Northstar allows you to learn online independently via customized, self-directed online instruction, so you can practice at your own pace, track your progress and gain mastery in any or all of the three learning areas:

  • Essential Computer Skills
    • Basic Computer Skills
    • Internet Basics
    • macOS
    • Using Email
    • Windows 10
  • Using Technology in Daily Life
    • Career Search Skills
    • Information Literacy
    • K-12 Distance Learning Support
    • Social Media
    • Your Digital Footprint
  • Essential Software Skills
    • Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint


  • An email address is required to create a Northstar account to track your learning progress, assessment results, digital badges and certificates. If you need help creating an email address give us a call at 410-535-0291 or watch this short video on creating a gmail account.

  • Once you have registered, check your email for an invitation to Northstar Online Learning. Check your spam/junk folder if you cannot find the invitation.

  • Select the link to confirm your learner membership.

Once you’ve completed your account setup, simply login, choose the module you want to study from the dashboard and select Details to start practicing. All information and progress is stored in your account and accessible at any time.


Take a digital literacy assessment to gauge your basic digital skill level. There are two types of assessments:

UnproctoredLogin to your Northstar account and choose any unproctored assessment listed by the three areas of learning. (Note: Certificates are not earned for unproctored assessments.)
Proctored—After you have registered and created an account, you can take a proctored assessment with one of our librarians in-person. Contact us at 410-535-0291 for more information.


You can earn digital credentials, called “badges,” by scoring an 85 percent or higher on any unproctored or proctored assessment. All badges, certificates and test results are stored in your Northstar account.

Badges allow you to:

  • Build and certify interoperable tools
  • Identify and celebrate talent and growth
  • Share your verifiable skills/achievements, certificates and badges with employers to demonstrate your skills and experience, or to build a resume

Claiming Your Badges: Watch this video tutorial on how to claim badges or follow the instructions below:

  • Select Claim Badge on the assessment results page.

  • Check the email address connected to your Northstar account.

  • Find and open the Badgr email with the subject “Congratulations, you earned a badge!”

  • Follow the directions in the email to download your badge.


View a variety of Northstar’s publicly available learning resources that may support additional practice, or use the following resources offered by the Library: