How can I teach about cyber security in the primary classroom?

Cyber security provides an increasingly important and relevant context for teaching key areas of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and ICT Capabilities. Here we highlight a few example ideas from our latest cyber security MOOC for K-6 Teachers. 


A Data Selfie

Data plays a critical role in understanding how we leave traces of our information online and how people can extract information about us. Inspired by ‘Hello Ruby’, a series of books by Linda Liukas, we expand on the Data Selfie activity. Students list elements of their recent online activity history (or using some fake data) and then in groups, they try to piece the information together for a mystery profile to guess who is who based on the data. Is the person a girl or a boy? What are the favourites of the person? 

A Network Scavenger Hunt

In the primary classroom, students can start by recognising which familiar devices use wireless networks and which objects are not connected to a network. Further building on this, students can explore how technology has evolved over time to become less "wired" through identifying differences in past and present technology. Using these foundational ideas, students start by classifying different technologies in their groups and then undertaking a scavenger exercise. 

In later units, we revisit this knowledge to understand which technologies are open to cyber attacks and which are not. 

Spot the Difference!

Being able to apply critical thinking and analysis to the information we receive is very important. How savvy are your students in being able to tell what is real and what is fake? Can they tell when someone is trying to access private information? In this activity, students look at teacher-constructed 'phishing' letters or emails. They use their newly learned skills to identify any obvious and sneaky phishing indicators - stopping scammers in their tracks! 

Join Us Today

We have provided just a teaser of the activities we present in our MOOC on teaching Cyber Security and Awareness in primary classrooms. If you like the sound of these and would like to know more, please join us today by registering for our free online professional learning course below. In our course we present the fundamental background knowledge you need to know to teach these concepts and ideas, as well as provide extended walk-throughs of these activities (and more!) as well as links to the Australian Curriculum. 


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