The Best Online Classes for Seniors

There is no age limit to learning. Just because your college days are over doesn’t mean you can’t go back to class! Have you found yourself looking for something mentally stimulating to do? If so, you’re not alone, and there actually may be a solution: online classes.

Although the Internet can be a negative place, it has plenty of positive things to offer, and online classes are just one of the good learning opportunities online. There are dozens of sites that offer online classes in all forms—free, paid, educational, just for fun. If you’ve ever thought that maybe you wanted to continue your education or learn a new hobby, there’s no time like the present. Check out our list of six sites that offer great online courses for seniors and people of all ages.

Educational Online Classes for Seniors

1. Academic Earth

Academic Earth is one of the best sites for college classes. There is no charge to take the courses on Academic Earth, as their primary focus is on providing academic opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. It's not Harvard University or Stanford University, but these college courses are high-quality, free, and promote lifelong learning.

Academic Earth presents you with hundreds of courses on various topics from 25 different universities, all online. You can click on a university to see the courses it offers. From there, you have access to lectures, readings, homework assignments, a syllabus, and more!

2. Duolingo

Duolingo is an excellent site for learning a language, and they offer free online courses on 38 different languages. They offer the classes in small sessions with a flexible format that is proven to help language-learners perform better. When you complete an assignment, it’s graded immediately, so you can progress at your own pace without anything or anyone holding you back. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language or re-learn an old one, Duolingo has you covered.

3. Alison

Alison is a for-profit organization whose mission is to provide an education to all at no charge. Unlike Academic Earth, you can actually earn a diploma through Alison, although you’ll have to pay for it. However, the courses themselves are still free of charge.

Alison offers a wide variety of courses in different subjects. Topics include math, humanities, world literature, marketing, technology, and more. The site offers over 2,000 classes available to anyone.

Hobbyist Online Classes for Seniors

1. The Will Kemp Art School

Senior Citizens taking online classes

The Will Kemp Art School offers hours of free, one-time courses and tutorials on their website and YouTube channel. For all the aspiring artists, this site is an excellent way to learn how to paint in a number of styles. You’ll start off learning how to lay out your palette and mix colors and will end as an artist yourself.

All the classes use acrylic paint, and while there’s no cost for the courses themselves, you will have to purchase the proper materials. If you’d rather not spend that much money, you always have the option to simply watch instead.

2. Udemy

Udemy is like a university, offering a multitude of courses in all different subjects. However, they have particularly unique courses for the arts and for hobbyists. For example, they offer this photography course that essentially provides a crash course in photography. Udemy also offers instrumental courses, like this piano course that promises to teach you in weeks, not months. All of the courses are priced starting at $10.99 and offer on-demand video, downloadable resources, and more.

3. Do Yoga With Me

If exercise is your hobby, Do Yoga With Me may be the best site for you. They offer courses with different instructors posted daily for people of all skill levels. You can pick a different class for each day based on how you’re feeling or how much time you have.

They offer meditation practices, free classes, and tutorials. Some classes are available for free, or you can pay a $99 annual fee to get a Sustaining Membership, which provides you with unlimited access to all content and bonus materials.

What Do I Need For an Online Class?

The good news is that online classes require very little. All you really need is a computer and a reliable Internet connection and an email address. You will probably have to set up an account for your class. Remember to choose a secure password and keep it somewhere safe but accessible.

If you would prefer to take notes, get a notebook and pen beforehand. Headphones could also make the experience better if you live with others or take the class at a public place.

Online learning is a different experience than if you are learning via in-person classes, so be prepared and try to come with few expectations. Most of the time, for online programs, you get out what you put in. Older adults or senior citizens may not be as familiar with the technology required for these free online classes, so consider brushing up on your computer skills beforehand so that you aren’t stressed during the class as you try to figure everything out at once.

These online classes for seniors are all great options. Online classes can be a new experience, but they can provide an excellent outlet—both creative and educational—for those looking to expand their horizons in retirement or at home!

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