Report highlights how Seattleites use technology

SEATTLE 5/23 - At a launch event last night, the City of Seattle released new findings on technology access, adoption and interaction by Seattle residents. These findings are based on feedback from 2,600 residents via online and phone surveys and in-person focus groups in multiple languages about their use, concerns, and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services.

“This data shows that we’re making great strides in technology, but a digital gap still exists between our neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We’re already using the data in this report to influence how the City of Seattle interacts with our neighbors and to better target our outreach and engagement strategies.”

Every four years the City of Seattle conducts community research to find out how Seattle residents are using technology.The technology adoption study findings were detailed at the interactive launch event, and are available online at www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators. The summary of findings and recommendations are available in multiple languages.

“The continued rise of smart phone and tablet use provides outstanding opportunities for government to reach more residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “The information from the focus groups will help us improve services and how we reach all communities. We will take action on improving access to web services by making them available in multiple languages.”

Since 2000, the City’s Community Technology Program has been collecting extensive and statistically valid data on residential use of cable TV, broadband adoption and uses (including health, work, education, finance and civic engagement), barriers to broadband adoption, use of online city services, and customer service needs. The measures used were based on goals for a technology-healthy city developed in collaboration with the City’s volunteer Technology Advisory Board.

Nine focus groups were also conducted to help understand the needs of communities who are often under-represented in the online and phone surveys or may be technologically-underserved.

Findings of the report include:

  • The report finds that 85 percent of Seattle residents have Internet at home and that more residents now own laptops than desktop computers.
  • Since 2009, Seattle has seen mobile phone ownership grow by 11 percent (80 to 89 percent), and has seen a 66 percent growth in the number of residents with smart phones (35 to 58 percent).
  • Broadband and cable TV prices continue to be of concern, but increasing broadband speed is important to those surveyed, with high interest in using higher bandwidth applications.
  • Cable subscribership has dropped 13 percent in the past four years as options for viewing video over the internet have grown.
  • Lower income residents have lower-speed broadband service, though a broad cross section of Seattle residents are interested in using higher speed internet services for activities like medical appointments or taking classes.
  • The study funds that there is still a significant gap in access to internet and the skills to use it, though the digital equity gap is more focused in skills and uses of the internet than on basic access.
  • Email was noted as the preferred way for residents to give their opinion to a community group or the City.
  • Education and age are the most significant factors differentiating technology access and adoption, but the data also shows important differences based on the income, ethnicity, and abilities of those surveyed.
  • The research also found that those with less education tend to make less use of the internet than users with more education.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or 206-386-9759.

Help guide City’s strategies and investments in technology

The City of Seattle is looking for volunteers to join the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB). The 10-member board and its committees help guide city strategies and investments in technology and telecommunications. We are currently looking for someone to fill one regular two-year position appointed by the Mayor and additional volunteer positions on committees of the Board.

CTTAB addresses broadband deployment and adoption, mobile and web based services for Seattle.gov, social media, open data, online public engagement, the Seattle Channel, cable TV franchise agreements, Technology Matching Fund grants and efforts to close the digital divide.

The City of Seattle promotes diversity in its boards and commissions. We encourage people with multicultural backgrounds or work experience to apply. We also encourage applications from those who have worked with a diverse population. You do not need to be a techie to care about Seattle’s digital future.

Applications are being accepted through April 3, 2014. Apply by sending your resume and a letter of interest to CommunityTechnology@seattle.gov. (PDFs or Word documents are preferred)

To be a Board member appointed by the Mayor or Council:

  • You must live or work in City of Seattle
  • This is a two-year appointment, potentially renewable for one additional term
  • Time commitment (Five-10 hours per month, depending upon activity)
  • Attendance at monthly meetings (the evening of the second Tuesday of each month)
  • Service to the board expected to begin May 13, 2014
  • Must participate in at least one CTTAB committee
  • Applicant must not be employed by the City of Seattle
  • Must not serve on more than one City of Seattle board or commission

Committee volunteer members have more flexibility in their term of service and who may be on a committee.


For questions email Community Technology or call Megan Coppersmith at 206-233-8736.

Low-cost Internet options, Comcast special until 3/18

Seattle was recently named 1 of 15 “Gold Medal” communities nationwide by Comcast. As a result, they’re offering six months of free Internet service through their Internet Essentials program, for eligible households who apply and are approved for their $10/month program by March 18, 2014, next Tuesday.  Their low-income discount is for families with students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Comcast is one of several companies in Seattle who offer Internet for low-income residents for around $10/month. They all have income and other eligibility guidelines for the discounted service.  The City of Seattle has more information about these programs and Solid Ground’s program to help residents with the choices on their community technology low cost Internet page.

CenturyLink Internet Basics (866) 541-3330

  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs (broader than Comcast)
  • Internet wired to your home via phone line
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing CenturyLink Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program (855) 846-8376

  • Must have a child eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Cable Internet wired to your home
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing Comcast Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Interconnection/Mobile Citizen (Clear) (206) 633-1517

  • Offers Clear mobile Internet for $8 per month with laptop purchase or about $10 per month without laptop purchase
  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs
  • Refurbished  laptops with a full range of software for $99
  • They have a store in Seattle offering products and assistance

Looking for a computer to use or for computer training? Visit our Free Access to Computers and the Internet page for locations and hours of public access computer centers.

