Cybersecurity: there’s a resource for that!

By Donna Rawling. Posted

Google’s Interland game explores cybersecurity and e-safety in a fun way

Originally published in Hello World Issue 18: Cybersecurity, March 2022. All information true at the time of original publishing.

Donna Rawling shares resources to help engage primary students in cybersecurity learning, supporting them in becoming positive digital citizens

Our young learners grow up well versed in rapidly advancing technologies, and there are ever-more sophisticated threats to both their private information and their personal safety. As well as giving them positive experiences of technology, we have a responsibility to make them aware of the potential dangers. Here, I’ve curated a helpful list of resources that you can use to teach primary-aged pupils about cybersecurity and e-safety.

This collection of free unplugged activities and interactive games was created together with the UK’s National Crime Agency. Topics range from online ownership, to phishing, to the law, to password protection.

Another collaboration with the UK’s National Crime Agency, this site features free online games dealing with aspects of cybersecurity, including introductions to malware and firewalls, substitution ciphers, and network ports.

This Google program empowers children to use the web safely, and includes lesson plans, codes of conduct, and a fun interactive game, Interland (helloworld.cc/interland), in which kids explore issues such as personal privacy, real versus fake info, and thinking before sharing.

This range of resources supports teachers and parents in ensuring children stay safe online, including platform games in which learners answer questions about sharing personal information and pictures, watching videos, and chatting with people online.

  • iDEA (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) badges (idea.org.uk)

Billed as the online equivalent to the UK’s Duke of Edinburgh awards, these interactive badges have been designed by leaders of industry and can be worked through at a learner’s own pace. The ‘Citizen’ badges include units on cyberspies, code cracking, being safe on social media, and digital ethics. There are three levels of badge (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). They are fun and engaging, and one of the most-requested sites whenever I run a free-choice lesson for children!

  • Ask an expert!

One of the best resources you have access to is people! Local police authorities usually have dedicated cybersafety teams headed up by expert officers who are often happy to run staff CPD and workshops for parents, and to come and talk to your children. I can highly recommend this as a great way to get your learners thinking about the choices they make and how to get the most out of their digital journey.


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