OdigO Project - Lapland (Finland)
OdigO: 'The Skillful Tutors of Adults’ and Aging Population’s Digital Competences to Lapland' Project in Lapland, Finland is coordinated by the University of Lapland, with the support of the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The Skillful Tutors of Adults’ and Aging Population’s Digital Competences to Lapland (OdigO) Project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Northern Ostrobothnia’s Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) (2021–2023).
Various stakeholders also made this initiative possible - from practitioners in media literacy and education, to those working in adult education, members from the public sector, NGOs, and associations. The project aims to promote an environment of age-friendly media literacy education, improve Finland's digital transformation process, and find solutions for those lagging behind digital.
Background and aims
The project also aims to increase Lapland residents’ awareness of supporting the digital skills of adults and aging populations. It sets out 3 objectives and actions for this: designing an online study module, jointly implemented by the 2 participating universities to focus on guidance when it comes to digital skills for adults. The project also set up a series of webinars and short videos available for anyone to see, and useable by training providers in their own content, as well as for those working with adults or aging populations in the public/cultural sector.
Finland scores 1st in Human Capital in DESI 2022: but the digital inclusion of older people is very much still a challenge. People over 74 are not included in Eurostat's statistics. Concern about the integration of senior people in an increasingly digital world is shared by government agencies on different levels in Finland, providers of internet services, university, civil society associations and NGOs.
Why is this a good practice?
OdigO: 'The Skillful Tutors of Adults’ and Aging Population’s Digital Competences to Lapland is effectively a cross-sectoral approach between universities in Finland, implemented in cooperation with various experts and non-governmental organisations. The online programme for seniors is based on informed research stemming from the successful collaboration, and is accessible to anyone interested in the topic. The course is included in several study programme modules and open to all students in continuing and non-formal education.
The increased collaboration of active stakeholders and partners also supported several programmes aiming to train the digital competences of those working in education, culture, social and health services. The project is based on the idea that it is the teachers and workers in these areas that hold key positions to develop the digital competences of the people they work with.
The project's outputs have been reused and adapted to fit current educational material, and can easily be replicated, transferred and modified to fit other target audiences and contexts. In the University of Lapland, training material has been integrated within teachers' pedagogical studies and the continuing education offer. At the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the online study module is being implemented as part of social and healthcare profiling and optional studies and as part of practical training in elderly care education.