Robert, 65 years old, is a new member of a retirement community. He doesn’t have much digital skills but he is willing to learn more about computers in order to communicate easier with fellow seniors, with family, former colleagues and (distant) friends. He also wants to have contacts with young people, preferably not by writing long letters, but through simple conversations (like chats or Skype talks). Recently, during a discussion at the “Elderly Club”, he heard about the facilities offered by the PALETTEV2 project. He became curious and, together with an enthusiastic friend he began to explore the different opportunities and functionalities offered by the platform. First of all, given the friendly interface and the large and intuitive icons on the screen, he could easily find the video and audio tutorials regarding the features (functionalities) of the platform, “how to go there”, “how to create an account”, “how to start a chat”, and so on.
With these tutorials at hand he got confident in using the PALETTEV2 system; in a few cases he used the online support facility to send a question to the IT-support team. In one case, an IT teacher came to show how something worked. So far he did not need to take a course as some of his fellow Club Members did. He experiences every day that adapted technologies can turn ICT devices and applications into friendly equipment rather than remaining a nasty and hard to control “enemy”.
As time goes by, he enjoys more and more the discovery of new features of the PALETTEV2 system. He also shared the information about PALETTEV2 with his former colleagues located in different regions of the country (and even abroad) and now they can stay in contact all the time and share information regardless of their location.
He lead this experience a step forward by taking some lessons (existing tutorials on the platform) concerning the access to information and how to use the PALETTEV2 features from a mobile device. He could brag to his nephew about his new skills and could even help him with advice in some domains using the PALETTEV2 mobile apps. Robert now really enjoys it and notices that, in addition to sharing his thoughts and experiences, he is also learning new ideas from the young generation (a two-way process).
The most recent development is that Robert has subscribed to an online professional course in financial administration. After getting the certificate Robert will start a small professional service in submitting tax declaration for customers, helping them to deal with the complex issues of income taxes and reimbursements. He already received requests from peers (who heard about this course) to take care of their tax declarations in the near future. In the meantime he is learning Club Members to do some of their shopping and their necessary banking activities online, pointing out security issues before letting them do this on their own.
For Robert, the second age of his active life and professional career is just starting.