Technology training: Where can I find free or low cost training for using a laptop, tablet, or cell phone?

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Where can I find free or low cost training for using a laptop, tablet, or cell phone?

Question

Where can I find free or low cost training for using a laptop, tablet, or cell phone?

Our answer

Computers, tablets and smartphones can help seniors access useful information, connect with other people and communities, and keep engaged and entertained. However, these types of technologies can be intimidating to many first-time users. Thankfully, there are organizations and resources to help support seniors in becoming more familiar with these devices. Some people prefer in-person training sessions with a course instructor, while others prefer the more self-paced and self-directed-style associated with online resources. We have listed a few options below:

In-person training

  • Adult Basic Education or Adult Upgrading is a tuition-free option for adults in British Columbia to become familiar with computers. Across BC, you can identify adult basic education providers using the UpgradeBC map.
  • ElderColleges are senior-focused volunteer education providers, often working in partnership with other community organizations and universities, to provide affordable courses to senior students. Try searching to see if there is an ElderCollege in your area.
  • Libraries across BC often offer drop-in computer support or basic technology introductions. Find your local public library online to see if they offer any training opportunities.
  • Community organizations and seniors centres may also offer drop-in technology support or classes to match your interests.

 

Online resources

  • Skillful Senior offers a guided introduction to basic computers skills, namely the physical components of the computer and how to operate them.
  • The Goodwill Community Foundation offers a wide variety of courses on tech-related topics for free. Their courses use videos to help supplement the learning process. Here is one on learning Computer Basics.
  • AgeAction offers resources designed to introduce seniors to computers, smartphones, and the internet. Since the resources are online documents that can either be viewed online, or printed for the student.
  • Ottawa Public Library Computer Training Curriculum for Older Adults is a free online resources to “train-the-trainer.” This information is intended to support libraries, community organizations, or individuals introducing seniors to technology.

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