The Project

Digital Literacy for Adults and the Elderly in Europe

Silver: Stimulating ICT Learning for Active EU Elders



The Scenario: the Elderly in Europe
In Europe, one person out of every five is older than 60. By 2050, the number of individuals above the age of 65 will increase by 70%, while those above 80 will increase by 170%. If adequate digital and functional literacy policies are not implemented, the ageing population will widen the digital divide and increase social inequality. This is a scenario that holds true for Europe and other developed countries, too.
The data on connectivity (Eurostat) and density of connections in Europe (Internet hosts per 1000 residents from, present significant facts: the percentage of European families connected to the Internet in countries such as Romania (30%), Italy (42%) and Spain (51%) is lower than the European average (60%).


Project Silver
Stimulating ICT Learning for Active EU Elders
Project Silver addresses both of these situations by implementing a systemic approach, which identifies an innovative didactic ingredient, a trans/inter-disciplinary and generational element, and aims to solve this new form of illiteracy to contrast the risk of a social and communicative caesura between the young and the elderly.
In the context of the Community Action Programme for Continuous Learning, Italy, Spain, Romania and Belgium are experimenting with a continuous learning programme for adults addressing no less than 100 elderly, 500 student tutors and 50 teachers. Moreover, aimed communication and diffusion activities will be implemented to reach an increasing number of beneficiaries in every country.
A strategic role for the diffusion of this initiative and the involvement of the population off over-sixties has been given to the European Federation of Pensioners and Elderly People (Ferpa).


The University of Edinburgh (UK) is responsible for research activity, drafting of case studies, evaluating the learning process, verifying all material (tests, manuals, etc.) and codifying knowledge.
The Fondazione Mondo Digitale will coordinate all the parties involved in the project and promote international meetings and the development of an open community of social innovators, which will be integrated in the FMD’s on-line learning environment:
Project Objectives:
Project Silver aims to create a sustainable continuous learning programme for the adult population and pursue the following objectives:
  • Train the elderly population with the skills and resources necessary to benefit from ICT
  • Renew traditional learning and teaching processes for students and teachers (21st Century Education)
  • Implement local social inclusion policies with an approach that involves various actors, including: Schools, elderly centres and other organisations that work with the elderly.
  • Societatea Romana Pentru Educatie Permanenta, Romania
  • Centro De Educacion Permanente Siete Villas, Spain
  • European Federation of Pensioners And Elderly People, Belgium
  • Perspectives Asbl, Belgium
  • University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Fondazione Mondo Digitale, Italy
Schools and Elderly Centres The pilot project will involve no less than 1000 elderly, 500 student tutors and 50 teachers.
 Methodology and Tools
  • Define, atomise and implement a multi-lingual didactic kit for digital literacy (manuals, guides and evaluation tools).
  • Promote social networking (multi-stakeholder approach) to implement the didactic methodology.
  • Create didactic modules to help the elderly with e-government services (social policies for e-inclusion).