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12/07/2020
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WorkScoop

Looking back at a brutal year

Across states, local government and higher education, no segment of information technology was untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. Even with vaccines on the horizon, government and education continue grapple with the many challenges presented by 2020. A new special report by StateScoop and EdScoop attempts to round up what this year has meant for the IT community, including explorations of how cities figured out how to <a href="https://statescoop.com/cities-covid-19-engagement-south-bend-san-antonio/">keep their residents engaged</a> with digital services, how colleges and universities <a href="https://edscoop.com/how-education-leaders-tried-to-stave-off-disaster-in-2020/?__hstc=188609527.edf60806de912648048c8d8f17a8c0a9.1603127872705.1607350379737.1607354433575.166&__hssc=188609527.7.1607354433575&__hsfp=1547570399">fought to avert disaster</a> and <a href="https://statescoop.com/list/2020-in-review-it-election-security-ed-tech-first-person/">first-person lessons</a> from a wide swath of CIOs, election officials and other leaders. See the full report.


A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.


Biden takes "open door" message to counties

President-elect Joe Biden told an audience of county officials on Friday that they’re the “single most consequential government officials.” Speaking with the National Association of Counties, Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the incoming director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs told the officials there's "no time to lose,” in rebuilding infrastructure and delivering economic relief to counties during the pandemic. Earlier, Biden shared a similar message with mayors from around the country. Ryan Johnston reports.


Defense bill set to pass with state cybersecurity programs

The defense bill Congress unveiled this month is set to pass with multiple programs designed to boost cybersecurity in the states, including enhanced roles for National Guard cyber units. The National Defense Authorization Act, which is considered "must-pass" legislation, would update the National Cyber Incident Response Plan to formalize the National Guard's role in responding to attacks like ransomware, and create a pilot program in which units could assist their counterparts in other states. Benjamin Freed has details.


The vaccine and GIS

With the Food and Drug Administration scheduled to evaluate two experimental coronavirus vaccines for emergency use, the first inoculations against COVID-19 may be weeks away. But the federal government is leaving distribution to the states, which will need reliable geospatial data to do so, an executive from the mapping company Esri during a NSGIC conference last week. State geographic information officers should be part of vaccine distribution plans, said Este Geraghty, Esri's chief medical officer. “[It] requires knowing, in your state, how many people are in the various phased groups and where they are,” she said.   Ryan has more.


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