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Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment Tool Log

The Standards

Basic Computer Skills Mac OS X
World Wide Web Email
Windows Word

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Basic Computer Skills

  1. Distinguish between desktop and laptop computers.
  2. Identify specific computer hardware: a system unit, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse or touchpad, USB port
  3. Turn computer and monitor on and off
  4. Log on to computer
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of function and placement of keys on keyboard: Enter, Shift, Control, Backspace, Delete, Arrow Keys, Tab, Caps Lock, Number Lock
  6. Identify types of mice: mouse and touchpad
  7. Identify mouse pointer shapes and match them to the correct context of use: typing arrow (text), arrow (basic clicking), hand pointer (clickable links)
  8. Demonstrate appropriate use and ability to right-click and left-click
  9. Double click and right click
  10. Drag and drop
  11. Use mouse to select check boxes, use drop-down menus and scroll
  12. Adjust volume and mute audio
  13. Plug in headphones correctly and use when appropriate
  14. Identify icons on desktop (Internet Browser, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Skype)
  15. Demonstrate the ability to use the recycle bin correctly for trashing and retrieving items
  16. Demonstrate understanding that it is possible to customize a computer for increased accessibility
  17. Demonstrate understanding that mice can be customized for left-handed people and that the speed of clicking can also be customized
  18. Demonstrate understanding that screen resolution can be changed
  19. Demonstrate understanding that software programs are upgraded periodically and that different versions may be installed on different computers
  20. Identify storage media: USB/Flash drives (external) and hard drive (external and internal)

World Wide Web

  1. Identify an Internet Service Provider and identify the main options for connecting to the internet: Dial-up, High Speed (cable or DSL), or wireless connection.
  2. Identify commonly used browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and demonstrate knowledge of function.
  3. Identify the address bar and enter a URL address.
  4. Identify a website.
  5. Identify a homepage.
  6. Identify the following browser toolbar buttons and demonstrate the ability to use them: home, refresh, stop, back, forward
  7. Use scroll bars to view different portions of webpages
  8. Identify a hyperlink and demonstrate the ability to use a hyperlink to access other webpages.
  9. Create a new tab, open a webpage in a tab, and move between tabs.
  10. Enlarge the displayed text size
  11. Fill out an online form.
  12. Correctly enter CAPTCHA security codes.
  13. Use zoom function to enlarge image (CTRL+ or CTRL-)
  14. Identify search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) and enter search terms into the search engine.
  15. Identify pop-up windows and close them.
  16. Identify pop up windows have been blocked and enable individual pop up windows as needed
  17. Identify common domain types: com, org, gov, edu.
  18. Demonstrate knowledge that there are ways to increase Internet safety for children.
  19. Identify antivirus software providers and function of antivirus software (Norton, McAfee, AVG).
  20. Avoid providing personal or financial information unless on a secured website (https://)


  1. Identify the operating system used by a computer.
  2. Shutdown, restart, and log off a computer.
  3. Open, close and switch between windows
  4. Minimize and maximize windows
  5. Identify the toolbar and menus.
  6. Identify the taskbar.
  7. Start, and exit programs (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  8. Identify drives on a computer: CD/DVD, floppy, hard drive (C), USB port, network drives (A, B, D, F, H, etc.)
  9. Access the help menu.
  10. Identify the desktop.
  11. Demonstrate knowledge of Windows file organizational system and use it to locate files/documents (desktop, My Document, My Computer)
  12. Use "Search" to locate a file or document
  13. Delete documents or files.
  14. Open programs.
  15. Identify basic office software programs (Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint), demonstrate knowledge of their functions, and identify their corresponding file extensions.
  16. Open files using appropriate programs

Mac OS X

  1. Identify the operating system.
  2. Identify the Dock.
  3. Identify the Menu Bar.
  4. Identify the desktop.
  5. Use Finder to locate files, folders, and applications.
  6. Move and delete documents or files.
  7. Identify devices on a computer.
  8. Open applications using the Application Folder.
  9. Minimize and expand windows.
  10. Open applications using the Dock.
  11. Close and switch between applications.
  12. Quit an application.
  13. Demonstrate knowledge of System Preferences.
  14. Demonstrate knowledge of Dashboard.
  15. Use the help menu.
  16. Use "Spotlight" to locate a document.
  17. Log out and shutdown a computer.


  1. Define: email
  2. Register for new email account in online program
  3. Create username and secure password
  4. Log into email
  5. Create an email message
  6. Address an email, including to more than one recipient
  7. Send an email
  8. Open an email
  9. Reply to only the sender of an email or to all recipients (reply all)
  10. Forward an email
  11. Add an attachment to an email
  12. Open an attachment in an email
  13. Move or delete an email and retrieve an email from the trash
  14. Understand basics of email etiquette: don't use all capital letters, fill in the subject line, use appropriate greetings & closings
  15. Use caution when opening an email from an unfamiliar or unexpected source and avoid opening suspicious attachments
  16. Avoid giving out personal information (especially financial information) or email address to unfamiliar people
  17. Identify and delete junk mail, including spam
  18. Be selective and cautious about forwarding email to large groups of people
  19. Define: Computer virus
  20. Define and tell the difference between a URL and an email address (see World Wide Web)


  1. Create a new document
  2. Save and close a document
  3. Open existing document
  4. Identify ribbon and toolbars
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the difference between "Save" and "Save As" functions.
  6. Use Save As to save to a particular folder or file location and name the document.
  7. Use undo and redo arrows
  8. Cut, copy and paste
  9. Use spell check and grammar check
  10. Format the size, color and type of font
  11. Align text: left, center and right justify
  12. Set single or double spacing
  13. Use bullets and automatic numbering
  14. Use print preview and print.
  15. Set margins
  16. Select portrait or landscape
  17. Identify file extensions, corresponding document types and associated programs used to open them: pdf, xls, doc, docx, rtf, pub, ppt, pptx


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