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March 7, 2023

Teach Cyber Byte

In this Teach Cyber Byte, you can learn about the upcoming Teach Cyber Summer 2023 PD. We hope you can join us! Next, you can hear from a cybersecurity expert in our career highlight. Additionally, you can learn how teachers build cybersecurity ecosystems in their communities. You can also learn about the Bridge to Cyber program at Rider University. Finally, we would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to those that participated in our Teach Cyber survey-the results are in!

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Teach Cyber PD High School Teachers Workshop

Are you planning to offer a High School Cybersecurity course in Fall 2023? If yes, this workshop is for YOU! Join us July 24-28, 2023.
What We Offer: This workshop is designed to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to teach cybersecurity using the Teach Cyber courseware. The objectives are to:
  • Explore the Teach Cyber courseware and related resources
  • Gain hands-on experience working through selected labs and activities
  • Expand cybersecurity knowledge
  • Discuss pedagogical implications of teaching cybersecurity, especially in regards to using the Teach Cyber instructional materials
What to Expect:

  • Morning and afternoon synchronous sessions via Zoom and Canvas
  • Hands-on activities and labs on the US Cyber Range
  • One month of Cyber Range access
  • Office Hours providing assistance as needed
  • Possible follow-up Saturday session(s) in the Fall
Cost: $800 per participant

Register here.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Career Highlights

Meet Michelle!
Michelle Hudson serves as the Director of Operational Excellence at Microsoft. In the day-to-day of Michelle’s job, she collaborates with her teams and broader cloud and AI teams to discuss pilots, projects and releases that reduce vulnerabilities within data centers and supporting systems. As a team they also develop ways to patch or secure systems to stop those vulnerabilities from being exploited. Michelle noted that one of the most important aspects of her job is pausing to reflect with her team (even when it feels like they don’t have the time) on the broader impact of IT operations and opportunities to eliminate cyber threats' impacts on the technology landscape. Then as a team, they collaborate, innovate, generate, and create ideas and concepts and solutions that fix, restore, protect, and maintain operations, data, and systems.
Connection to Teach Cyber
You can learn more about vulnerabilities within a system by checking out the Teach Cyber courseware Unit 4. "Data, Software, Hardware, and Network Security", particularly Lesson 5, which focuses on software related vulnerabilities.
Education Path
Michelle is dedicated and positive about her work. Her enthusiasm is contagious! Michelle’s professional journey began working within the supply chain; her forward-thinking and leadership skills continued to propel her career upward. She moved on to lead teams in Manufacturing and Information Technology.
Growing up, Michelle attended a small school in Indianapolis, Ind. She enjoyed her time there and connected with others but longed for a more profound sense of belonging. From there she attended Ball State University and earned a B.S. in Organizational Communication and Business Administration. While there, she found purpose in training residential assistants in multi-diversity. Michelle's holistic approach to this training focused on inclusion, building multicultural communities, and increasing belonging and sensitivity. This approach helped students around Michelle while also fostering confidence in herself. Michelle carried her professional skills and sense of self into her career and post-graduate work. In 2014, Michelle completed her M.B.A. at Notre Dame.
Michelle's Advice for Students
We asked Michelle, “What would you tell students who want to enter the cybersecurity and computer science field?” Michelle suggests that students take a holistic approach to develop themselves. She believes students should focus on building transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and strong communication skills.
In addition, Michelle noted perceptive listening skills enable one to hear a problem a company or client is facing and generate solutions. Finally, she suggests building creative and innovative skills that allow students to engage in forward-thinking while preparing them to be part of the rapidly changing technology field and transition between positions within the technology industry.

Meet two Teachers who are building the cybersecurity ecosystem in their community.

Meet Deborah
The summer before Deb started at the Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) as a computer science (CS) instructor, she attended a GenCyber camp at Pace University in New York. Hired to teach a full range of computer science courses - Computer Science Principles, AP CSA, Advanced Java, and other CS electives - the school didn’t offer any cybersecurity courses at that time.

