6. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Foligno / Italy, October 26th-27th, 2017

Foligno welcomed us with a perfectly blue sky, a lot of sun and warmth unusual at this time of year. Encouraged by this beautiful weather and full of energy we sat to the working session – one of the two last working sessions in the project. As many times before we discussed the project product – catalogue. The content is almost ready – we have 11 activities that combine culture with teaching digital skills, we also prepared some short texts about seniors, teaching digital skills to seniors, and evaluation. The graphic design will be ready soon, and the catalogue will be available online for download, i.a. on our project website.

After the working session the partners moved to the building of Universita Degli Studi di Perugia to meet representatives of Egina – local association working with EU projects and implementing active aging projects. Among others CINAGE project was presented – a Grundtvig project composed of interlinked activities resulting in the production of a learning package for the use by adult educators and aimed at empowering older people towards achieving a more active aging. We were shown two films made by seniors (supported by professional film makers) – Swimming pool and Trapped.

Another working session took place on the second day of the meeting. It was time to sum up the implementation, talk about the final report and divide the work. We also had a short evaluation workshop led by our partner from the Czech Republic.

For the end of our last project meeting we moved to Assisi with its beautiful winding streets and the great Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. We said goodbye to each other in front of the basilica – some of us will probably meet in other projects. Let’s wait and see how this project and the knowledge it provided will be used in future.

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5. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Alytus / Lithuania, August 24th-25th, 2017

After visit to Prague in June, for our next meeting in the project we had to move more to the east of Europe – to Alytus in Lithuania. Alytus is the historical centre of the Dzukija region, located on the banks of the Nemunas River, and the place of activity of our partner – Alytaus Kultūros ir Komunikacijos Centras.

The first day of the meeting started with a short presentation of the host organization and the city of Alytus. It was followed by a meeting with representatives of the Social Support Department in Alytus City Municipality and a local NGO working for seniors who presented activities they carry out for and with seniors. They told us about the project they’ve been implementing since May this year – supporting seniors in their daily life, organizing free time, helping in their households, etc.

The project now entered its final phase which means that many details need attention and decisions that assure it is implemented according to the programme guidelines. During the working session there was a lot to talk about: promotion and information – what and when we need to do, evaluation – how we sum up the project, and the project product – online catalogue – what are the next steps that will lead to its final version.

In order to finish the testing phase in the project, the Polish partner presented their testing workshops “Animation- not for kids”, organized in June’17. As a result 4 short films were created by participants aged 50+.

On the second day we had an exceptional opportunity to visit a private Japanese garden and meet koi carps 🙂 We discussed the activities targeted at seniors that combine various areas – nature, culture, health and other. The visit to Alytus ended with a sightseeing tour, including the visit to the Alytus Museum of Ethnography.

For our final meeting in October we will move to the south of Europe for a change – to Foligno in Italy.

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4. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Prague / Czech Republic, June 19th-20th, 2017

Prague welcomed us with wonderful weather that made many of us think of sunbathing and not necessarily working. However, work had to be done and, as usual, many things had to be discussed, agreed upon and planned. The main subject of the meeting was “teaching digital skills, what to teach and how to do it”.

The first day of the meeting was filled with working sessions, during which we discussed what had happened since our meeting in Rogaška Slatina in April – what promotional and informational activities we carried out, evaluation of the project, etc. An important part was presentation of testing workshops that five out of six partners carried out, testing activities developed earlier in the project. All activities were supposed to combine culture with teaching digital skills and are targeted at adults 50+. The tested activities were:

  • Social togetherness / Seek and find – Folkuniversitetet (Sweden)
  • Kahoot Quiz – Ljudska univerza Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia)
  • Digital Memory Album – Viaindustriae (Italy)
  • Let’s create an e-book – Alytaus Kultūros Ir Komunikacijos Centras (Lithuania)
  • Search for cultural event / Book and pay for cultural event – Glafka (Czech Republic)

Results from evaluation of the workshops and recommendations from instructors and participants will help shape the final versions of the activities.

On the second day we visited Elpida Center – an up-to-date center for educational and social activities and a meeting point for seniors. In Elpida seniors have access to exercise rooms and various educational workshops and classes, such as computer literacy and memory training. More than 20,000 seniors participated in their computer and language classes (source: elpida.cz). We had a very nice discussion with Jan Bartoš – chief of Elpida, we could share our experience in teaching adults that differs from country to country.

