Teaching Cyber Security to the Teachers

Teaching, teachers cyber security

When I teach Learning Tree’s System and Network Security Introduction, talk about the need for teaching cyber security to children in the early grades. They start learning to use computers and even to write code at a very early age these days.

When I started learning to use a computer, we used mark-sense cards to write programs in BASIC and then got to use a real keypunch to write programs in FORTRAN. I wrote about my learning to program and starting to teach programming, when I first talked about cyber security education back in 2012. I won’t repeat all that here.

I also followed up that post, with more comments on the need for cyber security education and about the US Department of Homeland Security’s efforts in that area. Today I have even more good news on that front.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (or CSTA) which is part of the ACM (the Association for Computer Machinery), has been promoting cyber security for some time. It is in the forefront of their 2012 poster “Unlock Your Future with Computer Science.” Earlier this year they announced a program to train teachers in cyber security education called the Cyber Teacher Certificate. The program offers 8 hours of CEU credit and, of significant importance to the teachers I know, has corporate-funded scholarships available. The program is a partnership with LifeJourney™. They outline the process to receive the certificate at the link above.

The first step in achieving the certificate is to preview the NSA Day of Cyber. From the FAQ:

The National Security Agency (NSA) is sponsoring a national initiative called the NSA Day of Cyber, designed using the LifeJourney platform to raise the National IQ for STEM and Cyber Science. The program introduces and inspires all middle school, high school and college students to pursue STEM careers and build the skills that will open up their future and connect them to the in-demand digital workforce.

The video clip above is the promotional video for the NSA Day of Cyber website.

The NSA Day of Cyber and the CSTA certificate are positive events in STEM, as well as, cyber security education. If we begin to educate children at an early age that STEM careers are available to all and that cyber security is an important aspect of all cyber education, our children, families, and our entire industry will benefit. By teaching students at a young age about the importance of cyber security, I believe we will see more robust security at the commercial level, and certainly more awareness of security issues.

As I read about these initiatives and realized their value, I joined the CSTA to help become a bigger part of the solution. Please tell your teacher friends about the Day of Cyber, the CSTA, and the Certificate.

To your safe computing,
John McDermott

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