Digital citizenship describes the ability to use technology to reach goals and respond to challenges in the most important areas of life. If you are like most people, the list of the most important things in your life would probably include one or more of the following:
- the well-being of your loved ones
- a job that allows you to support yourself and your family
- access to quality health care
- the education of your children, and
- the ability to access information and services from your local government.
Each section below includes a brief overview of how technology affects different parts of your life. We also included three ways you can start becoming a digital citizen today, and an interesting technology fact. The inspiration for this post came from Connect.DC Guide to Digital Citizenship.
Access to the Internet helps you communicate with your elected officials and talk about issues impacting your communities.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Register to vote.
- Learn about the Boston City Council and contact your councilors.
- Get resources for neighborhood cleanups and beautification projects by applying for a Love Your Block mini grant.
About 30 percent of highly politically engaged social media users say social media helps people get involved with issues that matter to them.
Access to the Internet helps make learning a lifelong process for adults and children.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access:
- Learn about Boston Public Schools through Discover BPS. The school search engine helps parents understand where their children are eligible to go to school.
- Apply for scholarships to support your higher education goals.
- Search for adult education and training classes through Boston Centers for Youth and Families.
More than 80 percent of U.S. adults with smartphones and home broadband service have done some sort of personal learning in the past 12 months.
Access to the Internet can help keep you and your family safe in the event of emergencies.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Sign up for AlertBoston to receive emergency alerts.
- Sign up for public safety alerts, create an emergency plan, and create an emergency kit for your household with the City of Boston’s Guide to Dealing with Natural Disasters.
- Create a Smart911 safety profile with important medical information.
The City of Boston offers detailed information and resources about how to prepare for winter in Boston.
Access to the Internet can help you improve your skills and find your next job.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Find career opportunities through the City of Boston Career Center and MassHire JobQuest .
- Check out the Boston Public Library Job Seeker’s Guide for resources about resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and more.
- Apply for City Academy and explore job training programs.
A majority of U.S. adults (54 percent) have gone online to look for a job and 45 percent have applied for jobs online.
Access to the Internet makes it easier to find and access important government servicesThree Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Order birth, marriage, and death certificates through the City of Boston Registry Department.
- Report non-emergency issues like potholes and graffiti to BOS:311.
- Apply for unemployment benefits through the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.
Learn about the ways that the City of Boston can support community members in need of help with housing, food, and other basic needs.Did You Know?
About 65 percent of U.S. adults have used the internet to find out something about government services in the past 12 months.
Access to the Internet can help you access health insurance, find a healthcare provider, and track important health goals.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Find a community health center near you.
- Contact the Mayor’s Health Line for help enrolling in a health insurance plan.
- Explore information about nutrition, fitness, and mental health through the Boston Public Health Commission.
Looking for health or medical information is the third most popular online activity, after email and researching products before purchase.
Access to the Internet can help you find affordable housing in Boston.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Learn about buying a home through the Boston Home Center.
- Use Metrolist to find affordable rental housing opportunities.
- Find a Housing Education Workshop near you to learn about searching for housing and tenant rights.
Ninety-five percent of buyers use the Internet to look for homes, and 51 percent buy homes that they have found using the Internet.
Access to the Internet can help you manage your money.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Find tax forms, tax help, and ways to save money on your taxes with the Boston Public Library Tax Forms and Tax Help Guide.
- Increase your financial stability, build assets, and create wealth with Boston Builds Credit.
- Create a Boston Saves account to save and plan for your child’s college or career training.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans have made an online purchase of some type. Most banks allow you to deposit checks from your smartphone.
Access to the Internet can help you and your family get involved in fun activities in your community.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Find a Family Gym time at a BCYF community center near you.
- Search for youth programs in Boston using BOSTONavigator.
- Explore parks and playgrounds across Boston.
You can use your Boston Public Library card to check out museum passes to places like the Boston Children’s Museum, the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Dreamland Wax Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and more.
Access to the Internet can help you start a new business or grow the one you already have.Three Things You Can Do with Internet Access
- Learn how to start a business in Boston.
- Connect with a Business Manager.
- Find certifications your business may qualify for and apply to become an Age Friendly Business.
Twelve percent of U.S. adults have paid for in-store purchases by swiping or scanning their cellphones at the register.
Access to the Internet can help you save time and energy, regardless of where you’re going or how you get there.Three Things You Can Do with Access to the Internet
- Plan your trip using the MBTA Trip Planner and sign up for service alerts.
- Learn about the many ways to get around Boston.
- Sign up for Blue Bikes bike sharing.