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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

3 steps for teaching cybersecurity in the classroom | Education - SmartBrief

Kiera Elledge, STEM coordinator for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District in Bedford, Texas writes, Here's how a school district in Texas with limited cyber-savvy taught cybersecurity to its junior-high and high-school students. 

Photo: Pixabay
Students live much of their lives online, especially now with the transition to remote learning. Cybersecurity skills are a must. They need to understand how to safely navigate this digital world, 
taking advantage of its offerings while avoiding the dangers of its darker corners.

Our district, Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District in Bedford, Texas, launched its first cybersecurity class for seventh-grade students in 2018. When we began our journey, there were no cybersecurity experts among the teaching staff -- we just had a sense of urgency to provide a high-quality curriculum for our students. We wanted to equip them with skills they could use now and take into the workforce. We discovered, an organization aimed at K-12 cybersecurity education and workforce development. We worked with them to create a program, based on three core principles, that has become a training ground for our students...

Considering a program like this for your school? Here are some lessons we learned from our experience.
  • No cyber skills or experience? No problem. You don’t need to put together a team of cybersecurity or coding experts for your entry-level classes. These are learnable skills, with the proper professional development. Teachers who are curious, eager and enjoy a challenge are perfect candidates.
  • Choose the right partner. Get a partner like that works closely with you and tailors PD to your needs. Our workshops were aligned to our skill level and curriculum goals. Attendees were even able to switch workshops, at any time, to make the most of their time. 
  • Consider teaching in small group settings. This is rigorous material. Working in small groups helps make students -- especially our English-language learners -- feel more comfortable and willing to ask questions.
  • Keep it real world. Integrate current events into your lessons and classroom discussions. Our students knew that we were training them for industry certifications. That goal was always in their sights. It not only helped keep them motivated, it put everything we did into a real-world context.

Source: SmartBrief