The Department of Education launches TEACH.gov with a little help from Rock Creek, government forms are on the road to making more sense, Michigan and Utah receive top honors for their digital efforts, and DoD’s former social media guru shares lessons learned, all in this week’s edition of the Gov 2.0 Roundup.
–Earlier this week, the Department of Education launched a new initiative to increase awareness of the benefits of the teaching profession and create an easy-to-follow pathway for interested students. TEACH.gov offers a variety of information, from an interactive “path to teaching” that offers suggestions and resources based on your specific needs and desires to financial aid information that can help you understand the costs involved and the options you have. Rock Creek was excited to be a part of the design and development of the site and want to wish our partners at the Department of Education a hearty congratulations on a successful launch!
–We’ve all been there, trying to make sense of a tax form or application instructions. But government content just took a big step forward. On Monday, the Senate passed legislation requiring the federal government to use clear language in public documents. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 would give federal agencies one year to implement the use of clear language in all public documents. “I applaud my colleagues for supporting this common-sense reform,” said Daniel Akaka, one of the bill’s sponsors. “Americans lose time and money because government instructions, forms, and other documents are too complicated. People need to be able to understand what documents say in order to hold the federal government accountable.” We applaud the Senate on their unanimous support of better content! The amended bill now heads back to the House for final passage.
–Michigan and Utah are in the lead with scores of A+, but Pennsylvania and Virginia’s A scores mean they are following closely behind, according to the recently released 2010 Digital States Survey. The survey, which is administered every two years, evaluates states’ digital efforts in a number of areas, including open government, adaptive leadership, and innovation. States receive kudos for performing well in all categories, and the list also highlights the states that did particularly well in a specific category.
–“It’s not trying to control the message. It’s recognizing that we can’t control it.” Those are the wise words spoken by Price Floyd, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs who specialized in social media in an interview at NextGov. There’s “nothing more credible than someone on the front lines posting something on Facebook or Twitter,” according to Floyd, so it’s up to the Department of Defense to educate soldiers and others, many of whom used social media on a daily basis before joining the services, as to what kind of information is appropriate and what isn’t. Though Floyd has since moved on to another opportunity, the points he shares about his time at DoD are relevant for government employees involved in social media at any agency.