The Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy and National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC) presented a complete K-20 cyber education learning program for school districts and states at the annual nationwide NICERC Cyber Education Discovery Forum held in Broomfield, CO. Over 225 STEM and Cyber K-12 teachers from 30 states attended this year's conference to learn about free resources and programs to help improve cybersecurity awareness, career awareness, and skills for entry-level cyber jobs.
NICERC and the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy presented their free programs, which include curriculum and teacher training. A separate full-day workshop provided 45 teachers with an overview of the Cybersecurity Academy curriculum and a “test drive” of the online content, including browser-based virtual labs for hands-on learning. The teachers were impressed and grateful to Palo Alto Networks for creating a free curriculum for them to use. One teacher who had developed his own cybersecurity course using various resources said, “Your curriculum is like going from driving a Pinto to a Maserati.”
Palo Alto Networks also announced the new Cyber Activities for Cybersecurity Education for Students (A.C.E.S.) program to help protect life in the digital world. Cyber A.C.E.S. consists of age-appropriate lessons on Responsible Connectivity, Privacy, Communication, and Digital Citizenship that are available to youths aged 5 to 15. These lessons, 16 in total, can be facilitated by anyone, regardless of their knowledge of cybersecurity. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from teachers at the conference stating. It meets a need to have simple lessons and activities that do not require the teacher to be a cybersecurity expert to teach. The lessons can be downloaded at no charge in the August/September time frame from paloaltonetworks.com/cyberaces.
To learn more about the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy, please visit the LIVEcommunity Cybersecurity Academy page.