Socialization in online education!
During the last year, we have all noticed how COVID-19 has affected our social life. The effects of the pandemic have been serious in young people, but they have been especially devastating to older individuals. Because of social distancing, they have been missing lot of opportunities for interaction and socialization, which has increased older people’s levels of loneliness.
Most of adults centers and lifelong education centers have provided an answer to this problem through social technologies, which have been used to provide critical social interaction during this time of necessary physical distancing. We have been proposing online language classes and we have also been supporting seniors with the use of the new technologies necessary to take back a social life during lockdown periods.
However, sometimes it could be hard to motivate seniors towards e-learning and to use the ICTs. This is why it is essential for adults’ educators to attract older learners’ attention to the benefits of online learning and communication:
- Acquire better skills in using digital tools. You can motivate your older learners by making them notice that by attending online classes they will learn how to use the computer, the Internet and other digital tools.
- Stress the importance to learn new things. The desire to acquire new knowledge exists throughout one’s lifespan and is critical for adults who want to stay up to date in a changing world.
- Maintain cognitive and mental health. A wealth of new research suggests that learning new things and keeping an active mind is the best way to maintain cognitive and mental health throughout life
- Develop new job skills. Lifelong learning courses can offer opportunities for latent creativity to bloom or developing new job skills for older adults who want or need to stay in the job market.
(ideas taken from Online learning for seniors barriers and opportunities by Mark Notess, Lesa Lorenzen-huber / May 2007)