Libraries have long known that to succeed in the information age, people need the digital skills to make use of online services and computer resources. Northstar is a valuable tool to help libraries help their communities, and thanks to an IMLS ARPA grant from the State Library, it's now available to all Ohio libraries.
HOW IT WORKS
Northstar focuses on basic digital literacy skills—such as using a mouse, searching on the internet, and using email—as well as advanced skills, like using Google Docs and searching for jobs online.
- Assessments in fourteen digital skills areas measure proficiency and identify skill gaps. Learners who take proctored assessments through a Northstar subscriber location can receive certificates or badges, which inspire a sense of confidence and accomplishment as well as allow them to demonstrate skills to potential employers.
- Instructor-led curricula provide detailed lesson plans for teachers and can be used remotely or in person. The curricula is easy to follow, learner-centered, interactive and flexible. Each lesson plan includes a detailed teacher prep guide.
- Self-directed online learning provides individualized online instruction and practice. Learners can independently access original online content incorporating Northstar standards, instruction, and practice. When learners complete an assessment, they are automatically directed to the Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) content corresponding to what they still need to learn.
As Northstar locations, libraries can create learner accounts, which track online learning and the assessments completed. When libraries become Northstar testing locations, they can award certificates and digital badges, which inspire a sense of confidence and accomplishment, and demonstrate skill mastery to potential employers.
TRY IT YOURSELF
Visit DigitalLiteracyAssessment.org, and click the green TAKE AN ASSESSMENT button.
Choose any one of the 14 modules to test yourself.
SIGN UP TO LEARN MORE
Theresa Sladek will introduce Northstar to Ohio's librarians at the "Closing the Digital Literacy Gap with Northstar" webinar, October 28, 11:00-12:30. Register for this webinar through the OLC website.
(The session will be recorded for later viewing.)