On the first day, a student approached Deb about cybersecurity and cybersecurity competitions. She polled the students and there was enough interest to field two CyberPatriot teams the first year. Another teacher in the state was instrumental in helping Deb get started by helping her learn how to do everything from downloading images to training the team on how to search for vulnerabilities.
Students helped each other learn, had a blast, and collaborated well during the competition. Since then, they have fielded 2-3 teams every year, including a few all-female teams. CyberPatriot competitions were the kickoff to their cybersecurity journey. Along the way Deb and her school added Capture-the-Flag training and competitions – both online and in state. Next came a call to their administration to add a Cybersecurity Fundamentals course, followed by a full-year course. Key to this journey were engaged, creative, collaborative students having fun and gaining confidence in solving problems and thinking computationally. And a very supportive administration.
Sylvia teaches cybersecurity in Austin, TX. In 2017, three Computer Science teachers in Sylvia's school district were asked to teach a Digital Forensics course that had been approved by the state education board. They thought this was a great opportunity for some students who might be considering a cyber career. Unfortunately, there were little to no resources for teaching this course at the high school level. The course slowly morphed into a Cybersecurity course. In 2019, the state legislature approved cybersecurity courses as part of a pathway. Sylvia was invited to sit on a standards committee to create the two new courses and update the Digital Forensics course. She currently teaches Introduction to CS, APCS Principles, APCS A, and Foundations of Cybersecurity.
Meet Sylvia
The Teach Cyber curriculum and the Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines
Sylvia started using the Teach Cyber curriculum last year to give her a scope and sequence for the foundations class. She found that the units are sequenced to allow students to understand basic principles before diving into deeper topics. The Big Ideas are useful to assure that she is covering the foundational information the students need to build a tech-based career on.
Deb explains that the Teach Cyber curriculum is the backbone for a one quarter Computer Security Fundamentals course and a full year Cybersecurity I, a Cybersecurity II, and a Cybersecurity III course she teaches. Deb loves the curriculum for its focus on big ideas and its resources. She notes specifically the curriculum has:
  • comprehensive lesson plans,
  • case studies, labs (on the US Cyber Range), and
  • collaborative projects.
Deb also uses one unit independently for other classes - Unit 8 States, Sovereignty, and Cybersecurity. The National Security Council simulation is a great end-of-the-term project in her Computer Ethics course. And she has used Cryptowar’s research in a Special Projects week, resulting in group posters that were presented school wide.
We asked what advice Sylvia and Deb would give other teachers who are trying to build a cybersecurity program. Here are their tips!
  • Gather as many resources as possible to build a program that fits their particular situation.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the goals of the course being taught and use resources that will help you achieve those goals.
  • Check out GenCyber camps for you – and your students.
  • Use curriculums that exist.
  • Decide what your goals are (career tech/ certifications, big ideas) and get buy-in from your administration.
  • Take advantage of professional development and say YES to any opportunities to pilot a program.
  • Buy cybersecurity board games.
  • Keep school administrators informed and interested.
  • Join the Cybersecurity Educators group on Facebook.
  • Create an after-school club where students collaborate on CyberStart or train for CTFs and/or CyberPatriot competitions.
  • Host a CyberPatriot’s summer camp. No better way to learn something than to teach it.
Sylvia and Deb had opportunities to share more about cybersecurity education.
Sylvia presented at the 2023 TCEA Convention in San Antonio, TX. Her presentation entitled, "How to use Teach Cyber Resources" gave teachers access to a resource they could use as a starting point for their cyber courses. She encouraged teachers to make adjustment to their course by adding other resources or using what they needed from the Teach Cyber curriculum.
Deb presented a paper at the November NCSSS (National Consortium of Secondary STEM schools) conference in Atlanta entitled “Cybersecurity Education Competition and Curriculum Resources.” She spoke about the need for cybersecurity professionals, compared curriculums by their focus (career tech/certification vs. big ideas), identified education standards, and presented curriculum, lab environment, and competition resources.

Do you hold a bachelor’s degree and have interest in a cybersecurity career?

Launching in Fall 2023, the Inclusive On-Ramp to Cyber@RiderU aims to help fill the projected cybersecurity workforce gap by providing students who did not study cybersecurity at the undergraduate level with the foundational skills needed to succeed at the master’s level.
The online bridge program prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in almost any field to pursue a master’s degree in cybersecurity at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Depending on your undergraduate major, the program can be completed in approximately 1-2 semesters through online self-paced modules supervised by a faculty member. Anyone with a bachelor's degree and a sincere desire to pursue a rewarding career in cybersecurity is encouraged to apply.
Summer 2023
  • Complete the self-paced cyber bridge pilot modules.
  • Receive a $300 stipend for 1) successful completion of the pilot and 2) providing meaningful feedback.
To be eligible for the 2023 Summer pilot you must either:
  1. Apply to the 12-credit stackable graduate certificate program in cybersecurity

  2. Apply to the 36-credit Master's degree program.
The $50 application fee will be waived for those selected to participate in the summer 2023 pilot.
You can read more about this program here. Contact Dr. Hawthorne, Director of Graduate Cybersecurity Studies, at ehawthorne@rider.edu. She wants to hear from YOU!


We appreciate you participating in the Teach Cyber survey! Congratulations to the five participants who won an Amazon gift card for participating in the survey.


Click on the image above to read some of the Teach Cyber survey findings.
Stay tuned, more Teach Cyber survey results are coming soon!
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