Senior Planet News

Get your tech on – and more – in 2020

Do your New Years’ resolutions include meeting new people, gaining more tech savvy and getting healthier and smarter in 2020?

Come January, the slate of classes and activities at Senior Planet Centers will help you reach your goals. Senior Planet Centers will offer more 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 to match every level of familiarity with tech.  “From the tech-savviest, to those who have never touched a computer before, Senior Planet offers a wide range of courses for all proficiencies! Even if you have loads of computer experience, you could learn new exercises with our health and wellness classes or learn how to save money and make supplemental income with our Money Matters course. The best part – you make new friends and relationships while you’re at it!” 

All classes and workshops are open to anyone 60 years of age or older.  Some locations offer the option of on-site exercise classes, walks or cultural activities. The trainers and volunteer staff earn high marks for aptitude and attitude, members say.

“The one thing that draws me to Senior Planet courses is the instructors – they are patient, communicative, and understand very well how to work with seniors! I’ve taken several of the courses where I not only gained new connections, but also important skills such as online banking – which I now do on my smartphone!” says Casseta M, 70

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.

Where to register

The free 5- and 10- week classes, which are offered at all Senior Planet locations (the list is here) are great reasons to join. Here are links for detailed information about classes and registration:  in upstate New York the info is  here;  Montgomery County, MD, has info here; info is here for  San Antonio, Senior Planet@Avenidas (in Palo Alto, CA) has information here;   Denver, CO has course info here,  and Senior Planet New York City has info here.  

New York City Course Information Fair

In New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Senior Planet Center at 127 West 25th Street, Manhattan, offers a “Course Information Fair” on Friday, January 3 from 1pm-4pm.  “We encourage everyone interested in taking a course at Senior Planet in New York City to attend,” says Aaron Santis, Senior Planet NYC’s Program Manager. “The Fair is a perfect chance to talk directly to trainers, read through our course books and decide which course is right for you. If you have questions about your skills or ability to take a particular course in New York City, please call 646-590-0615, but we urge you to come to the Center in Chelsea on January 3.” 

Register to get your tech on 

Registration dates and times for the Winter Quarter varies from location to location, so it’s important to act fast so you don’t miss out on these courses: 

  • Senior Planet San Antonio will be presenting ACTivate in two locations; the program teaches how to reach public officials through online research, collaboration tools, and social media;
  • Senior Planet@Avenidas (Palo Alto) will be introducing an exciting new course on Smartphone Photography that will explore the basics of using your smartphone’s digital camera;
  • Senior Planet Colorado (Denver) will be offering Smartphone Photography as well;
  • Senior Planet Montgomery is developing a course on saving energy and saving money with the residential energy program manager for the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Residential Energy Program;
  • Senior Planet New York City is helping members re-entering the workforce with its Work! class; member-entrepreneurs can find tips to start their businesses in the Startup! class.  Registration for all New York City classes must be done in person, first-come-first-served and takes place over three days. Tuesday, January 7th (Foundational Courses such as iPad Essentials, Intro to Digital Culture (iPad), Computer Essentials, Intro to Digital Culture (PC) or Beyond the Basics); Wednesday, January 8th (Health and Wellness/Social Engagement/Creative Expression topics like Fitness in the Digital Age, Connecting in the Digital Age, Smartphone Photography, and Free You Photos);Thursday, January 9th (Financial Security/Civic Engagement classes like Work!, Startup!, and Money Matters). Members come as early at 9am to line up and get a number; doors open at 10am.
  • Senior Planet North Country is offering perennial favorites iPad Basics and Beyond the Computer Basics.

…and an exciting new course

We’ll be introducing an exciting new course offering on The Internet of Things (IoT) – the connection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects.  If you use Alexa to turn on the lights or your stereo, you’re part of the IoT.You’ll learn about Smart Cities, Smart Homes, Wearables, Healthcare, and Lifestyle and Entertainment using the IoT.

If you don’t know an iPad from an iPhone, want to promote your business online or need to access resources via the internet, Senior Planet Centers and online courses offer a place to get free, in-person tech help, meet new people and learn how to use tech devices and applications that can transform your life.