With children spending more time online, personal data are stored on their devices making them susceptible to online risks. Exposing students to cybersecurity education at an early age is critical for raising awareness and knowledge. Yet access to cybersecurity education curricular materials that are engaging for young students is limited. In this work, we present interactive cybersecurity stories for students in grades 3-5 delivered through a commercial social robot. Through focus groups and interviews we subsequently investigated teachers’ views on using a social robot for cybersecurity education, interest in incorporating social robots in the classroom, and perceptions of the ways in which social robots can impact teaching practice and student learning. Findings indicated that teachers found the social robot engaging and expressed interest in using it in their classroom despite some concerns. Findings have implications for the design and implementation of cybersecurity curricula delivered through emerging technologies.
Unplugged Robotics as a Platform for Cybersecurity Education in the Elementary Classroom
Robotics may be an ideal way to teach cybersecurity concepts to young students in the elementary classroom. Research shows robots can be an engaging experience and benefit learning in ways useful in other areas of education. Programming robots provides an ideal context for compelling demonstrations of cybersecurity concepts. Unplugged robotics activities benefit from the engaging aspect of robots but have the added advantage of bypassing hardware and making some concepts more transparent. Señor Robot is a gamified unplugged robotics activity modeled after some activities used before but specifically designed for cybersecurity education in the context of mathematics. The design and implementation of Señor Robot in a third-grade classroom is discussed along with observations and results of student assessments. Strengths and weaknesses of Señor Robot are examined and guide a proposed revision of the game called Frogbotics. An expanded instruction set and applicability to English language arts are considered along with ways to use Frogbotics to teach specific topics in cybersecurity. A website is provided as a dissemination point for materials developed in the study.
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- Journal Name:
- Information systems education journal
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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