Main Menu

Ageless Bonds

Nonni su Internet

Ageless Bonds

Ageless Bonds

Grandparents on the Internet: last lab day at the Liceo Feltrinelli in Milan.

The meetings of Grandparents on the Internet, the digital and media literacy course for over-65s, at the Istituto tecnico industriale G. Feltrinelli in Milan have come to an end. Tullia Romanelli, who coordinated the activities for the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, reports on the last day. The protagonists are senior students, aged 65-85 anni, and the third-year students who tutored them. 

“Thanks Prof. See you next time!” “Ah, sorry I called you Prof. again. It’s become a habit.” It was the last meeting of Grandparents on the Internet last April 30. At the meeting, the young tutors were asked for their opinions and reflections. At first, they remained silent and seemed overcome by shyness. Perhaps the students were already looking forward to the evening party … “There’s no school tomorrow, Prof. It’s the first of May.”

However, after a little prodding and few questions, they opened up. The general sensation was of great satisfaction, especially as the grandparents learned a lot. As Kimberly pointed out “my grandparent was really fun. We bonded immediately and I was happy to help her.” They were proud to have helped people who needed it, to have been useful. Last but not least, the young women’s emotions were revealed by Chiara, Sofia, and Michelle, who developed a true friendship with their senior students and were clearly sad on the last day. “One lady hugged me and cried. And she wasn’t even my grandmother,” they said. They were sad, too, and are learning to express it with terms such as “empathy, understanding, and listening.”

As a psychologist, I pointed out that in this case the gender gap was inverted as the young women tend to express their emotions more openly. Not that they young men were silent but, as is right at their age, their reflections were more practical and pragmatic.

And here are my conclusions at the end of the course: The grandparents have become much better at using technology, while the students have learned that school can also divert from the official programme to teach skills such as patience and empathy to become better adults. I learned that learning has no age limits. One is never too young or old to meet others and bond.

For school year 2023-24, the Grandparents on the Internet Programme is linked to European project e-EngAGEd  (Intergenerational Digital Engagement), funded by the European Commission (Cerv-2022-Citizens-Civ Project n. 101081537), which aims to improve media literacy skills related to the conscious use of ICT to counter misinformation and recognize fake news. 

Other news that might interest you

Le nostre campagne

Campagna volontari della conoscenza

Knowledge is an asset, share it!

The official ad for the Knowledge Volunteers Network membership campaign. Thanks to the experience gained with the intergenerational learning model that the Fondazione Mondo Digitale has been promoting in Italy...

Our Projects

Get updated on our latest activities, news and events