For 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 six websites that teach basic internet and computer skills — not only for senior citizens, but also for any rank newcomer.
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 [No Longer Available]
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 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.
GCFLearnFree.org 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.
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.
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. 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.
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