5 of the Best Online Learning Platforms for Seniors (and Why Each Is Awesome)

When we first come into this world we are like sponges, soaking up absolutely everything we see and hear. As we get older, our ability to retain all that information starts to wane. However, no matter how old we get, there is always an opportunity to learn new things and develop or hone in some skills.

The thing is, though, that so much of what can be learnt (or even taught) is out there on the World Wide Web, just waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, not many people take advantage of this incredible tool for learning. Perhaps it is because they just aren't aware of all the incredible platforms out there that offer online courses, or perhaps it is because they aren't able to navigate very well around technology.

Believe it or not, there are not only courses out there to help one grow one's confidence around computers, but also courses that teach one how to build websites or write and manage a blog, how to get a handle on learning a new language or even getting the know-how to start your own business. In today's technological age there isn't an excuse for not taking the leap -- geography is no longer the hurdle it used to be since just about everything can be done online nowadays.

1. MasterClass

With so many different online learning platforms out there, it isn't difficult to find one that will meet your needs or interests. One of the better platforms out there that offer quite a variety of courses is MasterClass. What makes this platform really unique, though, is the quality of the courses and also the presenters.

By having the courses presented by people who have already impacted the world through their contributions in their field, MasterClass is bringing you the best in the business and allowing you to learn from the pros.

Not only do they have the video lectures and demonstrations done by top talent in their line of business, but they also ensure that the quality of the videos and demonstrations is top notch. The quality of the course material is also top of the range and this is what sets MasterClass apart from many other online learning platforms.

Being able to learn from the professionals certainly does make the courses a lot more interesting and since the quality of the productions are so good, you're able to spend more time on the thought-provoking material instead of trying to make out what they're saying or doing because of bad quality sound or video.

And while they don't have a free option, their pricing is definitely within the budget and is money worth spending, especially if you're planning on doing more than just one course in a year. Billing is done annually and it is paid up front and there are three different options to choose from -- Standard, Plus and Premium. What differs on the plans is the amount of devices able to stream simultaneously as well as whether or not you're able to view the courses offline.

2. Oasis Everywhere

Being able to attend virtual classes no matter where you are situated in the world is one of the biggest advantages of having technology. Added to this, there is also no limitation on age, no extra requirements.

Oasis Everywhere has a broad spectrum of online classes that are given by Oasis instructors, using Zoom as their preferred online platform. Their purpose is to provide you with the same sort of interaction and mental stimulation as if you were in an actual classroom.

All you have to do to get started is to register and then make sure that you have Zoom downloaded and installed on your preferred device. Once you are registered, you will be able to take whichever classes you want to and, a day or so before the class is due to begin, you will be emailed the link to the Zoom class so that on the day of the class you can simply click on the link and enter the online "classroom".

There are classes on Environmental Sustainability, Art Appreciation, Current Events and even classes on Health and Exercise. What with so many different genres to choose from, you will never have a shortage of learning material to get your teeth into. There are even classes on History, Music, Entertainment, and, of course, Technology.

Rather than have a monthly or annual subscription fee, Oasis Everywhere lets you pay for each course you choose to do separately. You're even able to buy a gift card for a friend or family member. You can build up a wish list of classes you wish to attend as well. That way you can make a list of all the classes you are interested in doing and then work your way through them as you are able.

3. SkillShare

One thing that those of us in the older age bracket have is experience.

This same experience could be put to incredible use by being shared with others who wish to learn. One of the things that makes SkillShare so awesome is that it allows you to not only take online classes, but it also gives those who wish to share their talents with others the opportunity to teach a short class of their own.

SkillShare has thousands of classes available for the curious mind, for those who wish to grow their talents or learn new skills. There is no age limit and definitely no reason to miss out on any number of exciting classes that will build your imagination and get your inspiration soaring to new heights.

Added to this, you can download the SkillShare app on the Apple Store or Google Play Store and thus have your classes handy for when you are traveling or on the go. With SkillShare you can also become part of an online community so that you never have to feel alone in this journey of learning.

4. Alison

Everyone is entitled to education -- what could be better than to receive that education free of charge? Alison is one of the world's largest free online learning platforms out there for developing skills and furthering education.

Naturally, the big plus with Alison is that it is all free, but even more than that it gives each person the power to change their life for the better. There is an app which you can download and install on your phone from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. That way you will never lose out on learning no matter where you may find yourself.

There are over four thousand different courses to choose from, so there isn't much chance of you running out of learning material. If you're not sure where you need to put your focus, you can take a free personality test that will help you to make the right decision. Alison will even help you to create a professional resume. 

This platform even allows you to explore courses that will result in a diploma or certificate. This could be highly beneficial if you are looking for a job that requires you to have certain certificates or a diploma. All in all, though, it is one of the best online learning platforms out there.

5. GetSetUp

Last, but definitely not least, is an online community made up of people who want to learn and develop new skills whilst connecting with others. GetSetUp has become a place where people from all walks of life are able to gather together and discover talents they weren't aware they even had.

All too often we are simply afraid of the unknown, too self conscious to try out something that may have always been a secret dream, like painting or singing or coding etc. At GetSetUp people are given the tools to connect with others and discover new and exciting skills.

You can sign up for free and choose to subscribe to the Community Plan (which is free) or the Premium Plan which bills you either monthly or annually, depending on your preference.

The End ... Or Merely the Beginning?

As we get older we can be drawn into the thinking that life is coming to an end, but that never has to be the case. No matter one's age, there is always time to learn new things, never mind about the adage that says you can't teach an old dog new tricks; whoever said that didn't have access to the wealth of information and online courses available to us today.

So instead of sitting back and taking things easy, why not seize the day and make a start at accomplishing something awesome by using one of these online learning platforms and fulfilling a dream? Whether it is to become a chef, a writer, or even just getting more acquainted with your technology; it's never the end, merely the beginning of greater things to come.

As always, if you're needing any kind of additional help navigating the world of e-learning, consider reaching out to HelpCloud technicians for remote support.

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About the author

Photo of Erik Fullmer

Erik Fullmer

Erik was raised in many places but has long since called Utah home. Rooted in mountains, he spends a lot of time with his dogs in the mountains and in the winter he skis… a lot.

Erik is actively earning the necessary certifications and training to become a certified AMGA Ski Guide.

With over a decade of content writing experience, Erik finds passion when writing for the tech and outdoor recreation industries.