Jessica Hughes

Contributing Writer


Jessica Hughes is a regular contributor to Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.

July 7, 2015

Can the Apple Watch Enhance Student Achievement?

A research team from Penn State University will try to find out how student learning can be enhanced by applying what's known about self-regulation and learning strategies.

June 5, 2015

Indiana Creates Nation's Largest Geospatial Tool to Improve Community Health

The free tool — known as SAVI — helps Indiana hospitals link health indicator data to historical data on social economic conditions that can impact a person's health.

May 13, 2015

Mobile Challenge Helps Pennsylvania Tap Millennial Talent

The Mobile PA Challenge is a state program that spans a semester, giving students recognition and professional development for creating a needed app or website — and serves as a recruiting tool for the commonwealth.

May 7, 2015

Students Who Attend Class Outperform Those Online, Study Says

With online course enrollments on the rise, a University of California at Davis study assesses the learning outcomes of students in traditional versus online education environments at the community college level.

April 21, 2015

Want to Host an Apps Challenge? Palo Alto, Calif., Wrote the Book

The Bay Area city's Apps Challenge Playbook shares information on planning, marketing and media, and includes a timeline, sample budget and templates cities can use to jumpstart their own apps challenges.

March 31, 2015

California Struggles with Educational Cross-Sector Data Sharing

Though some states are developing state-level data systems to link K-12 and higher education data, a report has found that California partnerships have no structure in place to track students across educational systems.

March 5, 2015

For Local Governments, Digital Communications are Essential Services

A survey found municipal and county governments rely heavily on websites, social media and mobile services to connect with citizens, but struggled to make them effective.

February 24, 2015

State-of-the-Art Technology Speeds Heart Attack Diagnosis

Roseville, Calif., has invested in time-saving mobile technology that links paramedics in the field with cardiologists.

February 19, 2015

Utah Mapping Partnership Aims to Build Live Data-Sharing Framework

The Mapping and Information Partnership also is working to focus the state's GIS solutions in important areas such as air quality, transportation, and water supply and resources, to name a few.

February 11, 2015

Pittsburgh Snowplow Tracker Activates When Levels Exceed a Half-Inch

In the future, the tracker will use predictive analytics to give residents waiting for a plow an estimate of when one will arrive.

February 3, 2015

Data Analytics Helps Indiana Change its Approach to Infant Mortality

According to a new report, the risk condition most predictive of adverse birth outcomes was the number of prenatal visits -- nearly 65 percent of infant deaths were to mothers with 10 or fewer visits.

January 19, 2015

Boston Tackles Housing with Dedicated Innovation Lab

Part of a $1.35 million grant will be used by the city's Housing Innovation Lab to increase Boston's housing stock by 53,000 units.

January 19, 2015

Butte County, Calif., Streamlines Search Warrant Approvals

Thanks to digitized search warrants accessible via iPad and smart phone, law enforcement can create a warrant -- and have a judge's signature -- in 30 minutes.

January 7, 2015

Philadelphia Works to Embed Innovation in the City's People, Places, Processes

The theory is that if these three things are connected and "bump together" in intelligent ways, some really interesting work can be done within government.

December 12, 2014

Mobile Safety Platform Gets University Campus Emergency Response Plans Moving

Northwest Missouri State University’s emergency plans now travel with students, faculty and staff.

December 12, 2014

Jacksonville, Fla., Revamps Billing, Offers Comcast-Like Statements

After a series of embarrassing finance hearings where agencies complained about the city's billing model, Jacksonville's CIO has opted for transparency.

November 19, 2014

Ohio Adds Schools to its First Responder Communication System

The system's special school radios include an orange emergency button that, when pressed, connects schools with a local dispatcher. The dispatcher hears what's happening and pages law enforcement and other first responders, who are immediately deployed to the scene.

November 17, 2014

Can Government Mine Tweets to Assess Public Opinion?

The Urban Attitudes Lab is looking at ways to access "big data" on social networking sites to understand attitudes and opinions for civic purposes.

November 10, 2014

Nevada Cybersecurity: Enterprise Solution Reduced Incidents by 80 Percent

A directive from Gov. Brian Sandoval allowed the state's IT department to gain control of an escalating problem with information security, which led to a reduction in security incidents -- from 155 to 30 per month.

November 4, 2014

North Dakota City Residents Love Online Leaf Collection Map

The city of Grand Forks has found that its leaf collection map is the most popular feature on its new website.

October 27, 2014

How Nebraska Built a Network with the Lowest Internet Costs

A multi-year effort to build a statewide network has resulted in a service that has not only lowered internet costs, but has increased bandwidth, improving the ability for schools to share educational courses across the state.

October 20, 2014

FBI Facial Recognition System Gives Officers an Investigative Lead

The powerful tool replaces legacy technology and lets police officers automatically compare a suspect's digital facial image against more than 20 million images, but it has accuracy limits and has raised concerns among privacy groups.

October 8, 2014

New Jersey Agencies Collaborate to Combat Driver's License Fraud

The state's aggregated investigative reporting service allows secure and real-time access to fraud tip-off information provided by 23 law enforcement, state and federal agencies.

October 7, 2014

GIS Helps Austin, Texas, be Water Wise in the Face of Drought

As the city deals with long-term drought, an app is helping to monitor and document water use violations.

October 1, 2014

Alameda County, Calif., Sets High Standards for Hackathons

The county has received national recognition for its innovative open data initiatives that have benefited the community while reducing costs.