We have entered the final stage of our project – we agreed on the structure of our catalogue of activities and divided tasks. The catalogue should be ready by November.

Soon – in August – we are meeting in Alytus / Lithuania to explore the topic of creating intersectoral activities – combining culture with education.

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3. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Rogaška Slatina / Slovenia, April 6th-7th, 2017

Our third meeting took place in the beginning of April, when we took a deeper breath after the long, seeming like never-ending winter. Rogaška Slatina with its mineral springs, green heights and clean air was a great place to get a fresh look at the project and next steps to take towards the successful implementation.

The main subject of the meeting was “activities addressed to adults 50+, examples and good practices” so the agenda was structured accordingly. The first day of the visit to Ljudska univerza Rogaška Slatina started with a presentation of the institution and its people. Then we met a group of adult learners and took part in an English class where a very attractive tool was used as a teaching aid – a free game-based learning platform called Kahoot. By playing together we could learn about Slovenia and countries of other partners, all in English, using tablets and smartphones, we also trained our reflexes, trying hard to win the competition.

In the afternoon Pegazov dom – a house for the elderly – invited us to see what they do, how they do it, what kind of activities they offer to their inmates. It was a great opportunity to realize what kind of obstacles the elderly encounter and how the teaching process should be modified to meet their needs.

The next day started with the working session where we had a discussion about the next steps we have to take in the project – shape of the activities and workshops to test them. The testing will be carried out in each partner country separately, after that the activities will acquire their final shape and will be put in one catalogue, available online.

Our visit to Slovenia ended in Olimje, a beautifully located settlement with an old castle, now monastery, where monks established a herbal apothecary and produce natural medicines and cosmetics. Judging by the interest their products aroused in us, we will be all beautiful and healthy at our next meeting – in Prague in June 😉

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2. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Kristianstad / Sweden, January 23rd-24th, 2017

The meeting in Kristianstad was the first opportunity for all partners to present what they had been working on since the first project meeting in Ełk/Poland. At our first meeting we assigned a task to ourselves – to develop two proposals (each of us) for activities that combine teaching digital skills with using one’s creative potential.

Ten different proposals were presented, what is interested we managed to develop ten different ideas, each of them covering a range of digital skills and “touching” a different field of cultural expression. The activities also focus on being together, cooperation and creation – exemplary titles are “Social togetherness”, “Seek and find”, “Smart art”, “Let’s create an e-book”, “Stop motion animation” or “Digital storytelling”. Now they need to be further developed and some of them will be “tested” on our project target group – adults 50+, in the second part of the project implementation.

As all other meetings in the project also this meeting had its main subject – it was methods and tools to encourage adults 50+ to participation and learning. Ingmarie Rohdin from Folkuniversitetet presented to us a great and very popular method in Sweden – study circles.

Study circles is a very user-friendly, low-cost teaching/learning “device”, where a small group of people meet multiple times to discuss an issue – can be politics, music, gardening – whatever the participants find interesting and worth exploring. The teacher is more of an facilitator so the learning process is easier than it usually is during traditional courses. Why not make study circles common also in other European countries? There are plans but we’ll see what future holds.

We also discussed evaluation and dissemination which need our constant attention – we exchanged some ideas how to make promotion more efficient.

Next time we’re meeting in spring, in April, this time we’re going to the south – to Ljudska Univerza Rogaška Slatina. By then – we have plenty of work to do…

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1. TRANSNATIONAL MEETING

Ełk / Poland, October 24th-25th, 2016

The 2-day meeting was marked by getting to know each other and “preliminaries” to the actual implementation of all goals and activities planned in the project. The beginning is always the hardest but all working sessions during which we were trying to order and schedule the whole process of project implementation, ran smoothly. We created schedules of promotional activities, catalogue preparation and future meetings.

The subject of our meeting was: Adults 50+ – specificity of the group, needs and barriers. Apart from our partners, we also invited to discussion representatives of other organisations from Ełk, in any way involved in adult education: third age universities, Friends Association “Amazons” in Ełk and also some active adults-seniors.

We worked together on a list of needs and barriers. Some new ideas emerged, also for future cooperation. We hope that at least some of them will be implemented. Our next meeting will take place in January 2017, this time in Sweden, in Kristianstad – at our partner’s, Folkuniversitetet, Stiftelsen vid Lunds Universitet.

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