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MN ABE News

A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.


Northstar Develops to Meet ABE Needs - By Tom Cytron-Hysom, Consultant

Northstar continues to draw new users, with 340 sponsor sites in 36 states and territories, over 100,000 certificates awarded through those sites, and 1,216,000+ completions on the public site! 

We have several new initiatives that will benefit Minnesota ABE:

  • We are just completing updated modules for Windows 10, Microsoft Office 2016 (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), and Mac OS X. These will be released this week to sponsor sites. Previous versions of the Windows and Office modules will continue to be available.
  • We are beginning a collaborative process with Minnesota and Rhode Island ABE to articulate Northstar with CCRS standards, sponsored through the Distance Learning Supplemental Services grant. We hope to have this completed within the next few months.

Finally, we are in the initial planning stages of a comprehensive update for the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment modules and website. This will allow us to: review and update each set of assessment standards; redesign the graphical interface to make it as accessible, attractive, and intuitive as possible; and recreate each module in html5 (instead of our current Flash-based technology), ensuring long-term viability, adaptability, and accessibility across different platforms and browsers.

This is a complex and resource-intensive process, which will require extensive fundraising, planning, and coordination. We anticipate at least a two-year framework for completion.