25 Free Online Classes for Seniors – Online Tech Tips

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We are living in a digital age. Millions are working online from the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, students of all ages use the internet to continue their studies (or learn something completely new).
Learning a new skill or finding your next favorite thing has arguably never been easier. The wealth of free online classes for seniors makes it highly accessible for anyone. 
We’ve sourced 25 of the best free online courses for seniors. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at taking online classes or looking to try something for beginners, you can get started on your learning journey right away. 
Online technology classes are a perfect choice for seniors looking to learn or enhance their tech skills at their own pace. Classes are available on numerous topics, such as digital security and office software. There are even curricula for coding. 
This course covers fundamental digital skills that you can use every day. Best of all, you can complete each lesson and activity at your own pace. With FutureLearn basic access, you can access this course for a limited time (four weeks) for free. 
iPhone and iPad Tips and Tricks is an excellent course for seniors new to Apple devices or mobile devices in general. This course provides ample tips for using Apple’s mobile devices, from app management to managing your data usage.
In today’s digital age, skills with productivity software can help with a range of tasks. This includes budgeting, correspondence, and even business. The Microsoft Office Basics course introduces several tips and lessons for Microsoft’s software suite. 
The courses are self-paced and great for first-time users. Plus, the lessons are free with guided steps and videos.
With the Computer Programming for Everyone course, those with existing digital skills can boost their technical knowledge of computers and computer languages. Using FutureLearn’s basic access, you can take this course for free for two weeks. 
This course is excellent for anyone searching for advanced computer know-how or even a late-career change.
Digital security isn’t merely strong passwords and antivirus software. Anyone who uses a computer should know the security tips to keep them safe in this digital age. From understanding scams to protecting yourself from hackers, this course is valuable for all.
Understanding your finances and investing options as a senior can help you maximize your existing retirement accounts and make your money work for you.
The Investments course is an in-depth class in quantitative investment knowledge offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It uses mathematics, optimized financial theories, and comprehensive market expertise to teach expert portfolio decisions and advanced investment finances. 
Just Money: Banking as if Society Mattered is for those interested in understanding how banking and finances affect society. This course places a strong emphasis on the impact of your finances on social and environmental concerns, especially how digital tools and methods can help banks improve society as a whole. 
It is never too late to discover how to manage your finances better. Finance Fundamentals: Managing the Household Budget Sheet teaches lessons on borrowing, investments, and debts. It also focuses on strengthening and preparing for your ongoing financial future.
Investments and Retirement is a powerful and free lesson for seniors looking to explore the world of investments. This course delves into investments, mutual funds, life insurance, and other relevant financial topics. Seniors should take this course to help maximize their finances for upcoming retirement goals.
Seniors looking for further insight into personal finance should enroll in Principles of Wealth Management. This course focuses on advanced financial theories and mathematical formulas to delve into specialized investments, portfolio diversification, and more. This course is available for seven weeks using FutureLearn’s free basic access program. 
Learning a new language as a senior is an enlightening undertaking. It is beneficial for multiple areas of the brain. Also, online language classes help seniors improve communication with people from all over the globe. 
The University of Oslo’s Introduction to Norwegian is an excellent course for seniors looking to learn the Norwegian language, customs, and culture. 
This course addresses the main rules of Norwegian grammar and pronunciation. It does so by focusing on basic, everyday conversations. Plus, a Norwegian Chatbot allows you to communicate in your new language with a “native Norwegian AI.” FutureLearn’s basic access program lets you take this course for four weeks for free. 
As the second-most spoken language globally, Spanish is a beautiful and beneficial language for everyone to learn. Offered by MIT, Spanish I is a series of 26 half-hour videos. Each video provides an authentically Spanish dive into the culture, emotions, and language.
For seniors interested in learning the culture and language of China, Contemporary Chinese is an excellent place to start. Teaching traditional Chinese characters and Pīnyīn, this course introduces the basics of Chinese Mandarin. Also, students will learn about various aspects of Chinese culture. This ranges from traditional family trees to cultural customs. 
You can sample this class with a free seven-day trial of FutureLearn’s ExpertTrack program but will need to upgrade to finish. The ExpertTrack program is a great way to try out classes to make sure you enjoy them before purchasing full access to FutureLearn’s vast category of online classes. 
Fully embracing Italy’s culture (and the food), Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full teaches the language through cuisine. Broken down into 13 video lessons, the curriculum focuses on teaching how to speak Italian by teaching how to cook like an Italian.
Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language and Culture will interest seniors curious about the history and culture of Ireland. By focusing on the Irish people and their heritage, students learn basic Irish language skills. This class is available for free with basic access to FutureLearn’s platform for four weeks. 
As a senior, you might finally find the time you’ve always wanted for artistic endeavors. With online classes, you can bring art and music education right into your living room. These courses are designed to bolster your love of art by helping you find a new hobby and brush up on dormant skills. 
