Super Cyber Kids

Super Cyber Kids: a European partnership to disseminate Cybersecurity at school

The European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) has joined forces with seven European partners to disseminate Cybersecurity at school. The project “Super Cyber Kids” merges gamification with education, addressing the risks of early online access by pupils. After some early trials, a handbook of good practices will provide schools’ staff with resources to efficiently teach cybersecurity to children. 

Super Cyber Kids is a three-year project, funded by the Erasmus+ program, involving eight European partners from five countries, including the European Cybersecurity Organisation (ECSO) and the European School Heads Association (ESHA)

The Super Cyber Kids program aims to meet the growing phenomenon of early internet access by children. According to a study by EIT Digital Academy, (2020), over 50% of eight-year-olds are active online, rising to 100% among adolescents. These numbers recently increased due to the growing use of digital education, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which increased the potential for cyber threats targeting both pupils and educators.  

Addressing this issue, ECSO has conducted an innovative and multidisciplinary study with the following key principles: 

  • openness and flexibility, enabling educators to adapt the dissemination of cybersecurity principles to the specific needs of their pupils; 
  • constant monitoring of the overall progress of the training course; 
  • gamification, using the typical elements of games (missions, scores, levels, rankings, immediate feedback, badges etc.) to increase the motivation and commitment of the participants. 

The result is Super Cyber Kids, an educational ecosystem to train both teachers and students on matters of cybersecurity. There are two expected outcomes from this program: an online platform, hosting two games on the topic of cybersecurity, and a handbook providing guidelines for further implementation. 

To achieve this, four pilot studies are being conducted in different venues (Europe-wide, Italy, Estonia, and Germany), involving fifty school heads plus one-hundred teachers in pilot use cases. ECSO is leading the coordination between these trials in partnership with the European School Heads association (ESHA), evaluating the ecosystem of cybersecurity education in real settings.  

The handbook of good practices on cybersecurity education in schools will provide resources for researchers, school staffs, and parents. Moreover, it will feature another set of guidelines involving actors such as policymakers, regulatory bodies, and institutions in cybersecurity education.  

Finally, school heads will be involved in three small-scale exploitation events designed to raise awareness about project’s implementation, activities, evaluation, results, and subsequent steps. The last step will consist in a large-scale transnational conference to disseminate project’s results and create a systemic, and lasting, impact. 

Super Cyber Kids is run by a consortium of eight European entities, including: 

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