Teach Cyber Supporting High School Educators
2021-22 Teach Cyber Report
Twenty-four (96%) of the teachers supported on the US Cyber Range by Teach Cyber completed a year-end survey. This report summarizes some of the key takeaways from the surveys.
Teach Cyber supports many teachers across the US who teach high school cybersecurity courses. Teach Cyber supports these teachers by providing the Teach Cyber curriculum, offering monthly Teach Cyber lounges throughout the school year, and professional development. Teach Cyber supports a smaller cohort of teachers to have access to the US Cyber Range. During the 2021-2022 school year, Teach Cyber financially supported 25 teachers across the US from 13 different states.
“Without having access to the range, giving students hands-on technical experience would be much more challenging. This lab environment is easily the best I have interacted with so far while also providing great flexibility. The labs really integrate nicely with the Teach Cyber curriculum as a whole, too.”
–Brandon Milonovich, Ardsley High School
“The Teach Cyber curriculum was great in how it organized and helped students navigate through the cybersecurity concepts. Tying the concepts to practical application through a lab on the US Cyber Range was critical in having students experience working with the concepts firsthand and increasing their engagement and retention of the material.”
–Steven Timmons, Santa Susana High School
There are 8 units in the Teach Cyber curriculum. The supported teachers taught ~3,189 hours of Teach Cyber curriculum over year-long, semester, or trimester sessions.
The curriculum is based upon the High School Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines available here: https://teachcyber.org/cybersecurity-teaching-resources/curriculum-guidelines/
Cyber Range labs cover many topics, including Linux, Wireshark, cryptography, social engineering, various attacks and countermeasures to attacks.
The most enjoyable aspects of the curriculum as described by the teachers are as follows.
- Students really seemed to enjoy the mixture of labs versus less technical activities. I think they really enjoyed the variety throughout the courseware.
- Most of the hands-on exercises were well received. This is a list of the some of the favorite exercises: Unit 3: Wireshark Unit 3: intro to Linux (I also directed the students to MIT’s Linux game: https://web.mit.edu/mprat/Public/web/Terminus/Web/main.html Unit 4: the “backdoor” lab Unit 4: email tracking Unit 7: DOS Attack, Spoofing
- Variety and getting to use the tools in the cyber range.
- They enjoyed the labs, and the discussions about cybersecurity related current events.
- The students loved the labs. They also were fascinated by the Marcus Hutchins story.
“My students were experiencing something that they have heard of and they were enjoying the lessons because they were able to use it.”
–Christy Williams, Stony Point High School
The most difficult aspects of the curriculum as described by the teachers are as follows.
- Understanding the networking side.
- Lagging of the VPS, and the curriculum was more advanced than what my students were ready for.
- The most challenging part of the curriculum is maintaining the knowledge and being able to apply the labs and concepts to a realistic challenge without guidance. I did most of the labs with the students.
- The most challenging part was teaching students with varying technical aptitude and experience.
- Integrating this into existing curriculum.
Teach Cyber recognized six educators for their contributions this past year. The Passport, Pathways, and Platform Awards recognize educators leading the way in cybersecurity education. Read about the honorees here: https://teachcyber.org/teacher-awards/
Teach Cyber provided Lab Help sessions, created lab demonstration videos, and offer Virtual Teacher Lounge sessions during the school year.