There are many places in the DC area where you can learn how to use computers or improve your skills, plus many online learning resources. We've focused on sources for learning the basics that are either free or inexpensive. If you need more advanced training or a certificate program, just do an Internet search.
Our list is divided into three parts:
Resources that are primarily available to residents of a jurisdiction;
Arlington County Parks and Recreation offers computer classes for adults age 55+. Click on the "View the 55+ Guide" button and go to the Learning section. Has one-on-one training, plus classes about cell phones and tablets
Byte Back - Byte Back provides computer training in under-served, low-income areas of the District. See the byteback.org web site for details.
Workforce Development Program at UDC Community College - This program provides free training in a variety of topics, including "administrative technology." See the Workforce Development Program's web site for details.
These resources are open to anyone in the DC Metro area. Some may charge for services.
Computer C.O.R.E., located near Bailey's Crossroads, VA, offers a variety of training programs. NOTE: As of September 30, 2015, their web site was "under construction," but does list a phone number.
The community colleges in the Washington, DC metro area are good sources of quality computer classes. In some cases, seniors may take on a non-credit basis at no cost. Check with your local community college.
The following are staff- and user-recommended online computer learning resources.
Lynda.com - Lots of excellent video tutorials covering hundreds of software products. Lynda.com charges $25 per month for unlimited access to their material. They also offer free access to some of their videos. (Used and recommended by SER staff/volunteers.) NOTE: If you have a Fairfax County Public Library card, you can access Lynda.com courses at no cost.
Alison ABC IT - A self-paced online set of courses in basic information technology (IT) concepts and the use of Microsoft business software. The full course takes about 15-20 hours to complete. Registration with Alison is required. Recommended by SER clients.
LearnFree.org - Many good lessons and videos, including basic computer skills, getting on the Internet, Google, and Microsoft Office.
We're in the process of updating our computer learning book recommendations. In general, we've been impressed with books from Visual Steps, which has a line of computer and technology learning books geared specifically for seniors.