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Australian high school students to learn cybersecurity skills from the University of Sydney

University of Sydney will work in partnership with the banking sector of Australia in order to deliver a critical cybersecurity skills and awareness program aimed to teach high school students.

A Federal funding of A$ 600,000 has been awarded to the University so that they will to collaborate closely with ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac, and British Telecom (BT) to develop and institute the Cyber Security Challenges for High School program.

According to the report released by the University, the program teaches cyber security concepts and skills by providing classroom activities or ‘Challenges’ that cover aspects of the Year 7-10 Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

The Challenges will launch over the next year starting in October. It will begin with an introduction to cyber and personal information security using relatable realistic scenarios.

There will be four Challenges. The first of which will take the imaginative approach of encouraging students to think from an attacker’s perspective.

They will be tasked to collect the personal information shared in the social media of fictitious characters in order to compromise their simulated banking, email, and online shopping accounts.

The Challenge will also demonstrate the importance of password strength and uniqueness through practical activities.

Associate Professor James Curran is the Academic Director of the Australian Computing Academy (ACA) and also one of the authors of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

He explained that the Challenges will provide the critical skills and attitudes that students need to operate safely online, while delivering Australia’s digital technologies curriculum and highlighting the fantastic career paths that exist in cyber security.

He reassured that teachers and parents concerned about cyber security can be confident that their students will be security conscious in their digital work and lives by participating in the Challenges.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison discussed the partnership between the University’s Academy and the banking and telecommunications sectors.

The collaboration leverages on their collective expertise and experience in this crucial area of education. The University is delighted to be involved in this challenge-based initiative for secondary students.

The Challenges complement the existing work of the ACA to deliver classroom activities and teacher professional development for the Digital Technologies curriculum as part of a A$ 10 million federal Department of Education and Training project being carried out in collaboration with Grok Learning, an Australian EdTech startup that is a spinoff from the University.

The Commonwealth Government has provided matching funding and support for the Cyber Security Challenges through the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber), as part of the Cyber Security Growth Centre initiative.

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