May 1, 2019 – Northport, NY: Today, Secure Decisions launched the “Cyber Savvy Educators Contest,” which challenges middle school educators to create a branching web comic around the importance of strong passwords for their students. Branching web comics are graphic stories where a reader makes choices on behalf of a character, causing the story to follow a variety of branches that result in different outcomes. These visual, interactive stories engage young learners and help them understand the cause-effect relationship between cyber events and daily activity.

Teachers will use Comic-BEE, a revolutionary platform developed by Secure Decisions that helps educators quickly and easily create interactive, branching web comics aligned with instructional goals. Branching comics are a great way for anyone to explore cyber concepts and events, particularly middle school students, who are often disinclined to read long texts, and find videos boring. Registered participants will receive free access to Comic-BEE for the duration of the contest. Comic-BEE includes everything needed to create a branching web comic, including professionally created artwork. As a web application, Comic-BEE does not require any software installs and/or browser plug-ins to create or read comics, which makes it easy to use in the classroom.

“Middle school teachers report that they find it challenging to actively engage their students with cybersecurity concepts: free, online materials are often either too simple or too advanced for their classroom. Or when teachers do find interactive curricular materials for cybersecurity, they have to download and install software on computers, which is a problem in a lot of schools,” stated Laurin Buchanan, Principal Investigator for Comic-BEE at Secure Decisions. “We hope that using Comic-BEE, teachers will create web comics that are appropriate to their students and that represent their class demographics, so the students can literally see themselves in the comics and become interested in cybersecurity issues, which are a fundamental part of digital literacy in the 21st Century.”

The contest will run from May 1, 2019 until August 16, 2019, with winners judged and announced in early September. Three runners up will receive a check for $750 and a $250 gift card for school supplies and the Grand Prize winner will receive a check for $1,000 and a $500 gift card for school supplies. All contest participants who submit entries will receive access to the four winning comics to share with their students in the classroom, or as part of activities during National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October and National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week in November.

Secure Decisions is partnering with By Kids For Kids (BKFK), an educational and family marketing company that connects its clients to teachers, students, and households with innovative marketing, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, and national competitions. BKFK will promote the Cyber Savvy Educators contest to its network of K12 educators and administer the contest through its existing competition platform.

Educators may register for the Cyber Savvy Educators Contest here.

You can learn more about Comic-BEE and sign up for a free 30-day trial at https://www.comic-bee.com.