The Importance of Online Learning for Seniors

October 14, 2021

Online Learning Day was September 15, but it’s something to celebrate every day. Online learning for seniors and other age groups has been expanding over the last several years. However, online opportunities for seniors have exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why Do We Love Online Learning? Let us count the ways!

  1. You can work at your own pace. Fire up your laptop, tablet, or phone whenever you’re ready and read course materials or watch videos. Your classes will never clash with getting together with friends or going to an appointment. 
  2. You can work anywhere. Bad weather keeping you inside? Staying home because of a global pandemic? Bored while waiting to be called for an appointment? Wherever you are, you can take a few minutes to work on an online class. 
  3. You can learn what interests you. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a language. Or you dreamed of earning an advanced degree. Or just want to figure out how to take better photos on your smartphone. A quick search will turn up hundreds of pages of internet courses for seniors on any topic you can think of. 
  4. You can make friends with similar interests. Many online courses also have a class message board where classmates can ask questions and start discussions. This can be a great place to meet people who share your interests. It may feel a little weird to have friends that you mostly speak to through a computer screen. However, just think of it as the updated version of a pen pal. You really can form strong friendships online. Meeting people in an online course can be a great antidote to loneliness. 

Where to Find Free Online Courses for Seniors

The other great thing about online learning for seniors is that there are so many free options. Most public libraries have tons of online resources for their patrons. Many are offering instant digital library cards if you fill out a form with your address and mobile phone number. Get access to audiobooks and ebooks, digital versions of newspapers and magazines, and tons of free online courses. Libraries also offer online events in subjects ranging from taxes and health insurance to drawing to the fundamentals of using a computer or smart device. Speaking of libraries, you can often access LinkedIn Learning for free with your library card.

The local senior center may also be offering online courses. Check your city’s website to find a schedule. You may need to look in the parks and recreation area of the site to find the information you want. 

Local colleges are another excellent resource for internet courses for seniors. Sometimes you can audit a course for free. You’ll get to listen to all the lectures and participate in discussions, but you don’t have to take tests or write papers. However, if you do want to get credit for the course, you can still take many online. You’ll probably need to pay a fee, but in many cases, it’s quite affordable. 

Internet Courses for Seniors

To really expand the scope of online learning opportunities for seniors, turn to the internet. There are tons of sites dedicated to bringing online content to all ages. Here are a few great resources.

1. Khan Academy. This site has a huge library of free videos on math, science, economics, and computers. It also has a growing selection of practical life skills. Its focus is mostly on school-aged kids, but the videos are available to anyone and very clear and easy to understand. 

2. Coursera. This site has tons of college-level classes on a huge variety of topics. There are free classes, classes you can finish in one day, and degree and certificate programs. This is a great place to start if you’d like to launch a second career. 

3. SkillShare. If you want to explore your creative side, you’ll love this site. Take courses in art, creative writing, music, and photography. You can also learn about graphic design and web development. Registration is free, but some classes have fees. You can often find coupon codes to get the first few months for free. 

4. edX. Interested in earning a degree or expanding your professional skill set? This is your site. The courses on the site are from the country’s top institutions, including MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. If you want free classes, go to MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses, and the list of offerings is massive, too.   

As always, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter if you found this on social media and get back to living your best life!

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