Field Notes – University of Tartu
In Estonia we conducted one workshop for teachers and high school students intergenerationally, and two workshops for journalism students. Due to Covid-19 pandemic situation the workshops had to be held online. The workshops were structured in a way that the discussion part followed the lecture on the topic.
The Focus Groups
In order to find participants during a pandemic, the Estonian team used the help of social media. We made a call to participate in the research project and that encouraged people to find time and make the effort.
The mini focus groups gave unexpected results due to the fact that they were not regular size but rather intimate small conversation groups. This created very safe and personal environment in which totally novel aspects started to reveal.
- Expert interview with the educational gerontologist brought out several shortcomings in the digital environments. Unknowingly we may really be developing environments and systems that increase the digital divide – that made me think even more carefully about what sort of materials and for whom do we actually create.
I believe a very good lesson to us all came from Croatia’s one-on-one consultations that revealed the actual problems the seniors have with digital technology. We may educate them on fake news and social media scams, but at the same time they may be struggling with simple things such as not knowing how to use the smartphone or how to use digital e-services.
I would make more face-to-face personal meetings, as people tend to be more open about the issues that they need help with.