The role of adult education is becoming increasingly important in the framework of policies to promote lifelong learning. Adult participation in training activities, however, is still rather low, despite the incentives and initiatives aimed at allowing all citizens access to education and training at all ages in their lives.
Participation tends to decrease concomitantly with increasing age: the major difficulty that elderly people have in learning is due to a deterioration of brain function, causing a progressive weakening of concentration, memory and mental flexibility. Today, advanced researches in neuroscience show that brain ageing may be reversible: the brain is plastic in all stages of life, and its maps can restructure themselves through learning experiences.
The crisis has highlighted the major role which adult learning can play in achieving the Europe 2020 goals, by enabling adults - in particular the low-skilled and older workers - to improve their ability to adapt to changes in the labour market and society. Adult learning provides a means of upskilling or re-skilling those affected by unemployment, restructuring and career transitions, as well as makes an important contribution to social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development.
In times of great challenges for Europe, all generations are called to act together, thus also to learn, to produce, share and preserve knowledge. The 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and the Solidarity Between Generations serves as framework for raising awareness, generating innovative approaches and disseminating good practice.
The EDEN Annual Conference will approach the key questions of learning methodology and technology focusing on the “Open learning generations”, the contexts of socially significant target groups: junior and senior e-learners. We will explore their learning cultures, technology use patterns and discuss new approaches in pedagogy and andragogy that respond to them.
Open learning for and amongst diverse generations
Innovative pedagogical models have been significant in empowering learners and their communities as co-producers in networked lifelong learning. Helping to spread educational resources as digitised content which accommodate different learning pathways, widening participation and promoting shared learning experiences between generations contributes to closing the technology gap.
Online and Social
The 2012 Annual Conference will be supported and accompanied intensively by social networking, sharing, online and virtual presence and involvement possibilities.
This will be strengthened by and implemented through the EDEN Members Portal: the NAP area on the web and its services.
Call for Contributions
All interested professionals are invited to take part and discover the conference themes by submitting their experience.
There will be opportunities for submitting and presenting papers, workshops, posters and demonstrations. At the Porto conference, virtual presentations, as a new form will be introduced. The conference allows openness in choosing the topics and in applying interactive formats and ways of presentations.
Schedule and Deadlines
Paper Submissions - 10 February, 2012
Registration Open - Mid February
Notification of Authors - 31 March
Personal Learning Environments for Overcoming Knowledge Boundaries between Activity Systems in Emerging Adulthood
This theoretical route starts with the definition of emerging adulthood as a period broadly located between adolescence and adulthood in which individuals are faced with many types of transitions. A fundamental aspect of such a transition period is the personal network of relations, and in particular the concept of bridging social capital formed by networks of weak ties. Researches on the use of web technologies in emerging adulthood are also discussed, as the results show the importance of these tools for maintaining and reinforcing bridging social capital. The conclusions derived from this theoretical route emphasise the relevance that web artefacts 2.0 have, in particular SNSs, providing emerging adults with many possibilities and support in:
- maintaining and developing their social capital;
- constructing a knowledge background that could help them during transitions through different activity systems.
These conclusions also lead towards a new conception of eLearning strategies employed in contexts such as universities, characterized until now by a heavy use of web artefacts 1.0 in which students play a passive role. We believe more flexible eLearning systems, such as SNSs, should be taken into consideration, since they are more likely to meet the needs of today’s emerging adults in terms of information and knowledge.The full text of this article is available in English and Spanish. The Spanish version is made possible our partner, the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). // El texto integro de este artículo está disponible en inglés y castellano. La versión castellana ha sido posible gracias a nuestro socio, la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).