There are computer classes for seniors of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for an introduction to using a computer or want to improve your know-how when it comes to certain programs or computer applications, there’s a free class for you. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the best sites that offer computer classes for seniors. You’ll find sites and online computer courses that support lifelong learning and offer quick tips for everyday computer use.
1. The Senior’s Guide To Computers
The Senior’s Guide to Computers is designed to help seniors who are beginners at using technology. They offer basic computer training including how to use different web browsers, set up your computer to address accessibility, send emails, and other basic tasks. The site also offers detailed information on storing and saving data, setting up security protocols, and selecting software and hardware for your technology set-up. Since the site is geared toward beginners, don’t expect to find an extensive range of tutorials on using different apps and programs. This site is mainly designed to help with computer basics.
2. Skillful Senior
Skillful Senior offers a “quick, easy, and fun” interface that helps seniors learn computer basics. The site is designed for beginner to intermediate users and focuses on basic computer skills, including how to use a mouse, typing techniques, and computer ergonomics. This means tips on the proper ways to hold a mouse and how to sit in front of a computer to avoid eye or neck strain. By mastering these basic skills, you can use a wide range of programs that enable you to connect with your doctor, join virtual events, or video calls with loved ones.
Like The Senior’s Guide to Computers, this computer training site is focused on the basics of using computers and technology and doesn’t offer specific advice on using different apps or programs. It’s a good choice for beginner computer users and those who want to learn proper typing form and how to prevent eye and muscle strain when using technology.
3. Goodwill Community Foundation Inc.
GCFlearnfree.org — provided by the Goodwill Community Foundation — features a simple interface that makes it easy for seniors to find computer classes. The site offers more than 200 free online computer classes ranging from core skills and technology to work-based tools. You’ll find video tutorials for everything from using Zoom and Facetime, to tips on connecting virtually with friends, colleagues, and healthcare providers, to basic HTML courses and guidance on how to stay safe online.
GFC Global has more than 20 years of experience offering free computer classes for seniors. The site boasts more than 2,000 lessons, 1,000 videos, and 50 interactive games to support the learning process. Courses are completely self-paced, so you can work as slowly or as quickly as you’d like. The courses are available on-demand 24 hours a day, and they’re constantly adding new classes to keep up with constant changes in technology.
TechBoomers offers free video tutorials and articles for a variety of different websites and applications. Here, you’ll find free tutorials on popular tools including using Airbnb, Skype, YouTube, and selling on eBay. In addition, the site offers an extensive list of articles on how to improve your digital literacy, the hardware you need to stay connected, and guidance on the best apps and programs for protecting your online security and productivity.
Seniors can have peace of mind knowing that the site only offers tutorials for trusted websites and applications — this relieves worries about accessing sites that can harm your online identity. In addition, the site’s clear layout makes it easy for you to browse for courses and find how to shop online, entertainment tools, social media classes, basic technology help, or new apps and websites.
Meganga offers free computer training courses using video tutorials that are easy to follow. Their instructional videos cover everything from basic computer skills such as using a mouse and understanding the desktop to more advanced videos, including how to use Microsoft Office programs like Excel, Access, and Outlook. They also offer short video tutorials and free classes on common skills such as taking a screenshot, using animations, and mastering Google products such as Chrome and Gmail.
If you already know the basics of using a computer, YouTube can be an invaluable resource when learning how to use new programs or develop more advanced computer skills. The site offers a huge range of videos from how to use certain features within computer programs to how to improve specific computer skills. Not all of the videos are geared towards seniors, but you can search on the platform for senior-specific videos. This resource offers the widest range of tutorials when it comes to programs and advanced computer skills, making it a good resource for intermediate and advanced users.
7. In-Person Classes
During non-pandemic times, in-person computer classes can be a good option for senior citizens who are just getting started with technology or who want a little more hands-on support when learning new computer skills. Check your local library, learning center, senior center, or college to see if they offer any senior-oriented computer classes. Most will offer free information sessions where you can get help with specific computer skills or learn new programs that can help you stay in touch with friends or schedule doctor’s appointments.
Most computer manufacturers, including Apple and Microsoft, offer free classes where you can learn how to use your cellphone, tablet (like an iPad), and different computer models. These classes offer tips on navigating different apps as well as using your general devices. You’ll learn how to send emails, how to use different social media apps on your computer and smartphone, and navigate basic tools such as office suites including Excel and Word that are popular at many jobs.
In addition, you can work one-on-one with a computer instructor or tutor if you prefer to get help in your own home. These services typically aren’t free, but they are usually low-cost, making them a great choice for most seniors. Keep in mind that you should only schedule in-person lessons when health concerns are low. Stick to online or virtual lessons when you feel sick or during a pandemic like COVID-19.
If learning online or in-person isn’t your thing, there are also books that help seniors master using computers. Some popular options include Computers for Seniors — which offers step-by-step guidance from turning on your computer to sending emails, sharing photos of your pets or family members, and checking the weather — as well as Easy Computing for Seniors, which covers all the basics and is written with seniors in mind.
Another popular favorite is Computers for Seniors for Dummies. If you’re not familiar with the For Dummies series, these books are written with a touch of humor and offer non-intimidating guides for everything from auto repair and chemistry to the internet and PCs. This particular book in the series features computer lessons for seniors covering how to book travel, playing digital brain games, and mastering the basics of using the newest technology.