The name of the project “Education on the way” (“Ed-Way”) makes direct reference to the two main keystones the project is going to develop:
“Education” understood as continuous or life-long learning through the different stages and circumstances of life. This includes formal contents but also competences, skills, qualifications and values. This concept becomes a basic aspect for achieving the objective of building in balance and tolerance the multicultural and diverse societies of the future that european countries are facing.
“On the way” meaning not only “through life” or towards our near future but also, literally, “on the go” as a direct reference to the new technologies that are emerging during the last years and that bring us never-known-before possibilities: technologies that we carry with us (tablets, smartphones, smart-glasses, wearables…) and that include a wide scope of possibilities of cooperation, equity, integration, disparities-reduction, inclusion and communication (general objective 2) due to their usability, connectivity and impact. Technology that moves along with the user means also a new chance for learning and an opportunity to introduce informal learning into the reality of individuals as a strong way for educating, teaching and training.
The logic of this technology-enhanced continuous or life-long learning process is at the reach of almost the totality of the european population and consequently its applicability would have a considerable impact in the creation of a European Area of Skills and Qualifications. Therefore, the creation of training and conceptual materials for this purpose for educators, facilitators, teachers, trainers and those responsible of adults and seniors becomes essential. They become the specific target group of this project.
Additionally, as the Population Division, DESA, from the United Nations estimates (World Population Ageing 1950-2050 report), ”about 37 per cent of the European population is projected to be 60 or over in 2050”. This sector of the population are in some cases at risk of social exclusion and technologically marginated despite the fact they are a basic participant of the “intelligence society”. In this sense, Education on the way will produce tools and resources that will help to:
Educate, train and qualify the adults and young professionals of today that will be the elderly of tomorrow. The existence of a future society where the elderly are integrated, participants and active contributors of the society relies on the present preparation of their members.
Prepare the instruments and technologically applied pedagogies that will contribute to an active and collaborative ageing of the elderly in present societies. This will occur not only by them achieving a mastery of new technologies in general but also by (through the customary use of new technologies) awakening their social awareness, collaborative integration, participation, learning to learn skills… which will keep them integrated in the knowledge society and away from the risk of exclusion and social margination.
The project will facilitate, by means of utilization of new technologies, the recognition and use of non-formal and informal learning (and its permeability with interdisciplinary formal pathways) in the field of adult education and training, paying particular attention to the acquisition of personal, social and formal skills, competences and qualifications. Additionally, it will deploy an specific pedagogy and training in the acquisition of new social habits, customs and resources linked to them (video self-teaching, instant messaging communication, MOOC’s, social networks…).
The importance of a transnational project is key for the development of this purpose since we are dealing with a future scenario that affects all the european community in all its idiosyncracy. An active and collaborative action among the different social realities and the multicultural exchange of practices becomes the ideal approach for an effective planning strategy and results.