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Welcome to the CERIAS K-12 Outreach Website. CERIAS (the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue University) has been conducting K-12 Outreach in the Midwest since 1998, and continues to serve as a major resource for the international community. One of our Director’s goals in the creation of CERIAS was to seek to establish opportunities for young people to learn about issues of appropriate computer use, information ethics, and on-line safety earlier in their lives — before reaching an institution such as Purdue. Not only are younger children occasional targets of unscrupulous individuals from whom they need protection, it is also the case that habits and beliefs are formulated well before the adult years. Thus, to have a lasting impact, it seemed sensible to explore how to present elementary concepts of privacy, on-line safety, and intellectual property ownership to children in the K-12 environment.

We quickly realized that to reach K-12 students meant that we had to reach K-12 teachers, many of whom did not know the basic concepts of information security themselves. Thus, our K-12 program has developed instructional materials and approaches to help K-12 educators—as well as pre-service students at Purdue majoring in education—to learn about the basic concepts. An outgrowth of these effforts was the recognization that information security can be an engaging, hands-on cross-disciplinary topic that can be used to demonstrate real-world applications of core academic subjects. We are currently exploring ways to use information security to address academic standards and achieve higher-order thinking.

A second set of goals also became evident as we learned about the shortcomings in knowledge and resources present at many schools in the state of Indiana. We discovered that there was an unaddressed need for information security assistance to administrators and technology coordinators in many school districts in Indiana. As a result, student and employee records on many school computers are poorly protected, thus leading to the possibility of invasion of privacy, unauthorized alteration, or malicious damage. We have developed several approaches to assist these districts in creating a safer computing environment for our children.

The K-12 Outreach program has developed a portfolio of educational materials and resources targeted at the needs of K-12 teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, parents, and students. The K-12 Outreach program provides support, staff development programs, student workshops, professional collaborations, and this online reference. To date, more than 5,200 educators have participated in K-12 Outreach program activities. We look forward to helping schools address information security issues and working with our partners to accomplish our shared goals.

I encourage you to explore our K-12 Outreach website and take advantage of the resources available here. If you have any questions or comments or are interested in partnering on a K-12 initiative, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at mrose@cerias.purdue.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Matt Rose,
Outreach Coordinator

CERIAS, Purdue University
3000 Kent Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(765) 418-4605

K-12 Outreach Program

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