National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an excellent time to bring cybersecurity to life in your classroom! If you haven’t yet determined what cyber activities to have your students do, then this installment of Day of Cyber Corner is just what the doctor ordered!
Here is a collection of ideas that can help fill your Class Planner with exciting ways for better connecting your students with cyber.
- Run the NSA Day of Cyber — This the obvious one, of course! If you haven’t yet registered as an instructor and had your students run the experience, you will be in for a big treat. There’s enough activities on this platform to keep everyone busy for a month of classes … and beyond!
- Extra Credit in the Day of Cyber — In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an activity in the student dashboard that points to the NSA Puzzle of the Week on Facebook (hint: have students do it at home). There’s also an entire 3-year archive of NSA Puzzle Periodicals available with all sorts of intriguing crypto-related activities to sharpen the mind. Try assigning some during class or as homework and see what happens!
- More Extra Credit! — Have students make up their own “cyber situations” — e.g., safeguard a nuclear facility or secure a mobile phone — and role play the different characters. Have them pick an NSA mentor and write a short essay on what this person does on the job. Conduct an in-class debate on which NSA mentor role has the most interesting skills, tools, education or daily activity. Ask your IT person to come up with a set of “cyber questions” for your own custom Beginner Cyber Challenge that students would do.
- Online Cyber Activities — Check out some fun cybersecurity-related activities, flashcards and more at this cool site … great for group activities in class. Or five other online cyber games at the Texas A&M site. And then there’s the Google CS First activities.
- The Cybersecurity Board Game — Develop a fun class project whereby students develop a cybersecurity board game as a group. Perhaps model it after a popular game like Candyland, Monopoly, Shoots & Ladders, Trivial Pursuit or Checkers. Add some dice, a spinner or stack of cards and you’ve got your game! Then, have everyone play and award a Cyber Game Certificate to the winning team. For more ideas, check out NovaLabs.
- GenCyber Camp Activities — GenCyber Camps have become hugely popular for both teachers and students. (See the Augusta GenCyber article in this issue, and the really good set of cyber lesson plans at the University of Tulsa’s GenCyber Camp) … you’re sure to find some cybersecurity activities that will resonate with your students!
I’ve only scratched the surface on this topic, but hopefully you’ll find a few new ways to explore emphasizing the skills and career opportunities available to students today in cybersecurity … in a fun way!