Celebrate National Digital Inclusion Week with Northstar!

Celebrate National Digital Inclusion Week with Northstar!

National Digital Inclusion Week is October 5-9. Sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs. Despite strong efforts, many millions of people in the U.S. still lack broadband, devices, and/or digital literacy skills.

The fallout from COVID 19 has transformed our entire society, including every aspect of ABE delivery. It has also illustrated in stark terms the inequities confronting persons of color and other marginalized populations in accessing and using online resources. Northstar is working with and responding to the needs of our field in addressing the rapidly shifting digital literacy needs of our adult learners. New features and resources include:

  • Last week, we released Northstar Online Learning instruction and practice materials for MS Word and Email. Students with NSOL accounts will automatically have access to MS Word and Email online materials. We have also made these resources publicly available here.
  • We developed and posted new Remote Learning Resource Pagesto help teachers adapt Northstar classroom curricula for remote teaching. For each lesson plan in Basic Computer Skills, Internet Basics, Email, Windows, Mac, MS Word, MS Excel, Career Search Skills, and MS PowerPoint, we have compiled a document that includes handouts and other essential visuals to screen share with learners during remote instruction. These can be accessed through your Northstar admin panel.
  • We recently received CARES funding from the Minnesota Department of Education, Library Services, to create a Northstar assessment and curricula to help parents/guardians learn how they can support their children to successfully participate in distance learning. The module will cover key concepts around K-12 distance learning, such as tips for providing social/emotional/practical support for children participating in distance learning; how parent portals and school information systems work; using online meeting platforms; and basic principles of learning management systems. This project should be complete by the end of the year.

Northstar assessment, classroom curricula, and online individualized instruction and practice provide valuable resources to teachers who are transitioning their learners to online learning.

Upcoming webinars

Join us for our next webinar, Northstar: Making the Most of NSOL, on Tuesday, October 13, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CDT. You will learn how to create NSOL accounts for your learners. We’ll also discuss how to use the assessment results page to target and support instruction using NSOL and the teacher-led curriculum.

You can also request training on other state approved DL platforms and various technology issues, by emailing [email protected]

In addition, Literacy Minnesota, of which Northstar is a part, will be sponsoring a Digital Equity Virtual Town Hall on Monday, October 19 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CDT. You join on Zoom to hear from a panel of experts working on the frontlines to close the digital divide, including Gwenn Weaver, Eric Nesheim, Theresa Sladek and Deqa Hassan.

Tom Cytron-Hysom, Northstar Managing Consultant; DL Support Team Consultant Literacy Minnesota