The advent of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital learning, with many learning institutions deploying various technologies for blended or full online learning to ensure continuity in education.
Teacher Ayanna, a secondary school teacher from Trinidad and Tobago, decided to use Zoom sessions to deliver her lessons soon after the school closures in her country. During a class with her form 3 students, she experienced a disturbing Zoombombing attack within the first five minutes of the lesson. She reported the matter to the Cyber Crime Unit and Children’s Authority for advice. Coincidentally, similar incidents had occurred on the same day at other schools. The authorities were able to investigate and apprehend the perpetrator. Since then, she has implemented safety measures on the learning platforms to protect her students from such attacks.
Like Teacher Ayanna, many educators have been increasingly exposed to cybercrimes in recent times. Responding to a poll in a recent cybersecurity training course for teachers, 30% indicated that they had experienced various attacks including ransomware, Zoombombing, phishing, account hijacking, malvertising, email account takeover, and credit card fraud, among others. It is, therefore, important for educators to be equipped with the skills to mitigate these attacks for a safer and more effective learning environment.
The Advanced Cybersecurity Training for Teachers (ACTT) course is designed to provide teachers, teacher educators and education practitioners with superior knowledge necessary to protect themselves and their students online, as well as create awareness for parents and other stakeholders in digital learning. The course will run over four weeks, and it will require between 4-6 hours of time each week. Participants will learn from video lectures, articles, case studies, webinars as well as discussions with fellow learners and mentors.
Week 1: Advanced Cyber Attacks in Online Learning
During the first week, participants will explore:
Attacks targeting websites, mobile devices and commonly used computer applications
Internal threats to learning institutions
Week 2: Protecting Data
During the second week, participants will learn:
Access controls to protect files on devices and in the cloud
Techniques to prevent loss of critical data
Data recovery tools and techniques
Week 3: Securing Online Communication and Learning Devices
In the third week, participants will explore:
Online anonymity and privacy
Secure communication channels to use when engaging with peers and students remotely
Ways of protecting devices from malware and unauthorised access
Week 4: Cybersecurity Concerns in Emerging Educational Technologies
In the final week, participants will:
Learn emerging technologies and their benefits in digital learning
Learn the cyber risks posed by the technologies
Develop a cybersecurity preparedness plan for the technologies
After completion of this course, the participant should be able to:
Outline the advanced cyber-attacks that may be encountered while teaching online and apply the appropriate mitigations.
Employ various techniques to protect data created and processed by learning institutions from alteration, loss, and unauthorized access.
Apply advanced techniques in online communication, personal security, and device security.
Appraise the benefits of emerging technologies in digital learning and how to use them securely.
The course is designed for teachers and teacher educators who have either completed the introductory course, Cybersecurity Training for Teachers, or have other relevant background.