Adult Program


127 W 25th St

New York, NY 10001

Computer Basics

produced by


127 W 25th St

New York, NY 10001

Digital Literacy

OATS’s Computer Basics is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.

View Report

Who is served: Older adults

Number of participants served annually: 4,000

Location: New York City

Frequency/Duration: 10 weeks, 2 times per week

Eligibility Criteria: Must be age 60 or older

Application process:N/A

Curriculum: digital literacy

Skill level: Basic

Partnerships: 200+ partners, ranging from senior centers, other nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and senior-service organizations. Including New York Public Library, AARP Foundation and the City of New York.

Cost: Free

Sources of funding: A mixture of private and public sources, including municipal agencies, corporations, philanthropic foundations, and donations

What makes this program stand out? OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) is serving the 60+ population by delivering programs that empower older adults to achieve their goals through technology. The tech programs are infused with elements of digital literacy, but ultimately oriented in different content areas so people can learn a skill based on their individual goals.

“We’re a social change organization that uses tech to promote the betterment of people as they age,” said Alex Glazebrook, director of operations for OATS.

OATS operates out of the Senior Planet Exploration Center in Chelsea in addition to a network of 23 public computer labs located in senior centers and faith-based organizaions across New York City.

Older adults can take classes on operating a computer, navigating the internet, and using social media. Advanced classes teach how to build websites using Wix.com and how to leverage tech platforms to build a small business.

What do participants need to succeed? To participate in programming, students must have an email address and be comfortable navigating the internet.

What does the organization need? Additional resources would help the organization reach more potential students, as the current model is cost-intensive. Glazebrook also notes that adjustments could make programming more flexible and dynamic.