OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Seniors in a digital world can be easily overwhelmed by all the new technology around us. We are surrounded by an array of digital devices, whether its smartphones, social media, tablets or laptops. There’s no avoiding it, so we should learn how to use all these technological advances to make life easier.
Fortunately, there are a variety technology teaching resources available to older adults that can help you learn new tech skills so you can better utilize your devices. Here are some top options to consider.
Local classes or workshops: Depending on where you live, there may be community resources that offer beginning computer and personal technology classes, be it online or in-person, for older adults that are new to technology. To find out what’s available in your area, contact your local public library, senior center, college or university, or local stores that sell computers.
GetSetUp.io: This is one of the best online learning websites that partners with guides to provide training on tech tools for adults 50 and older. They provide more than 350online classes taught in real-time by retired educators and tech industry experts in a way that lets older adults learn-by-doing, versus just watching a video.
Their technology classes – all taught via Zoom – cover things like learning how to use smartphones and tablets, how to set-up and use Zoom, how to utilize Gmail features, how to recognize online scams, how to sell your stuff online and so much more. Most of their classes are free, however some charge a small fee.
SeniorPlanet.org: Created and sponsored by national nonprofit OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) and recently joining forces with AARP,Senior Planet offers 60-and-older adults a wide variety of free online courses, programs, and activities that are taught in real-time to help seniors learn new technology skills, as well as save money, get in shape and make new friends.
Some of their more popular tech classes include “All Things Zoom,” “Everything Smartphones,” and an “Introduction to Social Media.” They even offer a “lunch & learn – tech discussion group” offered at various times throughout the year where you can ask questions as well as share your struggles and experiences.
And, if you ever have a technology question that pops up during the week, you can call their National Senior Planet Hotline for tech help at 920-666-1959 anytime Monday through Friday during working hours.
OasisEverywhere.org: This nonprofit educational organization for older adults provides more than 10 low-cost/free online computer, internet and mobile technology courses for beginners.
CandooTech.com: This company provides fee-based online tech support and training to help older adults feel more comfortable with phones, computers, tablets, home safety devices and more.
Their specially trained tech concierges will teach you how to use your technology, fix what’s not working and install software, as well as learn how set-up and use email, video chat, social media, online shopping and entertainment, ride sharing services and more.
They offer one-hour, one-on-one or small group sessions for $50, or you can become a member and get two 90-minute training sessions plus unlimited quick support (30 minutes or less) for $180 per year. They also provide device installation and set-up done remotely for $180.
TechBoomers.com: This is a free educational website and a nice compliment to the previously listed resources. While TechBoomers does not offer real-time technology classes, it does provides video and article tutorials that teach older inexperienced technology users how to use the most popular and trusted websites, apps and devices.