Touch Screen Computer (credit: Randy Yagi)
It’s no secret that San Francisco is one of the most tech-friendly cities in America. After all, tech companies like Uber, Linkedin, Twitter and Yelp are all based in the City by the Bay, as are scores of other rising startups. But many residents would like to improve their computer skills for professional development or enjoy a better quality of life. Fortunately, there are several resources throughout the city offering free or low-cost computer training. Here are five of the best adult computer classes in San Francisco.
City College San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94112
California’s largest community college offers a wide range of credit and no credit computer classes for students of all levels. Selected class titles include “Introduction to Computer Science”, “Introduction to Computers for ESL” and “Business Office Technology and Computer Applications.” City College of San Francisco also offers a number of computer-related educational programs including a Working Adults Degree Program, Online Learning and Continuing Education workshops and classes like “Photoshop Elements” and “Social Media and Managing It.” CCSF’s financial aid office can help prospective students pay for the cost of education including tuition, books and supplies. Additionally, the Veterans Services office on campus provides support and resources to student veterans and their families.
2301 Mission St., Suite 301
San Francisco, CA 94110
The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) provides numerous programs and services for low and moderate-income residents primarily of the Latino community of San Francisco. Among the services is a Digital Opportunity Center offering free digital learning courses in both England Spanish to anyone interested in attending. Basic Digital Literacy (BDL) classes are held on Mondays and Fridays, immediately followed by an open lab in the afternoon hours. In addition to basic computer skills classes, the Digital Opportunity Center is a Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist Testing Center and also offers instruction with Intuit QuickBooks as well as information on affordable internet and computer options. MEDA and the Digital Opportunity is conveniently located just two blocks from the 24th Street BART Station in San Francisco’s lively Mission District.
1650 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
The San Francisco Connected Program is a computer learning program hosted by the city’s Department of Aging and Adult Services. The vital community program offers free computer classes with six different language options to 54 sites across the city, including senior centers, senior housing, adult day services and San Francisco Housing Authority locations. More than 200 touch screen and laptop computers are available for use and come with special software and hardware for added accessibility for people living with one or more disabilities. Among the 54 locations are Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, SFHA Noe Housing, Richmond Senior Center and Vietnamese Elderly Mutual Assistance Center.
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
The San Francisco Public Library offers several adult and senior drop-in classes, primarily at the main branch in Civic Center. Basic computer skill classes are held at the Computer Training Center and people interested in attending any of the 75 minute sessions can check the library’s online calendar for upcoming sessions. Other subjects taught at other city branches include email basics, iPad demonstrations and computer basics in Spanish. All programs offered by the San Francisco Public Library are absolutely free and open to the public. The library’s Project Read program, an adult literacy program, also provides free tech lab instruction for Project Read learners and tutors.
St. Anthony Foundation
150 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
The St. Anthony Foundation hosts the Tenderloin Technology Lab (TTL), featuring a training center with 36 computer workstations. Established in 2008, the TTL’s mission is to promote job skills, technology training and access to residents primarily in the Tenderloin neighborhood. The TTL is open daily except on Sundays and offers several no-cost computer classes, as well as individualized tutoring. Ongoing classes include basic computer skills, intermediate computer skills and Google Drive. The TTL is also available to other nonprofits to help increase opportunities for employment, access to community resources and connections to family and friends.
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he received a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com