Interactive Tools for older adults (Isla de la Juventud)

Interactive tools for older adults (Isla de la Juventud). Among the forms of care for people 60 years of age and older, in Cuba, the University Chairs of Older Adults are conceived as part of the extension work of the Higher Education Centers . It corresponds to the professors of these centers, the teaching-methodological and research direction of the educational programs designed for the population of this age group that enroll free of charge in the high study centers.


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  • 1 Start
  • 2 Activity and communication
  • 3 Tools
    • 3.1 The interactive tools are designed to
  • 4 Results of the application of interactive tools
  • 5 Source


The experience accumulated in the educational practice, by educators of older adults, named by Milagros Roman , geroeducators, has shown that interactivity during the pedagogical activity, makes the orientation-learning process more pleasing while stimulating personal development in This stage of the life cycle, because it encourages the activity and communication of viable components of the internalization and externalization processes necessary to learn.

Activity and communication

Activity as a category that expresses the process in which human beings, in order to satisfy a need, relate in a particular way to the world and transform it creatively, while being transformed. Its dual feature, the dialectically contradictory character between external activity and internal activity, coexists in a unit, the person, in which the triadic relationship person-activity-personality establishes the differences in the ways of achieving the objectives that motivate the activity.

As forms of human relationship, there is a link between activity and communication. The communication, active process of interaction between human beings, information exchange, emotional states and behaviors implies the mutual influence between the participants in the communicative situation and takes place in the context of an activity that conditions each communicative action. Similarly, specific motivations related to communication lead to joint activities between people.

Although the communication has as specificity its multi-motivated variable that changes over time, based on the links that are contracted in the relationship itself, which distinguishes it from the activity category, between both categories there is complementarity and interdependence for what they make up A dialectical unit.

To take advantage of this dyadic activity-communication relationship in the orientation – learning process that typifies the pedagogical activity in older adulthood, provokes the interactivity that enhances development, suggests the search for tools that stimulate active and reflective exchange, the collective reconstruction of knowledge, the interaction and prominence of older adults.

But the use of tools and procedures, capable of promoting the necessary synergies among the participants in the pedagogical activity, has not always been foreseen in the educational programs for older adults.


Interactive tools are understood as those elements taken from the cultural and historical reality of older adults, that value their communication codes, traditions, values, needs and potentialities, and that reveal the opportunities of their closest social context, those previously identified by geroeducators, from the contextualized diagnosis they can be used as pedagogical resources during the application of educational programs.

Among the interactive tools used on the Isle of Youth are: participatory techniques ; the poems , tongue twisters , sayings ; the stories and / or fables ; the drawings and / or cartoons ; the songs , jokes and / or jocular situations ; the crossword and / or Acrostics ; the walks and excursions ; the games ; Crafts and painting .

The use of interactive tools becomes an urgent need for the application of educational programs for older adults if one takes into account the diversity in the individual and group characteristics of the participants, their different expectations, the plurality of interests and needs among others identity aspects, to seek their harmonization and avoid their opposition in the desire to promote sustainable self-development.

The interactive tools are designed to

  • Contribute to the recovery of previous experiential knowledge of older adults;
    • introduce older adults into a new plot of social relationships that differ from their previous experiences of socialization;
    • favor interdisciplinarity in the organization of the activities planned in educational programs for older adults;
    • implement flexible, participatory proposals, open to alternative training systems and models, to different forms of space-time organization and learning styles, in keeping with the characteristics of adulthood;
    • highlight the possibilities of application of training appropriations assimilated by older adults in socially responsible actions;
    • Promote intergenerational communication, favoring the integration of older people with children, adolescents, youth and adults in their community.

Results of the application of interactive tools

Among the main achievements and advantages, the following stand out:

1 They favor group work, collaboration and mutual help.
2 Stimulate respectful coexistence.
3 They promote an active position towards self-development.
4 Strengthen positive self-references and convictions aimed at fulfilling social duty.
They allow to collectivize individual knowledge and favor inter-learning in an entertaining, interesting, attractive and effective way
The use of interactive tools is not only an indicator of the quality of interactions, but is the condition of the teaching-learning process to deal with the heterogeneity of cultural experiences that older adults accumulate and the possibility of their recovery to face the challenges imposed by the process of self-development, that is, of personal development that each one of them experiences.

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