Cyber Security Education In Our Schools Today’s digital landscape poses new threats, as well as unprecedented opportunities, for our children. Even the most privileged and affluent among us are not immune to cyber threats. As an example, cyber criminals recently infiltrated a high-end school in New York City and gained access to personal information about current and former students, parents, faculty members, alumni, vendors and third-party partners that included home addresses and social security numbers of these individuals.
The prevalence of cyber attacks is growing exponentially. There have been more than 200 million data records breached since 2013 alone. While we all need to take necessary precautions when it comes to our private information online and on devices, this is just one example of why it is imperative that we start incorporating cyber security education into schools at an earlier age.
What is the Current Status of Cyber Security Education in Schools?
There is no standardization when it comes to teaching cyber security in schools. Even though states are beginning to implement curriculums that incorporate cyber security skills and knowledge, they usually do so in response to specific incidents and do not take a long-term approach.
In addition, many schools are not equipping their teachers with the resources or training they need in order to incorporate cyber security into the curriculum. There is currently a skills gap, which makes it difficult for schools to find teachers with the proper qualifications. Similarly, students may not even be aware of cyber security issues since many of them are not yet online. This can make it more difficult for them to learn about the subject.
Limitations of Current Education Practices
Teachers often do not have the proper skills or resources to educate their students on cyber security. The curriculum is often infused with digital literacy, but often lacks focus on security. There are also other limitations such as the difficulty in finding a place for cyber security in the curriculum when the technology is evolving so quickly. Other issues include having students being too young to really understand the importance of cyber security and the difficulty in motivating students to learn about this topic.
What Are The Next Steps Towards Including Cyber Security in School Curriculums?
A number of experts recommend that schools use an integrated approach to cyber security education. This includes incorporating the subject across different disciplines and grade levels to allow students to learn about cyber security from a variety of perspectives. For example, a civics class may discuss privacy issues, an English class can discuss internet safety and a science class can focus on computer security.
This holistic approach to cyber security education will expose students to the concept of the subject from an early age and increase their knowledge and understanding of the topic. It is also important that educators and school administrators incorporate cyber security into the school culture. This can be done by having guest speakers come to the school to talk about cyber security issues as well as by bringing technology into the classroom.
Parents, teachers and schools all play an important role in educating our children about cyber security. However, there is a lot of room for improvement and many schools are still not adequately preparing their students for the digital world we live in today.