and monitors. Knowing about technologies does not necessarily mean that we know how to teach about technologies, especially to people who have had much less socialization with them. With this free course on digital monitors, the goal is for the people trained to be referents for technological inclusion, providing theoretical and practical tools for professionals and technicians who carry out or want to carry out work with people over 60 years of age, on issues related to digital gerontology” , says Macarena Rojas, executive director of the UC Center for the Study of Old Age and Aging (CEVE UC) .

The 60+ Digital Program was born last year as a joint initiative of the Catholic University, Coopeuch and Fundación Conecta Mayor UC , through the coordination of the UC Center for Studies of Old Age and Aging and the technical assistance of the UC Senior Adult Program . The objective of this project is the digital and social inclusion of the elderly, a problem that is often made invisible.

“At Conecta Mayor UC we have assumed the commitment to contribute to the digital integration of older people in coordination with the territory. This is demonstrated by our work with 336 municipalities. In order to strengthen our alliance in favor of technological inclusion, we have organized this course together with Coopeuch and the Catholic University to train specialist digital monitors for the elderly throughout Chile” , says Eduardo Toro, Executive Director of the Fundación Conecta Mayor UC.

With 100 free places available, applications can be made until August 21 and classes begin on September 12, through Zoom, with a total of 15 chronological hours of theoretical classes.

The course is taught by an interdisciplinary teaching team made up of the UC School of Communications , the UC School of Social Work, and the UC School of Psychology . The contents addressed will include an ” Introduction to educational gerontology” , learning about “old age” , cognitive functioning in old age, tools for an educational session; human-computer interaction; and difficulties in the use of digital devices by older people, among other issues.

“At Coopeuch, the financial, social and digital inclusion of our country has been part of our work, so that people have development opportunities and improve their quality of life. In the 60+ Digital Program we seek to digitally include older people, helping to make their day-to-day easier and to benefit from the digital ecosystem. We have no doubt that learning the use of technology will integrate them and allow them to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits of the digital economy” , says Marcela Núñez, manager of the Products and Marketing Division of Coopeuch.

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