Technology has exploded in recent years. The Internet now connects the entire world and a basic cell phone contains more computing power than the giant room-sized computers from the 1950s. With all of this new technology at the world’s disposal, it makes sense that Government applications would be updated to use new electronic devices and software to make work easier. Here are five things you may not know about the government and technology.
The Government Uses Video Games
Video games are a great form of training, and the government uses and commissions video games to help teach employees and to help citizens. For example, the military makes use of first-person shooter games to help train soldiers, while city planners use city simulation games to look at the most efficient ways to implement changes to the city’s infrastructure. Some Government applications are made available to citizens. For example, some transportation authorities have created apps that track construction and alert drivers to detours.
Everyone Has Social Media
Another surprising technology that government officials have taken to is social media. Many elected officials from city council members to representatives and members at the highest levels of government now use various social media accounts to keep in contact with their constituents. Using social media can be the quickest way to contact a government official or to bring an issue to his or her attention. It also opens up a forum for discussion on certain topics. Even if they don’t participate, reading through these discussions can help government officials learn what their constituents want.
Another way the government uses technology that may surprise some people is through websites. While most people know that the various federal departments have their own websites, many would be surprised to learn that their cities most likely have websites as well. Local courts, city councils, water departments, and just about every other government department or office has its own website. Many of these websites can be used to access information such as court documents or to pay for water or garbage services.
Many departments now have their own type of Wikipedia. For example, the U.S. State Department makes use of an internal website that members of the department can edit. They use this internal Wiki as a way of sharing information. It’s secure and can only be accessed by those with the proper login credentials; plus, there are strict rules regarding what information can be added and how sources must be cited. Using a Wiki or similar types of Government applications can make it easy for government departments to quickly share information with everyone.
It really shouldn’t be surprising that government officials use video conferencing, but what may be surprising is how often they do. Video conferencing is often used between government offices around the world. That’s because it allows information to be exchanged much more quickly than email and phone conversations. Documents can be displayed on-screen for everyone to see and even edit, making it a collaborative discussion.