Remote learning is the new normal

Alicia Colombo

By James Jackson


As in-person training shifted to online learning, more institutions began offering affordable classes for older adults. This trend is likely to continue even after the pandemic. Want to brush up on your computer/internet skills or learn something new? Take advantage of the following free or low-cost online courses:

Philadelphia FIGHT provides free adult basic education classes, as well as basic computer courses in Microsoft Office and social media. The organization also provides comprehensive health services, including primary care, consumer education, research and advocacy, for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk. Courses are taught in small groups or one-on-one settings. | Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. | 215-985-4448 | Critpath.org

Center for Literacy, located at Peirce College, offers free virtual math, reading, GED/high school education and ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. The center’s mission is to “unleash the power of literacy to improve lives.” Before COVID-19, the Center for Literacy incorporated both face-to-face and online basic adult education and high school equivalency preparation sessions. After filling out a survey, a coordinator will contact participants to further discuss programs and educational needs. | Office hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | 215-525-8613 | CenterForLiteracy.org

Uplifting adults in the Philadelphia area is the goal of the Community Learning Center. Students can enjoy free, live-streamed sessions and one-on-one video conferences. Basic financial literacy, digital literacy and computer skills, and job preparation are some of the classes offered. | CommunityLearningCenter.org | 215-426-7940

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute holds its classes via the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Located at Temple University, the organization specializes in education for adults 50 and older. You can enjoy four-week courses without grades and tests. Class offerings include politics in the cyber age, history of the American economy in the 20th century, and Pennsylvania geology. Membership prices vary per semester. | $75-$290 | 215-204-1505 | Noncredit.temple.edu/olli

Oasis Everywhere is a nonprofit organization that promotes “healthy aging through lifelong learning.” From art to exercise, you can learn about everything and anything in the comfort of your own home. Instructors with many years of experience operate classes over Zoom from different parts of the United States. Most classes are only one day, so there’s no commitment. | Free to $60 | 314-862-2933 | OasisEverywhere.org


James Jackson is a multimedia journalist for publications in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Categories: Education Milestones eNews Technology