Northstar Adds New Features, Resources, and Spanish Translations

Northstar Adds New Features, Resources, and Spanish Translations

Proactively meeting learner needs for digital literacy skills continues to become ever more central to our work as educators, given the continued expansion of the online world into every facet of life. Northstar Digital Literacy continues to innovate and develop new features to assist teachers and students.


The Northstar Standards are one of the three required sets of content standards for Minnesota Adult Education. The Northstar Digital Literacy Foundations course can be accessed through the Literacy Minnesota Online Training portal:  This course is designed for adult education teachers and will be helpful for anyone with a role supporting learners or program staff with digital literacy instruction, such as program managers, coordinators, distance learning or curriculum specialists, digital navigators, and volunteers. Five CEUs are available for completing the course.

Assessing and Improving Your Digital Literacy Skills

ABE staff and volunteers can now assess their own digital skills via a confidential Northstar portal. To access any Northstar assessment, go to the portal and click Sign up as a learner. You can take up to 15 different assessments in the areas of Essential Computer Skills, Essential Software Skills, and Using Technology in Daily Life. You can also access Northstar Online Learning to improve specific skill areas, linked to individual assessment results.

Recent Northstar features include:

  • Spanish translations of assessments and Northstar Online Learning, including text and audio; translation of curricula for teachers is in process.
  • Continued development and improvements in accessibility features.

Current projects include:

  • Ensuring assessments and online learning resources are fully accessible on mobile devices.
  • Completion of a Windows 11 assessment and NSOL module.
  • Developing a foundational (beginning) digital skills assessment in partnership with Tyson Foods, which will be available in the spring.
  • Digital Literacy Routines Resource to support teachers to integrate digital literacy skills into core instruction. These resources will provide standards aligned, easy-to-plug-in digital literacy-building routines, available in Google Slides, to support beginning digital learners at beginning ESL levels and beyond! These lessons are currently in pilot.
Tom Cytron-Hysom, Distance Learning & Digital Literacy Consultant Literacy Minnesota