Helping you learn the basics in our evolving digital world!

What is Northstar Digital Literacy?

Northstar Digital Literacy is a self-paced online learning tool designed to help you conquer technology one step at a time! A series of quick assessments can help you gauge your current skill level, online courses help you review and practice to improve, and certificates and badges to show off your new knowledge!

There are currently 14 assessments available: all of these and a few online courses including Basic Computer Skills, Email, Microsoft Word and Career Search Skills are currently available to customers without a learner account. 6 of the areas of study feature extended online learning tools and resources for those who have accounts, with more content & courses being developed soon!

Essential Computer Skills:

  • Basic Computer Skills
  • Internet Basics
  • Using Email
  • Windows
  • Mac OS

Essential Software Skills:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Google Docs

Using Technology in Daily Life:

  • Social Media
  • Information Literacy
  • Supporting K-12 Distance Learning
  • Career Search Skills
  • Your Digital Footprint

We encourage you to create an account because practice, progress, and completions will not be saved unless you are logged in! If you need help creating your account or logging back in, library staff are happy to help!

What can Northstar courses and assessments do for me?

Unlock technological treasures:

Today there are more resources, information, education and entertainment available than ever before! But if you struggle to use a computer, navigate the internet, or understand your digital presence, you may not be able to unlock all of the great benefits in this digital world!

Build confidence:

Northstar courses start simply – from tasks like turning on your computer to opening a new window to browse the internet, Northstar provides step-by-step instruction to help you. You can continue practicing and exploring more difficult concepts until you are completely at ease. Whether you’re helping your children succeed in distance learning or creating a PowerPoint presentation for work, you’ll feel confident tackling technology!

Keep you sharp:

Did you know that endeavoring to learn or practice something every day contributes to several different health benefits? From better overall cognition to better sleep, from more confidence and better self-esteem to employability; multiple studies prove that a lifelong learner has health benefits that outweigh the value of the new skill itself!

Fulfill job search activity requirements:

Completing a digital literacy course is an approved job search activity as defined by the Washington State Employment Security Department. For a complete list of approved activities, visit their website here.

Show off your skills:

Being able to confidently list your new skills on your resume also showcases your talent to future employers! Additionally, you can take proctored assessments to earn certificates and badges to share with friends, colleagues, employers, or teachers. *Library staff can connect you to a proctor when you are ready!

And so much more!

Ready to get started?

WA State Library logo

Access to Northstar Digital Literacy for Washington State residents is funded by the Washington State Library.

The Pierce County Library System is committed to bridging the gap in digital literacy and access for all of our customers: Northstar is one of many tools offered that helps build that bridge in Pierce County.