Seniors interested in the art of storytelling will find great value in MIT’s Popular Culture and Narrative: Serial Storytelling. This course focuses on how the passage of time, popular culture, and various media forms influence how stories are created and told.
Introduction to Art History provides a deep insight into the portrayal of history as told through art and how art has influenced and has itself changed through history. It’s an excellent opportunity for seniors who love classic, Euro-American art over the past seven centuries.
For those more interested in contemporary art and culture worldwide, MIT’s Art Since 1940 is a strong choice. Focusing on art after the WWII era, this course explores the relationship between art, politics, and culture over the past century. Additionally, the course will study how the art boom of the 40s has evolved into today’s art.
The Anthropology of Sound is designed for students interested in the auditory arts. The course focuses on the relationship between humans, culture, and the transmission of sound. First, students will explore sounds from music to environmental noises. Then, they will study how those sounds correspond to cultural and scientific advancements.
Focusing on popular music outside of the U.S., Popular Musics of the World looks at what makes music popular. It also focuses on how music has changed worldwide due to Western recording technology and artistic influences.
Online college classes are an excellent way for senior citizens to learn new skills and improve their existing proficiencies. In most states, enrollment for seniors is free or costs are greatly reduced if class openings are available.  
Many state universities and colleges offer free college courses. Some of the top institutions in the world offer online courses for free, including Yale and Harvard University. In addition, several non-college educational services, such as Udacity and Coursera, offer college-level courses on various subjects.
Open Yale Courses provide course material and recorded video lectures for free. These self-guided courses focus on liberal arts disciplines of all levels. These offerings range from humanities to biological sciences. There is no required registration, but no credit or certificate is offered either.
Harvard Open Courses provides over 400 courses on various topics and proficiency levels. You can audit over 120 courses for free, including the accompanying lesson plans and coursework. Paid classes are available in many disciplines, from personal health and medicine to data sciences.
Stanford’s Free Online Courses provide academic lessons taught by world-class Stanford faculty. Courses are varied and diverse. Seniors can find lectures on Cybersecurity, the Special Theory of Relativity, and plenty in between.
edX is a free online course provider partnered with over 160 of the world’s top universities, including Berkely and MIT. Over 3,000 college-level courses are offered in over 30 subjects. 
All of edX’s offerings are free as audited courses. Each lesson also features a verified track for varying prices. Every verified track has assignments, quizzes, and exams graded by instructors and then awards a verified certificate at the end of the course. 
There are also various other degree and certification programs, although most are not free.
As part of edX’s library, Massive Open Online Courses provides edX’s extensive course library to hundreds of thousands of learners. MOOCs can offer college credits and other recognized accolades. As a part of edX, all course materials and instructor lessons are optimized for online learning.
Online learning provides seniors with an excellent option for expanding their education. You can join all online courses wherever an internet connection is available, meaning you can attend a class in your living room, or even while traveling. 
Online courses will require a computer and an internet connection. Be sure to bring along a notebook for notes, and find a quiet area that is conducive to learning. 
For specific courses, additional materials and supplies will be listed. This can range from textbooks to software, and students may have to purchase these items themselves. Be sure to check for materials requirements before signing up for any course.
In most cases, “free” is another word for auditing the course. This typically won’t result in any certificates or credit. However, the lessons themselves are otherwise unimpacted.
Like MIT’s OpenCourseWare, other academic sources provide entire curricula and course materials for free. Again, these are essentially self-led, audited courses. However, the contents have been created by some of the leading minds in their respective fields.
Quality sources of education will highlight their pricing structures up-front and without hesitation. When signing up for a free course, always ensure that all resources are truly free. Never enter any payment information for a course that should be free.
In most cases, free courses can fit any schedule because there’s no set course time. Many online education sites understand the busy schedules of adults. Their lessons are made to be self-led and completed on one’s own schedule.
With that said, double-check the specifics of each course before signing up. Some courses run concurrently with on-campus offerings. These courses might require on-time attendance and interaction with your classmates (so be sure you have a camera so your peers can see you!).
More interactive courses may also have set days and times of the week to better reach all students at once. While this is more likely for paid courses, some free courses track attendance, so be sure to free up your schedule for education.
Free in-person classes can be found in many locations. Seniors can visit local public libraries, community colleges, and even museums for a variety of courses. 
To find specific classes (online or in-person), simply perform a Google search for Free classes for seniors near me. Ignore any results that say “ad” next to them. Your top results should be tailored to your local area. 
Online classes allow seniors and busy older adults to build skills in nearly any discipline. Additionally, most online courses are self-led. This allows students to set the pace of their education around their lives. If you’ve felt the need to improve your mental acuity, turn to online classes. In the digital age, lifelong learning is achievable by everyone.
Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio
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