Educators and schools are beginning to integrate technology into the classroom with great success. More and more students are utilising digital devices both at home and on campus, but there is concern that many do not understand the repercussions associated with the threats affecting a digital market. Young people are especially susceptible to risks online, with a quarter of e-police complaints relating to the safety of children. Schools are responsible for ensuring that the class of today is prepared to take on the challenges of leadership tomorrow. This includes developing digital readiness, which has a strong emphasis on cybersecurity and privacy. These are challenging concepts to learn, and engaging students these topics can prove difficult. So, where do schools start?
- The first step in teaching cybersecurity is to know about it. Teachers and other members of the faculty should have an understanding of their infrastructure, and the potential threats associated with it. They must also acknowledge the online challenges facing the youth of today, including cyberbullying and grooming behaviours that occur across the internet. This develops into addressing how to incorporate cyberbullying policies into the national curriculum, and teaching students what to do should they come across unsafe content while using their devices – both at home and in the classroom.
- The second step is to reinforce a safe space for students while using their devices. If a student encounters a data breach on a school system, they should understand what they need to do in order to report it. If a student comes across bullying or otherwise inappropriate behaviour, they should feel safe to raise their concerns with an appropriate member of the faculty. This may mean developing policies within the school that teach students the right avenues to follow, including who to talk to and what issues they should be concerned about.
However, the biggest challenge is making cybersecurity palatable to K-12 students. Technology has made it much easier for teachers to go beyond the blackboard and engage their class on new and exciting digital levels. This is no different when it comes to teaching security and appropriate online behaviours. Students should also be prepared to begin engaging with risk reduction practices and must be mature enough to understand the concepts being introduced to them, and capable enough with technology to utilise them. Schools can employ independent organisations to run cybersecurity boot camps and can improve student capability by encouraging the development of soft skills, providing adequate role models, and providing avenues for students to share what they have learned. Using games and enforcing continuous development are also sound strategies when it comes to engaging students in a digitally saturated market.
Cyber Security is something that all students today will need to face tomorrow. It is up to educators to prepare their students for the requirements associated with a modern age. If you have questions about how to make the most out of your schools’ digital investments, reach out to MOQdigital. Our experienced education consultants can help you find the right solution for your organisation.