Senior Planet News

“Fall” Into New Skills and New Classes

Fall registration at Senior Planet promises to be exciting for returning Members and for the newcomers to the Senior Planet community. 

It doesn’t matter if  you don’t know how to use an iPad, want to start an online business or use the internet to make your voice heard…Senior Planet has you covered.   At Senior Planet Centers, you’ve got a place to go for free, in-person tech help, meet new people and learn how to use tech devices and applications that can transform your life.

This Fall, Senior Planet Centers will be offering classes, talks and workshops at more locations than ever before.  There are Senior Planet Centers in New York State – one in New York City and two in upstate New York. Additionally, Senior Planet programs are available in  Montgomery County, MD; San Antonio, TX; Denver, CO, and Senior Planet@Avenidas in Palo Alto, CA, as well as at partner sites throughout metropolitan New York City and other locations nationwide.

You don’t need to have a tech background to take part.  All you need is a willingness to learn.  (One of the most popular courses is “Computer Basics,” for people who have never even turned on a computer or touched a mouse.)

Easy to follow pace and instruction

Elizabeth Pooran, the Program Associate at the Senior Planet Center in New York City, stresses that courses are taught in bite-size bits at an easy-to-follow pace.  “There’s no such thing as a ‘dumb question” she notes, “..and we welcome all skill levels from absolute beginners to the tech-savvy.” The classes are paced so everyone gets the attention they need; the curriculum is designed to teach basic skills step-by-step, with many opportunities to practice and ask questions.

Membership, which is open to people over 60, offers perks such as free classes, and frequent workshops.  Some locations offer the option of on-site exercise classes or walks or cultural activities. The trainers and volunteer staff earn high marks for aptitude and attitude, members say. “Trainers are very patient and understanding, and take time to offer extra help to those who need it,” says T.L. Brooks, 69, a member who has been taking classes at Senior Planet since 2016.

Each course – whether it’s Computer Basics, Beyond the Basics, or more complex topics – is designed specifically for older adults, and incorporates a free, in-depth course book to help participants retain what they’ve learned. “The books allow students to continue practicing,” says Pooran, adding that trainers make sure to touch on the previous lesson in each class.

The free 5- and 10- week classes, which are offered at all Senior Planet locations (the list is here) are great reasons to join. But as member Lillet Roach, 70, explains, the reasons for joining go way beyond the classroom. “You meet a lot of friends from different walks of life, listen to their experiences, and they listen to you. The atmosphere is out of this world.”

In New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Senior Planet Center at 127 West 25th Street, Manhattan, is hosting a “Course Information Fair” on Thursday, September 19 from 2:30pm – 4:30 pm and on Friday, September 20 from 10:00am to 12 noon. “If you are interested in taking a course at Senior Planet in New York City, I encourage you to attend one of our Course Information Fairs,”  says Aaron Santis, Senior Planet NYC’s Program Manager. “The Course Fair is an excellent opportunity to talk directly to trainers, read through our course books and discover which course is best for you.  If you have questions about your skills or ability to participate in a particular course in New York City, please call 646-590-0615, but we urge you to come to the Center for one of our Course Information Fairs,” Santis says.                        

Register to get your tech on

Registration for the Fall Quarter varies from location to location.  For information about classes and registration in upstate New York, Montgomery County, MD, San Antonio, Senior Planet@Avenidas (in Palo Alto, CA)  Denver, CO  – check their websites.

At the Senior Planet Center in Chelsea,  registration is Monday, September 23 (Foundational Courses – iPad Basics, Computer Basics I, Beyond the Basics and Beyond the Basics in English or Spanish), Tuesday, September 24 (Health and Wellness and Financial Security Courses – Fitness Essentials, Workout!, Smartphone Photography, and Social Media) and Wednesday, September 25 (Creative Expression, Social Engagement, Civic Engagement Courses – Etsy, Creating a Website with Wix, and Digital Storytelling) starting at 10:15 am (doors open at 10 am, get there early for a first-come, first-served spot). Courses begin the week of Monday September 30 unless otherwise noted. You may only enroll in one course per quarter and new Members must fill out a Senior Planet Membership form; you’ll be notified on Registration Day if you can be placed in your requested class or if you are waitlisted.   Registration is in person, first-come-first-served  – you can arrive at the New York location as early as early as 9:00am to hold a place in line.

Senior Planet will be offering classes at over 50 community-based sites across the five boroughs of New Your City. You can find a list of the Senior Planet satellite labs here. Call the labs to find out their hours or get more information.

…newer courses

The Fall course offerings in New York City feature Fitness Essentials (5 weeks) and Workout! (5 weeks), which can be combined to make one 10 week course.  New York City will also debut Smartphone Photography, a 5 week course to help sharpen your selfies.

Senior Planet members outside of New York City should check our location list for the nearest Senior Planet Exploration Center