Tech Matching Fund Workshop Feb 4

Attend a Technology Matching Fund grant workshop on Tuesday, February 4 at 6:00 PM.  Here you will learn about the eligibility requirements, how to apply and what makes for a successful application.

The City is awarding matching grants of up to $20,000 per project to increase technology literacy or use of technology tools for civic engagement for Seattle residents.  The deadline to apply is March 12.

The workshop will be held:

Tuesday, February 4, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Beacon Hill Library
2821 Beacon Avenue S
Seattle, 98144

The City is encouraging applications for community based civic engagement projects that build the digital skills of our residents, raise awareness of city resources online and use the internet, social media and/or mobile devices for community engagement and interaction with government.

For more information on the Technology Matching Fund, including history and success stories, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/tmf, email communitytechnology@seattle.gov or call Delia Burke at 206.233.2751.

December brainstorm eZine now online

The December Brainstorm, City of Seattle Community Technology Program eZine, is now online. View it here.

This month, we feature:

  • 2013 Brainstorm Survey;
  • Seattle Channel’s new mobile app;
  • Seattle hosts National League of Cities Congress & digital inclusion workshop;
  • Iu-Mien American Association’s new computer literacy program;
  • Seattle Public Library’s Tech Impact survey
  • Seattle the top Twitter trendsetter in US; and
  • Much, much more!

Contribute announcements and articles to vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or call Vicky at 206-233-7877 to discuss an article idea.

Enjoy!

Get Online Seattle provides health and wellness resources

The City of Seattle recently launched “Get Online Seattle,” a digital literacy campaign created to provide residents with the necessary skills to navigate the internet and find content relevant to their needs.

Each quarter, the Get Online Seattle campaign will focus on a different content area, helping Seattle residents get online and successfully use the internet as an everyday resource. The current campaign focuses on health, providing easy-to-use online health resources and tips on how evaluate health websites. The campaign will continue through December.

“We spend a lot of time in the community and have found that the Get Online Seattle campaign is a resource that really resonates with our neighbors,” said Erin Devoto, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Working with our partners we’re able to pass along valuable internet safety messages and also tout what a valuable resource the internet can be. Research has shown us that adults who don’t use the internet don’t think the internet is relevant to them and their needs. This education campaign helps to change that perception.”

Get Online Seattle education materials also promote options for affordable home internet and locations with free access to computers and the internet.

Visit www.seattle.gov/getonline for more information about the health campaign, resources and tips for use. Posters and leaflets are also available via the web site or by calling 206-233-7877.

The Get Online Seattle health campaign is run by the City of Seattle’s Community Technology Program in partnership with the City’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, Seattle Public Library, Associated Recreation Council’s RecTech Computer Centers, Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens’ Seniors Training Seniors Program, and Public Health of Seattle/King County.

January’s Get Online Seattle campaign will focus on employment resources.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program works to ensure all residents have the opportunity to access online city services and get online for civic participation, education, and employment. For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/.

 

November Brainstorm hot off the presses!

The November issue of Brainstorm, City of Seattle Community Technology Program eZine is now online. View it here.  This month features Get Online Seattle Health & the Web.  You can also encourage talented youth in your community to submit an entry for Youth Voices Against Violence Audio Contest.

This month we also feature:

  • Filipino Community Center’s STEAM lab program for low income youth;
  • Washington Law Help’s online self-help legal resources;
  • New materials for both students and teachers on DigitalLearn.org;
  • Technology Alliance’s new Developer Academy for Women; and
  • Much, much more!

Contribute announcements and articles to vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or call Vicky at 206-233-7877 to discuss an article idea.

Enjoy!

October Brainstorm Now Online!

The October issue of Brainstorm, City of Seattle Community Technology Program eZine is now online. View it here.  This month, table a look at Open Data to better understand the City’s budget.  You can also tune in to the Seattle Channel’s Seattle Speaks program and make your voice heard on, “Wage Worries.”

This month we also feature:

  • Look for city job postings on LinkedIN
  • Newest members of the City’s tech advisory board, Phillip Duggan and Dana Lewis
  • Opening of the Rainier Beach Computer Center
  • 2013 Seattle Channel Video Voters Guide
  • Get Online Seattle – Health & the Web
  • Tony Perez is the new president of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors

Enjoy!

September Brainstorm Now Online!

The September issue of Brainstorm, City of Seattle Community Technology Program eZine is now online. View it here.  In this month’s issue, we feature the Technology Matching Fund program featured on the Seattle Channel’s City Stream.  This month we also feature:

  • Seattle’s new smartphone app: Find It, Fix It
  • Information about Gigabit Squared
  • Seattle’s top 3 cable complaints
  • Web stats and analytics glossary

Enjoy!