Increase Digital Equity for your constituents through Northstar Digital Literacy!

Northstar is a program of Literacy Minnesota Northstar Digital Literacy gives subscribing organizations the ability to increase access to digital equity by providing constituents with tools to master the digital skills needed to work, learn, and participate fully in daily life.


Online, self-guided assessments measure basic skills in each of 16 areas, allowing individuals to identify current skills and opportunities for learning new skills. Learn more.

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Educational materials provide for self-guided online learning, one-on-one digital navigation, and instructor-led classes. Northstar standards define the basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online.

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Individuals and instructors see progress and opportunities for learning, including organizational statistics on number of learners, number of assessments, and percentage of assessments passed.

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Northstar is used by libraries, adult education centers, community colleges, healthcare systems, businesses, workforce centers, correctional facilities, and more. Subscribe today to help close the digital literacy gap!


Our Mission

To help individuals around the world master the digital skills needed to work, learn, and participate fully in daily life.

How It Works

Northstar Digital Literacy defines the basic skills needed to use a computer and the internet in daily life, employment, and higher education.

  1. Assessment screenshotOnline, self-guided assessments measure mastery of basic skills in each of 16 areas. Test takers can receive certificates and/or digital badges when they pass Northstar assessments in a proctored environment at a Northstar location. When test takers are logged in to Northstar Online Learning, the Northstar assessment result page links to self-directed online learning practice for skills not yet mastered. Once test takers pass the Northstar assessments, which certify basic skills, they are qualified to pursue more advanced training, certifications, or career pathways elsewhere.
  2. Curriculum screenshotClassroom curricula provide detailed lesson plans for teachers, and can be used remotely or in person. Lesson plans are learner-centered and interactive. The lessons give learners multiple opportunities to build digital literacy skills through practice tasks. Each lesson plan includes a detailed teacher prep guide. Northstar also provides remote teaching pages and a Remote Teaching Guide to provide pointers on using the curricula remotely. Lessons are structured to include warm-ups, daily objectives, practice tasks, digital literacy vocabulary work, and wrap-ups.
  3. NSOL screenshotNorthstar Online Learning (NSOL) provides individualized online instruction and practice. NSOL provides original online content that learners can access independently. When learners complete an assessment, they are automatically directed to the NSOL content corresponding to what they still need to learn. Northstar locations can create learner accounts, which track NSOL work and assessments completed by the learners.

Here is what organizations are saying:

Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition logo

Northstar has helped instructors and learners understand that digital literacy can be taught and supported at every level, regardless of background, experience, or language.

— Michael Matos
Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition
Goodwill logo

Northstar continues to be a key partner for Goodwill Industries International and our network of 156 local Goodwill organizations. The literacy assessments, and supporting curriculum, allow Goodwill to provide quality and relevant digital literacy training to those that we serve, including people who are unemployed or underemployed, veterans and military families and people impacted by the criminal justice system. Together, we’re helping to place individuals into sustainable careers. Thanks for your continued engagement, collaboration, and support!

— Mike Hall
Manager of Training Programs
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network logo

We are grateful to the leadership at Literacy Minnesota for assisting Louisiana with identifying the tools and standards that will allow us to better assist our higher education and ABE communities. With their support we have been able to make immediate progress on bridging the digital divide.

Take an Assessment

Want to test what you know? Complete any of the following online assessments.

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If you are not part of a Northstar location yet, but would like to earn a certificate for passing the assessments, find a Northstar location near you.


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Literacy Minnesota

Northstar is a program of Literacy Minnesota

formerly Minnesota Literacy Council

Literacy MinnesotaLiteracy Minnesota is an internationally recognized non-profit leader and driving force behind the latest developments in literacy learning. We believe literacy has the power to advance equity and justice, and we envision a world where life-changing learning is within everyone’s reach. Get more information on our educational resources and programs.