Building digital literacy skills with ABE students can seem like a never-ending process. Indeed, the open-endedness of learning to use technology can be frustrating for learners and teachers. Additionally, many learners have difficulty articulating the skills they possess and what they want to learn. The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment (NDLA) can help address these issues. NDLA is a series of online, interactive assessments that help learners identify skills gaps in several categories of technology literacy: Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Email, Word Processing/ Microsoft Word, Spreadsheets/ Excel, and Social Media.
The assessments are available in two ways. First, anyone with the link (digitalliteracyassessment.org) can take the assessments. Results pop up immediately upon completion of an assessment, listing the skills the learner has mastered, and providing language the learner can use to describe the skills to an employer.
The battery of assessments best fits into programming when teachers use it to confirm skills mastered, rather than using it as a pure diagnostic assessment. Therefore, students should take the tests only after they have received some instruction and had ample time to practice the skills tested.
More information on the history of the assessment, assessment content, and details about how to integrate the assessment into programming can be found on the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment website or in this online article: The Northstar Digital Literacy Project: Community Engagement Initiative.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education are working together to encourage effective collaborations between libraries and federally funded adult education programs. The goal of this joint effort is to enhance the skills, employability, and quality of life of youths and adults with low skills.
On December, 18, 2014, from 1-2:30 pm (ET) IMLS and OCTAE will host the webinar “Reboot your Digital Strategy.” This webinar supports state and local level efforts to cross-train staff on digital literacy and builds awareness about national and regional Internet access expansion efforts.
The webinar will feature a welcome by Susan H. Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and a panel of representatives from the IMLS, OCTAE, and Everyone On. Learn how your library and adult education program can take advantage of national developments in digital literacy. Register now!