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Computer Courses for Olympians of the Third Era
1 October 2011

That they are in their third era craving knowledge, courageous and have come to grips with the latest information communication technologies (ICT), was shown by the participants of the computer course which is held, upon an invitation by the organiser, IAN Telecentre within the „Fourth Olympiad of sport, health and culture for the third era“ in Sokobanja from the 29 th of September until the 1 st of October 2011.

School of computing worked during all three days of the Olympiad, and the participants were divided into two groups, the beginners and the advanced group. All participants studied for three hours per day. Mr. Petar Jakovljevic, who worked on the Olympiad, and is a lecturer at the IAN Telecentre, said that „some of the participants, which had never even sat behind the computer had, within three days, learned how to write and format text, how to find relevant information on the Internet and many had for the first time opened their email account“. They learned how to transfer images and data from a USB, mobile phone and camera, and opened their own Skype accounts. Social networks are also very popular amongst the more advanced cyber grannies and grandpas. Many participants don't have very advanced computer skills, but they do have an open Facebook profile.

IAN Telecentre, which is part of an NGO by the name of International Aid Network (IAN), has been engaged in inclusion of our senior citizens into the digital era in order for them to be able to actively utilize all of the benefits that the modern ICT provides. In this way they are, not only improving their quality of life but are, by mastering computer skills, also getting an additional feeling of being active members of the modern society, who feel less isolated, This allows them the possibility to utilise their free time in a creative manner by informing themselves, studying, and socializing via the Internet.

Part of the efforts made by IAN Telecentre, and with the support of Microsoft, at this Olympiad were computer courses aimed at decreasing poor statistics concerning the computer use in Serbia, especially with regards to the senior population. According to the latest data from the Republic Institute of Statistics, as much as 92% of individuals in Serbia, over the age of 65, have never used the computer, compared to only 6.7% under the age of 24; and as many as 97% of the older individuals have never used the Internet, as opposed to the 9% of those individuals which fall into the ‘under 24' age group.

The key factor for progress which was accomplished by the Olympians' at the courses, besides the will which was shown by the participants, was the lecturers' patience – many participants complained that the members of their household had insufficient time to help them out. Though digital literacy we can improve the lives of our senior citizens. That is why, we at IAN, would like to take this opportunity and once again invite all to solidarity across generations, and encourage everyone, above all the young population, to aid, encourage, motivate and introduce their grandmas and grandpas to the world of information technology and in this way support their active and productive life in the third era.




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