Basic Computer Digital Literacy Standards

Why is Digital Literacy important?

Knowing how to use computers is important in everyday life. Whether applying for jobs online, reading the news, banking and paying bills, communicating with medical providers, searching for information, or communicating with others, digital literacy is part of basic literacy.

Our Response

In 2010, SPCLC was asked by the St. Paul Public Library to convene a community task force to develop basic computer Digital Literacy Standards. Over the next several months, professionals from community based non-profits, libraries, school district and non-profit ABE programs, state agencies, and other organizations met regularly to "Develop a commonly accepted set of digital literacy standards that will facilitate empowerment of adults needing technology skills for daily living, employment preparation, and/or transition to higher education."

The Northstar Digital Literacy Standards

The Northstar Digital Literacy/Core Computer Literacy Standards are designed to help low-skilled adults perform a variety of daily tasks on the computer and online. The primary focus is to help people gain basic digital literacy skills needed to search for, obtain, and succeed in entry-level jobs. They will also help people communicate with their children’s schools, connect to community resources, etc.

The standards include basic computer digital literacy benchmarks in Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Mac OS, Email, Microsoft Word, Social Media, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Information Literacy. Once adults demonstrate mastery of the skills through successful completion of online module, they can receive a Certificate of Basic Digital Literacy Skills.

There are now nearly 500 sponsor sites in 38 states, and 2,000,000 assessments have been completed. The standards have been adopted as statewide ABE content standards by the Minnesota Department of education ABE office. Passing the assessments is a requirement of the Minnesota Standard Adult Diploma. As of 2015, each Minnesota consortium receives a Northstar sponsor site.

The standards have been adopted as statewide ABE content standards, by the Minnesota Department of education ABE office. Passing the assessments is a requirement of the Minnesota Standard Adult Diploma. As of 2015, each Minnesota consortium receives a Northstar sponsor site.

Feedback and Questions

Contact us to provide feedback or ask questions about the Standards.

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