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Senior Planet Montgomery Free Online Classes for Seniors Sept. 7-11 Will Include Lighting and Smart Bulbs and Contacting Your Lawmakers

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 4, 2020

Senior Planet Montgomery, a technology training program designed for County learners 60 and older, is offering free online classes that focus on how to thrive at home. Classes, which are offered live via video conference, enhance a wide variety of life skills. Classes Sept. 7-11 will focus on Lighting and Smart Bulbs, Creative Writing and Contacting Your Lawmakers.

In addition to classes in English, one class during Sept. 7-11 will be delivered in Spanish. A variety of exercise classes also will be offered.

During the spring quarter more than 4,700 participants joined 124 virtual programs hosted by Senior Planet Montgomery. This summer, classes will cover Health and Fitness Technologies, The Internet of Things, Creative Writing, Civic Engagement Online and Using Zoom.

The program is supported by the County’s Department of Technology Services’ ultraMontgomery program in partnership with nonprofit OATS (Older Adults Technology Services). The County’s Department of Recreation and Montgomery County Public Libraries also are partners in helping provide the classes at no charge to participants.

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 Montgomery utilizes curricula created by OATS, which also provides training staff and works with numerous County departments to identify topics of interest for Montgomery residents. OATS sponsors similar Senior Planet programming in six states. The County’s Department of Environmental Protection contributes to the program’s course offerings by producing sessions on how to lower energy costs.

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

Classes to be offered Sept. 7-11 will include:
  • Lighting and Smart Bulbs: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m.- noon. Lecture reviews common lighting terminology like watts and lumens and explains the differences between the many types of bulbs currently on the market. Learn which bulbs offers the most in terms of energy efficiency that can help lower utility bills.
  • Instagram: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Lecture offers an overview of some of Instagram's more popular features.
  • Creative Writing Club: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join this program to reflect on the techniques of crafting poetry. Learn how to better develop writing style and voice.
  • Smart Thermostats: Thursday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m.- noon. Learn the benefits of installing a programmable or smart thermostat as well as incentives like rebates through the Empower Maryland program. Learn how smart thermostats can be integrated into a smart home and controlled through apps and smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home.
  • How to Use Zoom: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join this program for orientation on using Zoom videoconferencing software as a participant. Learn the features available to video chat with friends and family and how to take virtual classes with Senior Planet. The program is designed for beginner Zoom users.
  • Contacting Your Lawmakers: Friday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m.- noon. Learn how a new app can help users stay informed and get their voices heard. Causes (formerly Countable) is a non-partisan website and app devoted to making the government more understandable. Presentation will introduce Countable and cover how to use it to identify congressional representatives and senators and send them messages about issues that matter.

Clases en Español:

  • Tech Talk: Cómo Usar el Zoom: Miércoles, 9 de Septiembre. 11 a.m.- noon. Únase a este programa para una orientación, preguntas y respuestas sobre el uso del software de videoconferencia Zoom como participante. ¡Aprenda las funciones disponibles para chatear por video con amigos y familiares, y tome clases virtuales con Senior Planet! Zoom funciona con los sistemas operativos iOS, Android y Windows. Puede utilizar Zoom en su navegador o puede descargar la aplicación en sus dispositivos. No necesita una cuenta de Zoom para unirse a una llamada o chatear. Este programa está diseñado para usuarios principiantes de Zoom.

For more information about Senior Planet Montgomery and to view its virtual program offerings, visit The team can be contacted at 240-753-0676 or via email at

To sign up for the Senior Planet Montgomery newsletter, which includes detailed information about upcoming classes, go to

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Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD 

Release ID: 20-475
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-205-1915