This blog post comes from Dr. Chuck Gardner, one of NICERC’s Curriculum Development Specialists.
Bookmark www.nextgov.com for quick current events links.
When I first started teaching cyber at the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy, I was transferring from algebra and geometry classrooms, and I had a business background. As a result, liberal arts was not high on my list of things to present to students. Soon though, I realized I didn’t need to be a history major or a language professor to have meaningful conversations with students relating to the ethics and more abstract features of cyber science and cybersecurity.
If you want to impart more current events and real-world discussions into your school day, I recommend taking a look at the Nextgov website by the National Journal Group, Inc. In the center of the menu bar at the top of the page is a link where you can read all of their current headlines that deal with cybersecurity.
On February 5th, an article was posted on their website titled, “The Former Federal Employee Who Tried To Launch A Cyberattack On Nuclear Scientists” by Kaveh Waddell from The Atlantic. This article is a fantastic read that exposes students to specific vulnerabilities that are still out there and are plaguing adults! This is a chance for us to speak with them not about things THEY are doing wrong online, but how respected adults in the field of nuclear research (literally, rocket scientists!) are being fooled by pranksters online. In this case, a disgruntled peer invited his fellow scientists to a fake conference. When they clicked on a link to register for the conference, they would then download malicious code that would monitor data and pipeline it to the highest international bidder!
Another Nextgov article asks, “How do you govern data in the internet of everything?” by Frank Konkel. In the article, he cites expert assumptions that by 2020, the world will be connected by over “200 billion sensors [that] will produce data on everything from human hearts to heavy construction equipment to ocean seafloors – and all of it will flow through the Internet.” This is information our students need to know about because all of this data will need protection, and they will be the ones to protect it!
In November, I posted a discussion topic to NICERC’s Canvas site with an article about “The Hackable Hospital.” Every week or so, there are dozens more articles available on Nextgov and other sites that discuss the Internet of Things. If you’re looking for discussion starters in your classroom that can easily become full class research projects, please check in regularly at NICERC’s Canvas LMS website discussion boards for the curricula you are teaching and the Nextgov website.
To gain access to our curriculum along with a multitude of other great lessons for middle school and high school classes, click here.