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Senior Planet Montgomery Offering Free Online Life Learning Classes for Seniors

For Immediate Release: Saturday, April 4, 2020

Senior Planet Montgomery, the County’s technology training program designed for learners 60 and older, is offering free online classes that focus on how to thrive at home while staying protected during the COVID-19 health crisis. During the crisis, classes will be transitioned to live video conference to enhance a wide variety of life skills. Classes April 7-10 will focus on using one of the newest online trends: Zoom video conferencing.

In addition to classes in English, some are delivered in Spanish.

Prior to the stay at home restrictions imposed during the health crisis, the program included lectures, hands-on workshops and multi-week courses at libraries, community and senior centers. The support of the County’s Department of Technology Services’ ultraMontgomery program enabled Senior Planet Montgomery course instruction, books and devices to be provided for use in classes in partnership with the Department of Recreation and Montgomery County Public Libraries at no charge to participants. Senior Planet has adjusted during the health crisis to place content entirely online.

Sessions concentrate on user-friendly tools and resources and are designed to enable older adults to learn to utilize technologies to improve their daily lives. Senior Planet partners with OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) to provide high quality curriculum and training staff and works with numerous Montgomery County departments to identify topics of interest. OATS provides similar programming in four states. Senior Planet Montgomery also is partnering with the County’s Department of Environmental Protection to produce sessions on how to lower energy costs.

“More Montgomery County seniors are online than ever before,” said Montgomery County Chief Information Officer Gail M. Roper. “The Senior Planet Montgomery programs provide a means for them to get more out of their internet availability, and we hope, more out of life overall. We have programs that are geared specifically to support the way seniors learn best—which makes so many things easier to understand.”

Classes change on a weekly basis. A home internet connection and a device (such as a smartphone, tablet or computer) is all that is required to participate.

Classes next week will include “All Things Zoom” from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, and from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. The class “How to Initiate a Zoom Meeting” will be offered from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, April 10.

Other courses will include “Telemedicine” from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday; “Good Morning Montgomery County!” from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8; “Twitter” from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday; and a “Creative Hour” from 2-3 p.m. on Friday, April 10.

Courses offered the week of April 13 will include “Online Shopping,” which will be a demonstration in online grocery shopping using Instacart and Amazon Fresh.

A course in Spanish, Reunion de linea, that will introduce Zoom and for socialization/connection will be offered on from 11 a.m.-noon on Tuesday and from 11 a.m.-noon on Thursday. From 11 a.m.-noon on Friday, there will be a course in Spanish on “How to Protect Your Personal Information.”

For more information about Senior Planet Montgomery and to view its virtual program offerings, visit seniorplanet.org/Montgomery. The team can be contact at 240-753-0676 or via email at mocoinfo@seniorplanet.org.

To sign up for the Senior Planet Montgomery newsletter, which includes detailed information about upcoming classes, go to https://seniorplanet.org/get-involved/newsletters/.

For the latest Montgomery County updates during the health crisis, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

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Release ID: 20-173
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-205-1915