The platform developed in the AWARE project will be a social network with three modules integrated:
Environment adaptation module:
This module will provide an adaptation plan for every kind of environment (workplace, home, etc). The service will be provided by an intelligent web searcher;
Sharing knowledge module:
This module will provide mechanism for sharing knowledge, in order to enable workers to maintain an active role after retirement by allowing share of expertise and experience, get in contact with other workers and retired elderly people and promote remote short-time work, which could enable elderly people to stay active after retirement; also, this will allow the company to maintain and acquire knowledge and expertise although a worker has retired;
ICT approach module:
This module will be a trainer tool for the platform and the provided services. It will be focused on pedagogical methodologies adapted for elderly people. The acquired expertise in using such technologies will allow the use of the services of the platform after retirement, as well as improve the possibilities offered by general ICT over internet, contributing to social integration and reducing loneliness and isolation.
This novel solution is based on the principles of the social network, where its services (chatting, blogging, etc) will be complemented by specific services oriented to ageing workforce and elderly people needs. Additionally, the platform and its interfaces will be entirely designed basing on accessibility and usability requirements of the final users. Finally, the platform will be developed using open-source software and the system will be modular in design to maximise flexibility and extensibility.
Admitting the difficulty of ICT acceptance and usability by the elderly people, this project will pay special attention to requirements and parameters to ensure such acceptance. Techniques of visual exploration and emotional analysis will be used to identify the preferences of ICT for the elderly people that they will use. This identification will be carried out with eye-tracking concept, monitoring and recording the way that people see a scene or image, the areas which fixes its attention, the time and the order to see the elements in their visual exploration. This analysis will be complemented by EMG and GSR signal studies to evaluate the user perception. These techniques have been previously used to identify the aspects of designs that are considered to be the most important by potential users of a product.
A special attention will be focused in the pedagogical methodologies implemented in the platform (the educational models that will be considered will be: recreational, sociocultural, interactive, etc.).
E-learning, e-teaching and knowledge sharing services provided by the platform will be developed with MOODLE. MOODLE is a software package for producing Internet-based courses and web sites. It is a global development project designed to support a social constructionist framework of education. Its point of view is that the people actively construct new knowledge as they interact with their environments. Everything that the persons read, see, hear, feel, and touch is tested against prior knowledge and if it is viable within their mental world, may form new knowledge. The use of Moodle to build environment has a number of advantages when dealing with elderly people.