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From Carer to Carerplus: Developing Digital Skills in Care Workers


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Talk given at EDEN 2014 on the translation of a digital competence framework into a blended mobile learning programme for the domiciliary care sector.

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From Carer to Carerplus: Developing Digital Skills in Care Workers

  2. 2. Eurostat projections for EU Member States highlights the marked increase in the share of the population in the older age ranges, from 65 to 79 years, and the over-80s.
  3. 3. “As science allows us to live longer and we choose to have fewer children, we will increasingly rely on the more affordable labor of foreigners.“ Pressures are economic and social. On healthcare systems and the social service support structures. -> Large shift in the dependency ratio. -> Increased government spending on health care and pensions. -> Shortage of workers … work longer and pay more taxes.
  4. 4. Social participation and depressive symptoms in old age: A decrease in social interactions and social participation, elements of active ageing, is a leading risk factor of depressive symptoms in old age. (Abu-Rayya 2006, Sirven & Debrand 2008, Chiao et al. 2011, Baetz et al. 2012, Lou et al. 2012, Taylor et al. 2012). Impact on quality of life:
  5. 5. Research indicates that modern ICTs and AAL (ambient assisted living) technologies can support ageing in the community and at home, with the result of radically improving quality of life. The CARICT project analysed fifty two ICT-based initiatives for caregivers in Europe and concluded that ICT-based services empower both care recipients and carers and improve their quality of life. Digital Agenda for Europe: Pillar VI - Action 57: Prioritize digital literacy and competences for the European Social Fund (2014-2020). 30% of Europeans have never used the internet. These people – mostly elderly, unemployed or on low incomes – lack the skills, confidence and means to use digital media and are thus unable to participate in today's society.
  6. 6. Our approach: develop the carer as a key mediator between the opportunities afforded by ICTs and the enhancement of quality of life and older persons in home care contexts.
  7. 7. Aim: To equip European care workers (CW) with a set of digital competences to support older people (+65) in their use of ICTs and AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) technologies. Twofold impact: (i) Enhance professional status of CW and allow them to be more active in society, enhancing and diversifying their opportunities for mobility, employability and personal and professional development. (ii) Impact positively on the quality of life, autonomy and safety of those in their care, promoting ‘active ageing’.
  8. 8. A set of knowledge, skills, attitudes that are required when using ICT and digital media to perform tasks; solve problems; communicate; manage information; collaborate; create and share content; and build knowledge effectively, efficiently, appropriately, critically, creatively, autonomously, flexibly, ethically, reflectively for work, leisure, participation, learning, socialising, consuming, and empowerment. (Ferrari, A., 2012) 15/06/2014 8 Digital competence: a definition
  9. 9. Challenges 1. Define digital competences - relevant to the care worker sector (and by extension care recipient) 2. Design a method for developing, consolidating and enhancing (identified) digital competences Certification Impact assessment Sustainability
  10. 10. Four research phases to investigate: the relevance of digital competences in the care sector, and the digital knowledge and skills likely to emerge within future care worker activities. (i) a literature analysis; (ii) expert focus groups; (iii) semi-structured individual interviews with experts; (iv) questionnaire delivered to care workers and care givers. Methodology reported in Valenta et al. (2013). 1. A digital competence framework
  11. 11. CarerPlus digital competence framework General digital competence dimensions based on DIGCOMP (Ferrari, 2013)
  12. 12. A • Curriculum development • Narrative: learning journey • Learning outcomes • Mapping competences • Constructive alignment • Chunking and linking content 2. A blended learning programme Carerplus Carer + Atomistic view Holistic view CarerPlus Programme Feedback Feedforward
  13. 13. Overview of the four methodological phases in the development of the CarerPlus digital competence framework and the blended learning programme
  14. 14. CarerPlus: programme structure
  15. 15. || 6/15/2014 15 | Core themes Foundational: development of baseline skills to build confidence and awareness of ICTs and understand their potential application to home care settings as well as achieve personal and professional development. Managing Social Care with ICTs: professional development activity of the participants to enhance their competences in the areas of planning, reporting, information seeking, communicating and networking and building their professional profile. Providing Social Care with ICTs: (i) active aging and independent living (ii) promoting social inclusion and bonding and (iii) using ICTs for cognitive and physical rehabilitation. For CarerPlus programme
  16. 16. || 6/15/2014 16 | Guiding Principles • All learning should be driven by authentic activity; • Basic knowledge skills and attitudes should be revisited in more depth in a ‘spiral curriculum’ (Bruner 1960) approach; • Peer support and learning should be encouraged by providing opportunities to share experience; • Programme must be designed to engage and motivate participants, and ensure good progression and retention rates. Underpinning CarerPlus programme design
  17. 17. || 6/15/2014 17 | Delivery – mobile focus VLE scaffold and Community of Practice – based on mobile internet devices (tablets – Google Nexus and iPad) Virtuous circle of activity between Moodle VLE and ELGG social network with ePortfolio capabilities F-2-F Trainer/mentor support
  18. 18. || 6/15/2014 18 | Building on Bruner Care workers are developed as ‘designers’. Care recipients are not guinea pigs but ‘co- participants’. We therefore promote mini- design cycles based on micro-project approach written up as structured reports (e.g. STARR or SOARA) Changing roles and empowerment in a spiral curriculum
  19. 19. || 6/15/2014 19 | Activity led design Activity-led design: activity mapping and storyboarding
  20. 20. Micro-certification - badging 1. Motivational: reward positive behaviour e.g community building. Reward achievement of course activities. 2. Reward those who engage in the more challenging aspects of the activities provided and push their practice beyond the central learning design journey. 3. Drive learner determined pathways e.g. badges are used to map out a ‘train the trainers’ pathway through the programme (+ve for sustainability). 4. Compliment to the more formal certification pathways that are to be developed under WP3.
  21. 21. Help us to help you help yourself A profiling tool is used to test prior learning and experience in key areas. Short questionnaires and a quiz that are broken into five sections: 1. About you; 2. Internet use; 3. Computer and Internet self assessment; 4. ICT quiz; 5. Readiness to learn. Action matrix – used in relation to the results from the profiling tool.
  22. 22. Comments • Unwieldiness of [digital] competence frameworks; • Longevity – need to build in sustainability • Tension between holistic and atomistic qualities (feed- forward and feed-back design) • Guide and scaffold participants to adapting the course to their context • Co-design and participatory design are powerful concepts that potentially lead to increased empowerment and autonomy. • Badges provide motivation and flexibility (can be used to map out pathways)
  23. 23. THANK YOU.