As part of National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week (NCCAW), Comic-BEE has teamed up with Learning Blade ® to provide K12 teachers even more ways to introduce their students to cybersecurity concepts and careers.

To help teachers and students observe NCCAW in 2020, Learning Blade is offering free access to three online STEM/CS career awareness Missions. Comic-BEE is offering free access to Comic-BEE for one month as well. This gives teachers an opportunity to engage students in thinking more critically and deeply on those Missions.

What does this mean? Students can create web comics with Comic-BEE that explore core aspects of Learning Blade’s Missions or cybersecurity work roles that could be involved in a Mission. And without having to draw a thing, or install any software.

Need ideas for an assignment? In this blog, we’ve previously discussed what a branching web comic is, how to create a branching web comic, or about using Comic-BEE with your K12 class. Students could create a single path comic, or a branching comic that shows both a good ending and a bad ending.

We have some specific ideas for the Missions listed below, but there are other approaches. For instance, students could research a cybersecurity work role or career using the many student-friendly resources at the NCCAW website. After that, students could create a comic that describes a typical “Day in the Life” of that cybersecurity practitioner. Students can share their completed comics, and critique them as part of the assignment.

Some prompts for this assignment might include:

  • What type of company does the cybersecurity practitioner work for?
  • What education, training and skills do they need? 
  • What are the typical tasks for this work role or career?
  • What was their prior job, or is this their first job?
  • Who do they work with at their company?
  • How do they help their employer fulfill its mission?

Flu Outbreak Mission

Teachers and students could review these cybersecurity questions:

  • What are potential dangers with sharing personal details on social media?
  • What might happen if you provided your exact location to apps or websites that share that information with others?
  • How could the health data and privacy of an individual be protected while still collecting data to help manage a flu outbreak?
  • What cybersecurity work roles help protect data?

All the individual Brainstorming Exercises listed in the Mission Teacher Guide are excellent prompts for a comic: Idea Generation, Text Messaging, Using A Persona and Roleplaying. For instance, students could create a comic to show what to do during a flu outbreak with just one good ending. Alternatively, students could create a branching comic that shows the impact of different choices during a flu outbreak.

Haiti Orphanage Mission

Introduce your students to the cybersecurity concept of Data Integrity. In this case, data integrity would be ensuring that construction plan data stored on a computer (like specific measurements or strength of materials) is not accidentally or maliciously changed.

  • What might happen at a construction site if the company’s computers were infected with malware that changed data?
  • How could companies protect the integrity of construction plan details?  
  • What cybersecurity work roles could help a company protect the integrity of their data?

You could convert the Write Blog Postings assignment in the Teacher Guide to a “Create a Comic” assignment.

Dolphin Rescue Mission

Supplement the Mission exercises in the Teacher Guide with a discussion about intellectual property. For instance, a prosthetic such as an artificial limb requires a lot of engineering and technical know how. This can be a significant investment in time and effort. Companies often don’t want competitors to know specific details about how a prosthetic is made. In other words, they want to keep this “intellectual property” information confidential.

  • What steps could a company take to keep information confidential?
  • What other type of data should a company keep confidential?
  • What might happen to customers if the network and computers of the prosthetic company were infected with malware, like ransomware?
  • What cybersecurity work roles could help a company identify and recover from a malware infection?

Students could write a comic for the Presentation exercise in the Teacher Guide.

Getting started with NCCAW

If creating comics isn’t the right NCCAW activity for your class, students can still read our branching web comics about cybersecurity careers. Additionally, the NCCAW website has a list of events and other activities, and career discovery resources. Check out the hashtags #mycyberjob and #cybercareer week on social media for more ideas.

Teachers may find these other resources from NICE Working Group’s K12 Subgroup useful:

Please note that Comic-BEE does not support collaborative or team projects. In other words, it does not support simultaneous editing of one comic from multiple user logins. Students may lose comic content if they do this. Students may collaboratively brainstorm outside of Comic-BEE. They can get feedback on their comics, or copy and share comic content with each other. However, it is not possible for multiple students to work on the same comic.

To take advantage of this special offer, use this form to request access and use “Learning Blade” as the subject. Do not sign up for a free trial or an Individual Plan account. Teachers must use a school email address, not a personal email address. We will configure a Classroom Plan account, with an Administrator account for the teacher, which can setup a maximum of 50 student accounts. The Administrator account can view all comics created by students accounts, leave comments for students in their comics, and reset passwords to student accounts. Classroom Plan accounts will be valid through December 15, 2020.

Request access today to tet your students started creating a comic as part of NCCAW!