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April 19, 2022

Teach Cyber Byte

In this byte you will find, the winners of the Teach Cyber Teach of the Year Awards for the Passport to Cybersecurity, the Pathways to Cybersecurity and the Platform for Cybersecurity. We asked each winner to express:
Why cybersecurity education matters,
How has the Teach Cyber courseware influenced their curriculum,
Three words that represent why they teach cybersecurity.

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Passport to Cybersecurity Award Winners

Janet Hartkopf
Janet expressed that, "Cybersecurity education matters because it is important to our communities and our country. Everyone has something to contribute and there are so many opportunities within the field at various levels. By remaining in cybersecurity education, I am able to affect a positive change and guide students into a field where they can make a difference and contribute to their own and others safety, security, and freedom."
Janet explains that, "Teach Cyber courseware is an educational example of what the cybersecurity industry is doing – we are putting aside the competition; reaching and helping everyone to be more secure and stronger, because we are better and stronger when we unified. When we create quality curriculum and make it available to all educators, we take down the barriers that leave others out and strengthen communities. We give everyone the possibility to learn more."
Alex told us, "Teach Cyber has had an incredible influence on my curriculum. When I first started teaching, the Teach Cyber program helped develop my instruction in the field of cybersecurity. Because of Teach Cyber’s advancement of my skills, I have been given the opportunity to present my students with a top-notch cybersecurity education through my program at Middleton Magnet High School. The information that is provided to students through the Teach Cyber program prepares them for a changing world where cybersecurity is imperative to the workforce."
Alex Brightman
Cybersecurity education matters to Alex because it develops students' skills in a growing industry. As the world advances technologically, there is a much greater need for cybersecurity skills in the workforce. Companies across the world, even those that are not specifically technology-based companies, need people with cybersecurity expertise to protect their data and information. With this greater demand, it makes him incredibly proud to have such a profound impact on my students’ education in this field.

Pathways to Cybersecurity Award Winners

Sharona Thompson
Sharona told us, "My students are future leaders, future creators, and future entrepreneurs. They need to understand that even if they don't choose a career in cybersecurity, digital forensics, or IT, everyone is affected by cybersecurity. Anytime we convert our communication to ones and zeros, we are entering a space that doesn’t work the same way as in-person interactions and we need to be aware of how the differences affect us."
Sharona also explains, "we are increasingly moving our interactions to digital spaces. When we were younger, we were given warnings for our in-person interactions like “Don’t talk to strangers” or “Lock your door”. Those warnings don’t always translate to the internet. Now, we need warnings to tell us "don't click untrusted links" or "don't use free wi-fi for secure transactions". The students that we teach about cybersecurity now will hopefully spread the word to their peers and go on to make websites, devices, and protocols that make us more secure."
Kyle shared with us that "malicious actors only have to be right once, cyber defense has to be right EVERY time! As the internet becomes more complex, we need our students that have a love of technology & learning to continue to protect the integrity of the internet."
Kyle also mentioned that, "Teach Cyber has influenced my curriculum by empowering me with the tools that allows all my students to be successful in learning Cyber at differentiated levels. Most important is the curious student that may not know anything, they will be successful with Teach Cyber!"
Kyle Kulhers

Platform for Cybersecurity Award Winners

Marc Chabot
Marc noted that cybersecurity education matters because, "with the proper set-up, a lever is a powerful tool – a small push on one side can help move a seemingly immovable object. To me, cybersecurity education is the lever that can help students find meaningful, compelling work that is in high demand. Young people want to find their place in the world, they want to feel needed, and they want to be able to take care of themselves. Cybersecurity education is good pathway to all of those things."
Marc, also explained, he is new to Career and Technical Education, with its need to connect coursework to college credits and industry certifications. To him, the Teach Cyber curriculum takes the dry technical concepts found in foundational IT coursework and places them in a personal, human context that anyone can understand. It shows that cybersecurity is more than configuring networks and firewalls; rather, Teach Cyber shows cybersecurity to be a way of examining and understanding the benefits, drawbacks and implications within the modern human experience of using interconnected technology.
Ben explains that, "at its very core, cybersecurity is about protecting our information. As a data-driven society, it is essential, more than ever, to train and maintain the future generation in understanding the ever-evolving cyber landscape in which they will play a vital role. Institutions must inspire educators to teach cyber, just as teachers must carefully educate their students to maneuver this brave, new digital world safely. Cyber education is paramount to the security and advancement of our world, our nation, and ourselves. We need to do more."
Ben Crenshaw
Teach Cyber saved my life. As a new teacher in a new field, I had to create my curriculum from scratch. Even being in the infosec industry for years, it was more challenging than I had imagined. I pulled together as many resources as possible and set upon this daunting task. When I attended a cyber education workshop sponsored by Teach Cyber, I was impressed by their understanding of answering the essential question: How to teach cybersecurity. The lesson plans, subjects, and practical applications were of immense help. The Teach Cyber curriculum and support from their team made my job much more manageable and enjoyable.
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