A huge part of our students’ daily lives takes place online—from schoolwork to gaming to communicating with friends. And while technology can open up incredible new opportunities to connect, learn, and grow, it can also provide a pathway for danger.
In the classroom, the internet can be a powerful and effective tool used to enhance education. But just like we would never hand a power tool to a student without first showing them how to safely use it, we must first adequately equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to stay safe online before integrating it into our daily teaching practices.
Enter Cyber Legends, a new online gaming and problem-based learning resource for educators that makes it fun for students to become smarter, safer, and more secure online. Over the last few years, the Cyber Legends team has spent a significant amount of time talking with teachers, schools, parents, and online safety experts to learn about the challenges they face. They took what they learned and crafted a browser-based game and engaging, structured lesson plans for grades K–8.
Cyber Legends' interactive game allows children to customize a base and character, explore Station66, complete quests, meet new friends in a safe environment, and fight against the evil Lord Hacker and his robots. Additional teaching materials integrate seamlessly with the game while allowing teachers the ability to prioritize topics, create assignments, track students’ progress, and assess students’ learning as they cover topics including passwords, identity theft, scams, phishing, mobile apps, cyberbullying, sexting, social media, and much more.
The online world can be a scary place. Sadly, most students are unprepared for it, and most teachers lack the expertise in cybersecurity and the energy necessary to teach it. But with new and creative resources like Cyber Legends, it’s possible to allow children to take advantage of everything new technology has to offer while also empowering them to stay safe in the process.
Cyber Legends is currently working with schools in the U.S. and Canada. Find out more about Cyber Legends and how to bring it to your school district here.
Shawn Washburn, the father of four great kids and one energetic dog, lives in Cleveland, Ohio. You can find him at shawnwashburn.com, where he hosts the Engineering Your Business podcast and helps business leaders optimize their people and processes.
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