Translating Tech: Use Tech To Go Back to School


Going Back to School is not only for kids.

The pandemic has meant an explosion in online learning (like those offered by Senior Planet and beyond) which retired seniors have taken advantage of. No masks, no final exams, no pop quizzes – and tons of online options for 65+.

Why go back to school? 

Experts agree that learning something new is the best way stay sharp cognitively and fend off dementia. Seniors who read regularly and problem solve for fun keep their memories and critical thinking skills intact. Yes, watching YouTube videos count. (Half of YouTube viewers learn to do something they’ve never done.)

Back to school: Sky’s the limit

You can now learn anything on the internet – often for free – from Greek to gardening, from philosophy to pottery, from history to home decoration.  You can even get an advanced degree online. In fact, there are so many options that it’s hard to choose; and there are so many free options there is no need to go into debt to pay for school. Want some higher ed? For an overview of what’s available, here is a roundup of the top online colleges for seniors.

Where to find great classes for free.

Check out Senior Planet – a leader in free online learning for seniors.  Their classes are all free and offer not just technology but how to’s about subjects like setting up a website, selling on Etsy, digital storytelling, and a variety of fitness options, both online and in person depending on your location.

Find out what your state offers.  If you want a degree but can’t afford it, you can attend school for free if you’re over 65 in many states.  Check out this article for a list of what different states offer.

Go to Harvard. If you’ve always wanted to go to an Ivy League school, here are free classes from Harvard.

Check out the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine for an extensive array of courses in the liberal arts and sciences for students 50 plus. There are no entrance requirements, grades or tests. OLLI offers courses in many other states, as well. For our inside look at one OLLI program in South Carolina, visit here. (Classes are also available virtually.)

Do Yoga all day every day.  The host of this class, Adriene, has built a community of more than 7 million users who tune into her free yoga videos. She offers more than 500 free videos and it’s constantly growing, so you’ll never get bored of the selection! You can find her yoga classes online here.

Learn to paint. The Will Kemp Art School offers online videos. The school has 200 thousand subscribers and offers basic, intermediate and advanced acrylic painting skills with hours of free videos.

Learn a languageDuolingo, the most popular online language learning app, is free.

Apply for Federal Aid.  If you’re serious about a degree you may have to pay tuition.  However Federal aid is available no matter what your age.  Check out FAFSA, the federal aid program for college students.

Explore CourseraCoursera offers hundreds of free online courses for seniors to choose from, most taught by professors from top universities such as Yale.  Here are their most popular free courses:

No more excuses! Everyone at any age can, and should, be learning new things. Check out a catalog, sign up, and exercise your brain!

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Growing Bolder has teamed up with Senior Planet to bring you more technology content to keep you on the cutting edge of the latest in devices, platforms and tools.

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