Northstar is used in many Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs and junior colleges to assess students' computer skills. Northstar is an assessment, not a curriculum. The standards have been adopted as statewide digital literacy standards by Minnesota Adult Basic Education, and been integrated into the new Minnesota Adult Diploma. They are also used by nearly all ABE programs in Rhode Island, as well as in many other states.
“We are using Northstar as part of the requirements for the new State Diploma at the Blaine Learning Lab…They seem really excited to get this certification. They also have to write a resume to get this diploma, and they are putting the NDLA on their resumes under Special Skills. Many of these students do not have a lot of items to put on a resume that are impressive, so this has been something they are very proud of and has come in handy to enhance their resumes…Earning this certification has been a very positive experience for all of them!”
State Diploma/GED Teacher
“I have used and know that our TAKODA Prep has used this Northstar Standards tool to assess the progress of our students. It is good and well built. As an educator, I like how this tool divides up the material covered. It helps the novice and experienced learner see for themselves where they are and how they do in IT matters.
“It is very useful also as a tool to evaluate if a prospective student is up to par on their skills as they on-board to our school offerings…this allows us as instructors to be aware and watch for students who maybe more challenged by the level of training that we offer out of the gate.
TAKODA Institute of Higher Education
A Division of American Indian OIC
Northstar is an assessment tool, not a curriculum. However, there are several curricula developed by others that align to the Northstar benchmarks. These include:
The St. Paul Public Library created a Learning Guide that includes online resources for most benchmarks.
The Library also created four curricula to teach some of the Northstar modules:
Another curricula resource is available at Intel Learn.
GCF LearnFree (technology) is quite comprehensive.