Drogheda Women’s Shed members add digital savvy to their wisdom

Young people have less opportunities to build up face-to-face relationships than the older generations, so, while they are more likely to be tech-savvy, they are less likely to have the same level of interpersonal skills. That was one of the messages delivered to Drogheda Women’s Shed when they hosted the EurAV team for a workshop on digital literacy, delivered as part of the DiSeRA project, supported by the EU’s Erasmus Plus initiative. But while older people are more adept at face-to-face situations, with instincts honed over a lifetime, statistics show that they are more likely to be victims of phone and internet scams, and, they are more likely to believe and share false information that they read online.

DiSeRA sees EurAV join organisations from Italy, Slovakia and North Macedonia to research and develop tools that can help digital immigrants – those who were born before the advent of the internet and who have had to learn to adapt to it – to navigate the complex world of digital literacy.

“Even words we use around digital literacy can be confusing,” explained a EurAV spokesperson. We talk about “disinformation” – which is where false information is created and spread, “misinformation” – where someone believes false information and spreads it without realising that it isn’t true, and “malinformation” – which is where someone takes a piece of true but potentially damaging information and spreads it with the intent to cause harm. Our research found that most people weren’t aware with this terminology. It’s one of the reasons that we’ve been holding face-to-face workshops with groups such as Drogheda Women’s Shed. In that way, questions can be asked and answered in an accessible way.”

DiSeRA also saw the creation of eight radio-like podcasts, which consisted of short lessons in media literacy, followed by discussion from media experts, including national multi-award-winning journalist Bill Tyson and Drogheda-based film maker and media specialist Fiona Ashe. The eight sessions are available on the DiSeRA project website.

“The Drogheda Women’s Shed were great hosts and we were delighted to have this opportunity to network with them,” said the EurAV spokesperson. “There is a lot of knowledge and wisdom in that group that’s badly needed these days.”

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