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Northstar Digital Literacy

This LibGuide will provide you with information about Northstar Digital Literacy.

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy encompasses three big categories of skills that you use all the time: "1) finding and consuming digital content; 2) creating digital content; and 3) communicating or sharing it" (EducationWeek).

A person with digital literacy skills:

  • Possesses the variety of skills - technical and cognitive - required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats;
  • Is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to retrieve information, interpret results, and judge the quality of that information;
  • Understands the relationship between technology, life-long learning, personal privacy, and stewardship of information;
  • Uses these skills and the appropriate technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, colleagues, family, and on occasion, the general public; and
  • Uses these skills to actively participate in civic society and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and engaged community. (National Digital Inclusion Alliance)

What is Northstar Digital Literacy?

Northstar Digital Literacy (Northstar) is a suite of online, self-paced digital literacy assessments and tutorials - it tests your computer skills. You can build skills in key areas, and demonstrate your knowledge by earning certificates and badges. Northstar is a program of Literacy Minnesota, whose mission is to share the power of learning through education, community building, and advocacy.

How Northstar works:

  1. Set up a learner account. Click here to set up a learner account.
  2. Log in. Click here to log in.
  3. Choose a digital literacy topic (e.g. Microsoft Word).
  4. Take a digital literacy skills assessment on your topic.
    • There are 14 assessments to choose from.
    • This initial assessment will help you identify what you already know and what you need to learn.
    • You'll receive links to lessons to develop some skills you need to learn. 
  5. Work through the topic-specific lessons to learn and practice new skills.
    • Use self-paced Northstar video lessons or recommended learning resources.
  6. Optional: Take a proctored assessment to demonstrate your new knowledge and skills related to that topic. Click here to schedule a proctored assessment.
    • When you successfully complete a proctored assessment, you can access a certificate that shows your competency in each area of digital literacy.