“Hi, everyone! I’m really pleased to bring you the first installment of “George’s Day of Cyber Corner,” which will be a regular section now in The Day of Cyber Newsletter. I will be sharing tips and underlying value that will help you better use the Day of Cyber in your classroom. I also hope to pose some thought provoking questions that just may get you thinking out of the box about how you can better connect your students with the exciting career opportunities in cybersecurity.”
How Can I Use the Day of Cyber in the Classroom “If”
I’m fortunate to also lead our Technical Support team as they answer questions coming in from all across the nation. A recurring theme we hear from teachers is along the lines of “How can I run the Day of Cyber … if I don’t have enough working computers … if my students are younger than 13 years of age … if I don’t have enough time in class … if I don’t know the material myself?”
Let’s explore a technique that I’ve personally used in schools over the years. If, for whatever reason, things don’t go right with the computers in your classroom, how can you possibly keep to your schedule by running the Day of Cyber?
Let’s face it, stuff always happens to make plans go sideways, so why not just run it FOR your students in front of the class? You can project your computer’s screen to the whiteboard so all can see and hear the videos and then go around the room having students take turns at reading aloud the host mentor’s instructions on each screen. Have the “next student” choose the pair of activities in the Career Quiz. Another student decides which mentor journey video to run. Yet another to start choosing questions to pose the mentor in the Interactive Story. You get the idea?
Don’ forget to have students take notes because you can issue a 1-page quiz at the end of class … Even if you don’t get through the entire experience.
Also, how about having students explain why they made a certain selection, or have them tell the class why they liked a mentor’s video, education path or hobbies … or why not!
Using this interactive technique with your class would be an excellent way to enhance their awareness and interest in the “cyber situation” there in the Cyber Threat Center with all the mentors. Give a little more background on the Drone – why they are used, what kind of information is collected, etc. (You did the experience yourself, at least the night before, right? ;))
Then perhaps after going through the interactive Drone response selections, take some time to explore it a little more as a class by grouping students by their responses: High, Medium or Low Risk. You may discover things you didn’t previously know about your students’ thought processes!
If your class is fortunate enough to get to Part 2 of the Day of Cyber (or maybe during the next class period), think how fun it can be for your students to interactively start solving the NSA CryptoPuzzle, and (especially) working through the Crypto Challenge field trip as a group! Again, what may be just an assignment for a student by themselves can become an exhilarating and memorable team effort.
Students can always, of course, go through the Day of Cyber on their own at home and thus earn their personalized Cyber Resume … But what a head start you can give them by starting it all in class with them! And I’ll bet that you’ll enjoy it this way too.
Okay, that’s all until next time. Please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a question, or perhaps another approach you’ve found to be effective in reaching your students. At the end of the day it’s all about inspiring and motivating them to discover their passion and to follow their individual journeys!