September 11, 2014

Indiana Management and Performance Hub Takes Transparency to the Next Level

The hub is connected to and builds on the data-rich Indiana Transparency Portal by increasing the accessibility and usability of key information.

September 11, 2014

Austin IMMPACT Helps Visualize, Prioritize City Projects

The ability to coordinate land, roadway, transit, wastewater and other projects gives the city a better sense of what's happening with projects on the street.

August 27, 2014

Civic Ninjas Find Long-Term Solutions to Government Problems

The organization's mission is to move civic hacking's focus toward building solutions and providing ongoing support so those solutions -- primarily in disaster response and recovery -- can succeed in the public sector.

August 27, 2014

Tracking the Vulnerable: Medical Registries Provide Lifeline in Emergencies

Registries of residents who have medical needs offer potentially lifesaving data to officials during an emergency, while aiding everyday planning activities.

August 26, 2014

Data Breaches in the Cloud: Who's Responsible?

The cloud multiplier effect means data breaches in the cloud are increasing -- and becoming more costly. With so many states and localities opting to host their data there, what happens when breaches occur?

August 19, 2014

Dissecting Microsoft's Redefined Core

Within the changing tech environment, companies must reconstruct themselves on an ongoing basis, and Microsoft is no different.

July 30, 2014

Solving Digital Crimes in the Cloud Faces Numerous Challenges

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has identified 65 forensic science challenges in the cloud, and is working to build a roadmap to overcoming them.

July 22, 2014

California’s JusticeMobile Redefines Police Work in the Field

The California Department of Justice’s mobile application platform sends vital information to officers’ smartphones.

July 14, 2014

Program Alerts Hollywood, Fla. Residents to Spikes in Water Use

The High Use Notification system taps into the city's existing twice-daily Wi-Fi meter updates, saving citizens the shock and expense of a leak running all month by warning them early via email.

June 24, 2014

Maryland Parks Agency Slashes Operational Costs with Cloud Solution

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission expects to save up to 25 percent on labor, hardware and maintenance expenses by moving its workforce management system into the cloud.

June 19, 2014

California's SmartJustice Mimics Google Search for Cops

Information about people in the criminal justice system is viewed in a simplified Web-based interface from searches that simultaneously integrate state data sources, county law enforcement and probation information, and regional information-sharing systems.

May 7, 2014

Human Error Main Cause of Data Left on Washington State Computers

The audit that revealed the error signified a need for all levels of government -- and individuals -- to focus on how they throw away their hard drives.

April 23, 2014

IT Leadership: Navigating Technology in K-12 Education

This year's Consortium for School Networking survey found improvements, but schools continue to face ongoing challenges in technology budgets, a priority to establish digital environments and the need for succession planning.

April 13, 2014

Westminster, Colo., Cuts Manhole Inspection Time by 90 Percent

The process now takes inspectors on average 30 seconds versus 5 minutes.

April 4, 2014

Indiana Uses Data Analytics to Lower Infant Mortality, Child Fatality

The governor's new Management and Performance Hub will automate agencies' key performance indicators to ultimately improve outcomes on individual targets, such as infant mortality.

April 1, 2014

California Utility Monitors Power Grid with Analytics

New visually-oriented software helps the Sacramento Municipal Utility District keep the power grid operating at peak efficiency.

November 25, 2013

Tracking System Prepares New York to Evacuate Patients in Emergencies

New York state is now equipped to electronically track patients and residents at hospitals and nursing homes in the event of an evacuation.

August 23, 2013

Transparent Financial Reporting Coming to Williamson County, Texas

A cloud-based financial system set to launch next month is expected to cut the county's reporting costs by 75 percent.

August 6, 2013

When Desktop and Web GIS Unite

Virginia Beach, Va., is using a hybrid GIS application to improve workflow in the city.

July 22, 2013

Sonar Device Gives Long Beach, Calif., Divers New Eyes

The Long Beach Fire Department's new technology helps the Public Safety Dive Team conduct quicker rescues during the 20-minute sensitive period where victims still have a chance of survival.

July 12, 2013

IT Interns in Prince George's County, Md., Find Solutions to Big Ideas

Office of Information Technology interns are participating in experiential and project-based learning centered around science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

November 9, 2010

GIS-Based Interoperability System Alters How Virginia Manages Emergencies

the Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response encourages responders to assess the wider situation and its link to people, places and the environment.

August 30, 2010

State and County Health and Human Services Agencies Use Technology to Break Down Silos and to Better Serve Citizens

From cross-department data sharing to software analytics to services integration, state and local agencies are making connections and using IT to improve the delivery of vital citizen services.

May 12, 2009

Address Verification Software Helps Oregon PERS

Oregon reduces duplication in retirement database with address verification software.

February 4, 2009

California's Yurok Tribe Collaborates With FEMA After Flood

American Indian tribe used flood as cause to educate its people, develop emergency plan.

December 6, 2008

California's Cabinet-Level Office Coordinates Volunteer Groups

Office of volunteer management will coordinate thousands of volunteer responders during disasters.

October 1, 2008

Wireless Sensors Reduce Flooding in Indiana City

South Bend fights wastewater overflows with a wireless network that senses and controls the sewer environment.

June 22, 2008

Local Police Share Secure Wireless Network in Wisconsin

Police departments upgrade shared network and overcome security challenges.