The Branching Interactive Graphic Stories for Cybersecurity Education (BIGSCE) project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), enabled us to evaluate how to use branching, interactive web comics to teach middle school students about cyber security. Branching stories provide opportunities to explore cause and effect, and middle school students found the comic book style highly engaging. The project leveraged Comic-BEE, Secure Decision’s cyber security education technology based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/CSD).
BIGSCE informed the development of new approaches to teaching and learning cyber security: branching graphic stories can incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy, and therefore have the potential to reach a broader and more diverse body of students. The goal of BIGSCE was to explore how this innovative technology can enhance cyber security education, with the following aims:
- Attract a broad and diverse workforce to the field of cyber security, starting in middle school.
- Use expert-created comics to evaluate a learner’s knowledge, skill, and ability in the area of cyber security.
- Deepen students’ understanding of cyber security challenges and consequences using a comic creation activity. BIGSCE will also contribute new understanding of how to effectively use branching, graphic stories as a learning and assessment tool for middle school students.
Secure Decisions partnered with Stony Brook University, led by Dr. Lori Scarlatos, Associate Professor, Department of Technology & Society. The free workshops were held at the Town of North Hempstead’s “Yes We Can Community Center” in New Cassel, New York.
The BIGSCE workshops covered topic such as:
- Privacy and keeping safe on the Internet
- The nature of cyber crimes
- Cyber security professionals, and how they solve those crimes
- Heroes in cyber security and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)
- Fact and fiction in television and movies about cyber security
- How to prepare for a career in cyber security
See the video with some of our workshop participants! https://youtu.be/nbSPOTUIJq4
“Branching Interactive Graphic Stories for Cybersecurity Education” (BIGSCE) was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Award Number 1623131.