Continual Learning for Seniors


As seniors are living longer and longer through retirement age, it’s important to keep the mind sharp and active.  Online learning options can help to do just that.  The National Center for Education Statistics says that almost half of the country’s adult population is enrolled in some type of lifelong learning.


Lifelong learning will keep your body and mind engaged while you enjoy senior living.  This can be beneficial at any age, but it can be particularly important for senior citizens.  Learning to dance, learning to repair your own car, improving your golf game, learning a foreign language; all of these can be beneficial and life enriching.


Some of the benefits of lifelong learning include:


– Keeping your mind sharp and alert
– Improving your memory
– Boosting your self-confidence
– Saving money if you learn to do it yourself
– Giving the feeling of accomplishment
– Meeting people with similar interest
– And much, much more.


While there may be courses offered locally through community centers and universities, the Internet is a great tool for lifelong learning.  Here are some great options for online learning.


Annenberg Learner

Annenberg Learner seeks to advance the skills of teaching in American schools.  Annenberg Learner distributes video programs that include web and print materials aimed at the professional development of K-12 teachers.


Berkeley University

UC Berkeley offers online learning through video and audio for students worldwide.  Through ETS (Educational Technology Services) Berkeley offers online learning for the UC Berkeley community and anyone with access to the Internet.


Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University offers BYU Independent Study online courses ranging for academics to self-improvement.  The courses are free but not for credit.  Courses included management as well as extensive courses in genealogy.


Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative

Open Learning Initiative is a part of Carnegie Mellon University offering open and free courses.  Through OLI, Carnegie Mellon offers continuous learning to those who want to teach with the goal of improving learning and transforming higher education.



Coursera partners with universities and organizations to offer free online courses.  Using the latest technology Cousera can reach millions of students.  Courses are offered in a wide range of subjects including foreign language, arts and sciences. offers no cost, no-sign up course learning where you can learning at your own pace and establish your own standards of achievement…  Explore the courses to investigate a college major.


Hippo Campus is offered by the NROC and is part of the Monterey Institute. is an open resource for personalized learning.  There is no need to register or log in to use the site.


Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers free education for anyone.  The not-for-profit organization seeks to improve education by providing world-class education that is accessible for everyone.


M.I.T. OpenCourseWare

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers online learning through MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW).  This is an Internet based program containing all MIT course content.  MIT Professor Dick K.P Yue said “The idea is simple: to publish all our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.”



Sophia has an online platform that offers more than 32,000 academic tutorials.  Sophia strives to present inspirational, relevant and self-paced learning to students of all ages.


University of Washington

The University of Washington offers free online classes through OpenUW.  Courses are available covering the American Civil War, Gulliver’s Travels, Energy, Diet and Weight, Shakespeare’s Comedies and Heroic Fantasy: Tolkien.


Yale University

Yale College provides free and open access to introductory courses taught through Open Yale Courses.  The lectures available were recorded in actual Yale classrooms.  While no credit is given, courses are also available for credit through Yale Summer Online.


If you’re a senior and you want to stay active and involved, consider one of these online courses.  You’ll have fun, learning something and you’ll feel better about yourself.  It’s never too late to learn something new.


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