Session 1: Preparing to Pass the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment

1:00pm-2:45pm   The NDLA is an online assessment for students and staff to demonstrate knowledge of basic computer skills. Programs throughout RI have been using this assessment as a screening tool for assessing students' skills during registration, as well as a guide for developing basic computer class lessons and curricula. Unemployed/underemployed citizens have been taking the proctored version of this assessment in order to add a skills credential to their resume.

During this workshop, we will use a station-rotation model to allow you to choose from the following activities:

  • take the assessment to identify your own skill gaps (if you already did this in the fall, please bring your results!)
  • access resources to "study" and improve your skills (prepare to pass the test)
  • create assessment and/or lesson plans for your class to help build these skills with your students (including reviewing existing curricula)


Next week, on Tuesday, May 12 at 2pm, Larry Britt (certified proctor) will be coming to RIRAL to oversee Northstar testing for any staff that may be interested in receiving official certification (which we are hearing will likely be a RIDE requirement in the coming program year). Participants will be able to take any and all of the tests, but we anticipate that RIDE will be requiring staff and teachers to pass Basic Computer Skills, World Wide Web, Email, and Word. NOTE: Test takers must bring a valid picture ID to this test session.


This station is for participants who want to take the Northstar Assessments. If this is your first time, please watch the assessment orientation. When you are finished, please print your results, as there is no way to save them.

1. Watch Assessment Orientation as a group or with a partner. Feel free to watch again individually. This assessment will be repeated before each assessment - feel free to skip.

2. Take one or more assessments. All of the assessments can be found here (scroll down to the bottom of the page for all 8 modules). Below are links to the four modules we anticipate RIDE requiring staff and instructors to pass next year:

Use the resources below to improve your skills as you prepare to pass the certification test next week. Work independently or with a partner.


This instructor led station will work with participants as a group to review current curriculum and develop lesson plans for classroom instruction.

Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources

  • RIFLI  developed by Sherry Lehane and Larry Britt
  • St Paul Public Library click on the grey tabs to see instructional materials for each assessment module

Classroom Models for Computer Instruction

Session 2: Troubleshooting Skills

3:00pm-5:00pm  The second workshop will focus on troubleshooting skills. This session will also use a station-rotation model to allow you to choose from the following activities:

  • Basic Upkeep: Checking for and Installing Updates
  • Sound/Video Troubleshooting
  • Connections Troubleshooting (printer, internet, etc)
  • Keeping Your Device Clean (external and internal)

The information presented will be for teachers and programs while also paying special attention to how to convey this information to students to help them become responsible technology users.

Problem Solving Images:

General Troubleshooting Resources:


15 minute station: Learn how to troubleshoot problems connecting to wireless internet, a printer, etc.)

15 minute station: Learn how to troubleshoot problems with sound and/or video on a mobile device, projector, and TV

30 minute station: Learn how to check for and install updates on laptop and mobile devices

30 minute station: Learn how to clean the inside and outside of your laptop or mobile device.

Evaluation and Wrap Up

We want to know how we are doing and how we can improve! Please take a few moments to provide feedback on today's PD session.The information you provide will help us to develop trainings that are relevant and timely to you and your colleagues. These answers will also help us research how well we are meeting the needs of PD across the state. Thank you!