ECIRPD Partnership with Northstar: Digital Literacy Program

The ECI Regional Planning District is proud to announce its partnership with Northstar, introducing the Digital Literacy Program aimed at empowering East Central Indiana residents with essential digital skills. Accessible through the ECI Regional Planning District, this program is free for enrollment until December 2024, with possible extensions based on its success. The program offers a flexible learning experience through online modules covering a spectrum of topics, including Basic Computer Skills, Internet Fundamentals, Email Usage, Operating Systems (Windows OS, Mac OS), and Essential Software Skills encompassing Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Docs. Additionally, it delves into diverse subjects such as Social Media, Information Literacy, Career Search Skills, Telehealth Appointment Access, K-12 Distance Learning Support, and Managing Your Digital Footprint.

This initiative is designed to benefit individuals who may not be adept in fundamental computer or Internet skills required for day-to-day activities, professional pursuits, and higher education. Beyond catering to beginners, the program emphasizes navigating credible online information sources while imparting strategies to evade prevalent technological scams. Its overarching objective is to equip East Central Indiana residents with not just the ability to utilize everyday technologies but also to do so effectively and securely. 

The ECI Regional Planning District has been a key contributor in strategizing broadband expansion in East Central Indiana. Autumn Marshall, our AmeriCorps Broadband Fellow, stationed with the ECI Regional Planning District until August 2024, plays a vital role in advancing regional broadband development. Her responsibilities span from helping residents enroll in affordable internet programs to providing broadband workshops. 

Anticipated to bridge the gap for individuals encountering difficulties commuting for work—such as in Grant County, where public transportation services were discontinued—the Digital Literacy Program aims to facilitate access to remote job opportunities. In light of this, the ECI Regional Planning District plans to collaborate with public computer labs to ensure access for individuals without personal computers. We are actively seeking partnerships with computer labs interested in participating in this program and hosting digital literacy classes. For more information on partnering with us, please reach out to Autumn Marshall ([email protected]) or Bill Walters ([email protected]).

Setting up your online learner’s account with Northstar is simple. Click here and follow the directions below: 

Step 1: Visit ECIRPD’s Northstar homepage using the provided link.

Step 2: To become a learner, click “Sign up as a learner” in the gray space at the center or log in if you already have an account by clicking the blue “log in now” button. Alternatively, take assessments without an account by entering your first and last name in the designated space.

Step 3: For new accounts, enter your name and email address. Northstar will send an invitation via email. Access the email and click “Yes, I want to use Northstar Online Learning…” to set your password and become a learner.

Step 4: Log in to your account to access Northstar classes and assessments. Achieve 85% or higher on an assessment to qualify for a certificate. Remember, proctored assessments are necessary for certification. Visit the “resources” tab for Northstar manuals and guides.

If you need any more assistance setting up your account, click here to watch this tutorial. 

Join us in empowering the community through digital literacy and technological proficiency. Together, let’s shape a more connected and digitally inclusive East Central Indiana.