Common Sense Review
Updated September 2015

NOVA Labs: Cybersecurity

Kids become cybersecurity experts, learn about digital citizenship
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This module is part of the Website NOVA Labs.
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Kids can defend a company against hackers.
  • A video explains why cybersecurity matters.
  • In the game, players use coins to buy defense against cyber attackers.
  • Drag and drop commands to program a robot through a maze.
  • Identify clues in an email that tell you it is “phishing.”
Emily Pohlonski
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

Computer science teachers and media specialists can use NOVA Labs: Cybersecurity to teach basic coding skills and best practices for safe Internet use. Begin by showing the introductory video so kids can see why hacking happens. From there, students take on the role of a cybersecurity expert, protecting simulated social networking companies, like Einstagram or Phasebook, from increasing cyber attacks. Students do this by completing a series of challenges in the Cybersecurity lab. 

Through these games, students can learn how to keep their own information safe online. Challenges show the ways people are tricked into giving up personal data and how passwords are cracked. The Coding Challenge introduces basic coding concepts as kids drag and drop shapes to move a robot. Keep in mind that this is a basic introduction; students won't use scripted programming language. The coding lessons here are likely too simple for high school computer science students. Throughout the module, video clips help kids learn about hackers and cryptography, as well as compare privacy to security. Interested students might also want to dig into the included examples of real-world cyber attacks.

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