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Developing cyber security skills and promoting awareness of cyber careers

Grok Academy Limited (Grok)  is a not-for-profit with an international remit offering online and unplugged coding, cyber security and digital literacy activities for students in primary and secondary school. Grok also provide curriculum guidance, professional learning, and advocacy to teachers and government.

“Our mission is to educate all learners in transformative computing skills, knowledge, and dispositions, empowering them to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future,“says Lisette Tennant Grok Academy’s Head of Partnerships.

Recently Grok has partnered with Tātai Aho Rau Core Education and are collaborating with the NZ Government (Ministry of Education and the National Cyber Security Centre), educators and industry (ASB, AWS, BNZ, CERT NZ, and Network for Learning) on a programme which aims to teach online security skills to all students in years 6-13. The programme, Cyber Skills Aotearoa provides teachers with classroom ready activities that develop cyber security skills and promotes awareness of cyber careers.

In October 2022, the Cyber Skills Aotearoa programme was launched at Naenae College in Wellington by the then Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark.

Available free to all schools and kura kaupapa Māori, in English and te reo Māori, Cyber Skills Aotearoa comprises a suite of four challenges designed to arm intermediate and high school students with critical technical skills and social awareness that will help them stay safe online. The programme also aims to raise awareness of exciting career opportunities in cyber security.

“We recently released the Information Privacy and Security course for ākonga in years 9-13 with a matching course, for years 6-8 students, coming out later this term.”

This course covers: purposeful sharing, password security, password reuse and multi-factor authentication (MFA), phishing and scams and also highlights major career opportunities in the cyber security industry.

Grok has also been running teacher training webinars with DTTA and TENZ, presented at the Interface Xpo events in May 2023 and will be presenting at the Ulearn23 and TENZ conferences in October 2023.

“Cyber security and safety are incredibly important issues, with scams and cyber-crime on the rise,”says Lisette. The Cyber Skills Aotearoa programme aims to teach students how to stay safe online, develop cyber security skills and to understand how cyber-attacks could affect them and their families.’’

Grok will have further online courses being released as part of the programme, including Web Application Security, Cryptography and Cyber Comp later in 2023 and into 2024.

Go you good things Grok Academy. Mahi that matters right there! 

Cyber Skills Aotearoa programme NaeNae College launch in October 2022

Year 8 students at St Margaret’s College Christchurch in May 2023 – learning about digital privacy and the world of technology via the Grok platform.

EdTechNZ EdTechNZ is the voice of EdTech in New Zealand, supporting the growth of the sector. Our purpose is to drive the creative use of technology, inside and outside the classroom, for better student outcomes. We aim to facilitate a world class education system for all New Zealanders and showcase local EdTech to the world.