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The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment defines the basic skills needed to use a computer and the Internet in daily life, employment, and higher education. It was developed in response to the needs of job seekers who may lack the digital literacy skills needed to seek, obtain, and retain employment, as well as to perform other tasks in daily life.

Northstar’s free, self-guided online modules assess the ability of individuals to perform tasks based on digital literacy standards in three main areas:

  • Essential Computer Skills: Computer Basics, Internet Basics, Using Email, Windows, and MAC Operating System
  • Essential Software Skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Using Technology in Daily Life: Social Media, Information Literacy, Career Search Skills, and Digital Footprint

This presentation will explain the development, purposes, and functioning of the Northstar program, including assessment and instructional resources. It will include an overview of basic and enhanced features, as well as examples of how it is used in various program settings.

Unable to attend? Register and receive the webinar recording and assignment instructions, and complete by 12/4/19.

Note: This is part of a series of monthly webinars, which are modeled after the effective Tech and Tell series developed by our IDEAL partners and colleagues at TCALL, Texas A&M University. TCALL provides professional development for the Texas adult education system.We are grateful for their collaborative spirit and sharing of successful practices.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Classroom and online teachers, computer teachers, directors, and anyone interested in computer skill assessment and curricula

Thanks to our partnership with the IDEAL Consortium, we are pleased to welcome Northstar Manager Tom Cytron-Hyson who will share his insights about what Northstar offers and describe a variety of ways that programs have used it, the data it provides, ways to access it, and more. He will review recently enhanced features, with an emphasis on curricula and instructional resources.


  • The webinar will be Wednesday, November 20 from 10:00 a.m. -- 11:00 a.m.
  • Following the webinar, your assignment will be to submit a brief evaluation of Northstar as a resource to implement with students at your program (by December 4).

The total time for this PD activity is approximately 2 hours. We estimate the time as follows:

  • Facilitated webinar: 1 hour
  • Assignment: 1 hour

Note: These Tech and Tell webinars will be offered on the third Wednesday of each month from 10:00 a.m. -- 11:00 a.m., so we encourage you to save the following date, and look for the others that will be scheduled in 2020:

  • December 18: Making Computer and Other Devices More Accessible
  • Developing Individual Learning Plans
  • Designing Digital Learning Experiences
  • NELRC: Stand Up and Be Counted Using the Change Agent 
Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the resources provided through Northstar to assess and address students’ digital literacy needs and explain ways in which Northstar is used in different settings
  • Evaluate Northstar as a resource to implement with students at your program
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 
11/20/2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am
PD Center: 

Digital Literacy

SABES Program Support PD Center - Digital Literacy
Topic Area: 
Digital Literacy
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