CRF experts train local high school teachers to develop cybersecurity lesson plans for their students.
The Cybernet Miami Academy is a CRF-led virtual interactive program in digital forensics, which is the process of interpreting and discovering electronic data.
During the first phase of the academy this summer, high school teachers met with CRF electrical and computer engineering professors and cybersecurity professionals to learn skills, gather resources and develop lesson plans. They learned how to extract hidden information from hard drives, accumulated free cybersecurity tools, and planned activities for their information technology and professional learning classrooms.
Teachers are now preparing for the second phase of the program: implementing their lessons.
“Teachers leave with at least one lesson plan that they’ve customized to best suit their students,” says Alexander Pons, Cybernet Miami Academy Principal Investigator and Professor in FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. . College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Teachers earned $1,000 to complete the 80-hour CRF training course. They will receive another $1,000 after completing their lesson plans. The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and delegated to CRF through Luminary Labs.
CRF has customized the program to be effective in high school classrooms. During the first phase, a speaker was a cybersecurity education expert who explained how teachers could better tailor their lessons to teenagers. Another speaker from the National Initiative for Cyber Education explained career opportunities in cybersecurity. According to Cyber Seek, there were 714,548 cybersecurity-related job openings in the United States from May 2021 to April 2022.
The academy also provided information on digital forensic techniques. FIU staff handled computer programming, security issues and information storage. An expert from the FIU’s Global Forensic and Justice Center gave the teachers an overview of the industry.
“As we spent 80 hours with the teachers, we were able to cover a lot of material, and not only in general. It was in a rigorous way where they could apply the knowledge,” says Gustavo Chaparro-Baquero, professor of electrical and computer engineering at CEC and head instructor at Cybernet Miami Academy.
One of the main talking points throughout the training program has been the ethics of equipping students with powerful digital forensic skills.
“It’s important for students to understand what can be done, but shouldn’t be,” Chaparro says. “We heard a mix of ideas about how to teach cybersecurity responsibly. It seems teachers are managing their approaches on a case-by-case, child-by-child basis.”
As the school year progresses, CRF faculty will stay in contact with teachers for support.
“We’re establishing a conduit between academic cybersecurity skills and how to effectively impart them to high school students,” Pons says. “The conduits in this process are the teachers.”