Learn it, know it, show it.

Northstar Digital Literacy tests your computer skills. You can build skills in key areas, and demonstrate your knowledge by earning certificates and badges. Prepare for your future now! Northstar is a program of Literacy Minnesota

Test Your Digital Literacy

Complete any of the online assessments to see what you know.

Take an Assessment

Build Your Skills

Grow your understanding of digital literacy topics.

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Become a Northstar Location

Use Northstar tools to increase digital literacy.

Learn More

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 15 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.

If you want to save your results to a Northstar location,
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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.


Build Your Skills

  1. Find a Northstar location where you can access classes and learning resources.
  2. Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) can help you learn digital literacy skills online. The public can access the following units freely, right now: Basic Computer SkillsEmailMicrosoft WordCareer Search Skills.
  3. View other resources from the web, curated by Northstar, that can help you learn digital literacy skills.

Find one of our 3095+ Northstar locations near you

Outside the U.S.? Start your search here.

Why take an assessment at a Northstar location?

  1. Certificate of Completion exampleYou can earn a certificate when you successfully pass each assessment.
  2. Assessment screenshotNorthstar locations offer assistance in setting up and taking assessments.
  3. Computer classMost Northstar locations offer computer classes, so you'll be able to master skills that will help you pass assessments.
  4. NSOL DashboardYou have the option of setting up a learner account where you can track all of your Northstar activity.
  5. Suggested practice at end of assessmentWhen you complete an assessment at a Northstar location, you'll receive links to lessons for practice where you may need work.

Become a Northstar Location

Northstar locations can:

  1. Certificate of Completion exampleAward certificates and badges
  2. NSOL DashboardCreate Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) accounts for learners to access self-guided instruction and practice, and track their progress online
  3. Curriculum screenshotAccess comprehensive classroom curriculum
  4. View multiple reports to better support your audience.

All of these features can be used remotely. Northstar locations pay an annual fee, which includes online support. Northstar can also provide a variety of customized trainings on such topics as programmatic implementation of Northstar, getting started with Northstar, and Digital Navigation.

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.

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Our Mission

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