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basic computer skillsFor senior citizens, learning computers and basic internet skills is not only for accessing information. It is the tool now for keeping in touch with family members. I won’t even go into the health benefits that could come from nimble fingers on the keyboard, or from playing senility staving games. The list goes on. In fact, what holds true for those on the right side of the age divide is also true for senior citizens when it comes to internet and basic computer skills.

Many of the elderly tribe fear the computer, but basic computer skills are very easy to learn – more so today when everything is designed to be user-friendly and visually accessible. So let’s head out and attend classes at these eight websites that teach basic internet and computer skills…not only for senior citizens, but also for any rank newcomer.

Skillful Senior

basic computer skills

Skillful Senior is a computer skills site for the elderly that believes basic navigation skills are important specifically because it is a great help for accessing health information on the web. The site has interactive animated tutorials that teach how to use a mouse, the arrow keys on the keyboard, and touch typing. But first learn a bit about ergonomics too (how to use your computer in a way that won’t result in pain). Each tutorial is helped along with a voiceover by a digital character.

BBC – Webwise

basic computer tutorial

Webwise is a beginner’s guide to using the internet. But that’s just one part as the online guide starts off with an introduction to the basics of using a computer. The guides on Webwise cover a facet of computer use – each explained very simply and a few of them are supported with interactive multimedia which makes learning computers lot of fun. Webwise meets the usual standards of quality associated with BBC and all its learning resources.


Microsoft Accessibility

basic computer tutorial

Microsoft Accessibility is a Windows resource that lists guides helpful for specific types of difficulties and impairments especially among the elderly. For instance, senior citizens can check out the Windows features that make it easier to view what’s on the computer screens. Available guides cover the assistive technologies built into Windows 7, IE9, and Office 2010.

GCF Learn Free

basic computer tutorial is an online platform for courses that cover technology, online literacy, and math skills. The site lists around 750 lessons that are designed for basic and intermediate levels. The easy on the eyes design of the site should be suitable for senior citizens to grab basic internet and computer skills. A look down their topics page reveals the range of tech related courses they cover (there’s even a course on how to use an ATM). Courses are interactive and supported with articles, videos, and animation.

HP Learning Center

basic computer troubleshooting

The HP Learning Center is not specifically for senior citizens, but as the classes (with 2 to 6 lessons) are easy to follow, they too can pick up pointers on how to go about with a digital lifestyle. You need to do a free registration before you pick a class to start off. Classes include two to six lessons and may also include interactive demos, quizzes and assignments. For quick sessions check out the 5-minute how-to videos or short lessons.


basic computer troubleshooting

Online computer training for seniors and beginners is arranged in a blog-styled layout. You can use the category listing on the right to wade through the free lessons. The site is incomplete in some areas and still looks like a work in progress, but you can definitely use it to pick up some free beginner lessons on how to use computers.


basic computer troubleshooting

Good50 is not a website for senior citizens and related tech skills. It is a Google powered search engine customized to be more readable and user-friendly to everyone including older adults, senior citizens, and school-aged children. The larger text on the search page and the optional high-contrast setting makes it easier for older adults to access content on the web.


basic computer skills

I will slightly diverge here to tell you about Eldy the software. Yes, it is not a website but a free download that turns any standard PC into an easy-to-use computer for first time computer users. Jessica has taken the software through a run and explains its use when she shows how to Teach An Elderly Person How To Email, Browse The Web & More With Eldy Teach An Elderly Person How To Email, Browse The Web & More With Eldy Teach An Elderly Person How To Email, Browse The Web & More With Eldy Read More . A reader also sends a helpful suggestion with another similar program called Maavis. Both installs are for the elderly and are simple to use with nice big navigation buttons.

If you are an older adult and in the United States, then you can also call upon a support resource like SeniorNet that has learning centers all over the United States for those who are above 50 years of age. SeniorNet is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide older adults education and access to computer technologies so that they can enhance their own lives and also share their knowledge and wisdom.

Maybe, if you are not in the U.S. you have a similar organization giving older citizens some yeoman service. If you can’t find one, use any of the eight educational websites above or tap into the two older posts below for some more hints on how to obtain internet expertise and basic computer skills.

Do you have any other online resource in mind that can help the aging population better utilize computers and the web? Help out in the comments section.

Image Credit: Old Eldery Couple With Laptop

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  1. Lauren Gordon
    March 19, 2015 at 8:43 am


    • Saikat
      March 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

      That's not a bad idea at all Lauren. How has been the response?

    • Gloria
      January 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      I tried looking this up and I can't find it. Is it still active?

  2. Olowole Jetro
    March 11, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for this insightful article. I tried to do similar thing in Nigeria on and the site listed will be an inspiration and resourse tool for me.

    • Saikat
      March 11, 2015 at 5:47 am

      That looks like a very good initiative. I wish we had more organized learning site for seniors -- a rapidly expanding demographic.

    • Gloria
      January 31, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      I tried looking this up and I can't find it...

    • Gloria
      January 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      I tried looking this up but I can't find it, is it still active?

  3. Pete
    July 31, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Your welcome to join our forum whatever age you are, most of the members have a few miles on the clock and we have helped people in their 70s and 80s to fix and build computers, we won't try to sell you anything (it's hosted on so there may be advertising from them), it's aimed more at computer repair than general usage but theres plenty to learn and quite a few people on there have started their own businesses to supplement their income, it's free, it always will be, and we will never try to sell you anything, political correctness hasn't yet reached us so anyone who is easily offended probably best to ignore this - Popeye

  4. Jake
    May 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Do any of these sites offer help in Spanish, if not, do you know of any?

    • Tina
      May 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm


      Unfortunately neither Saikat nor me are Spanish speakers, so we can't really recommend any good sites. But maybe you could ask this question on MakeUseOf Answers for some suggestions.

    • Blaire
      August 5, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      OASIS found at provides a variety of course work in Spanish and Korean - there are plenty of partners offering courses around the US

  5. GCFLearnFree
    May 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you for including in this list. We're always adding new tutorials and updating our content so feel free to check back regularly! ^Jess,

    • Saikat Basu
      May 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Really liked the organization of your site. Hope you go from strength to strength. Thanks for dropping by our site.

  6. GCFLearnFree
    May 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you for including in this list. We're always adding new tutorials and updating our content so feel free to check back regularly! ^Jess,

  7. Denis Paley
    May 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Great article. I'm forwarding this article to all the seniors I try to help upgrade their computer skills.

    • Saikat
      May 13, 2012 at 5:40 am

      Hey thanks Denis. Glad that it can help out someone out there.