Shazam! Building a Cybersecurity Universe from the Ground Up isn’t Easy!

November 9, 2018

Building a universe from the ground up isn’t an easy task, especially when working on filling the cybersecurity workforce pipeline. But Comic-BEE pulled it off with their innovative, comic-based education and evaluation tool that won Best Student Learning Aid in the 2018 National CyberWatch Center’s Innovation in Cybersecurity Education Award!

Comics s tell stories and influence readers, making them the perfect venue to convey complex cybersecurity instructional material in a few frames of pictures, captions and dialogue. No need to be an artist, writer or programmer – Comic-BEE’s web application integrates the lesson plan into the story and helps authors develop a branching story scene by scene. Create a storyboard for each scene and Comic-BEE’s automation helps quickly convert those storyboards to a full-color comic.

Students have been able to achieve a deeper understanding of concepts and essential elements of cybersecurity in general by creating comics that demonstrate how situations unfold with different positive and negative outcomes. What’s even better is that college students are not only loving it but also using it themselves by creating web comics as capstones to demonstrate what they learned in a course rather than writing a traditional term paper.

Even competitors in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition used Comic-BEE to create web comic stories to educate employees in the fictional companies they defended.

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a series of workshops have taken place for middle school students for them to read web comics on cybersecurity topics and use Comic-BEE to create their own story about a cyber-crime investigation. In a new grant from NSF, Comic-BEE will help K12 teachers learn more about cybersecurity and develop customized curriculum to take back to their classrooms.  This innovation has no educational limit.

Comic-BEE simplifies sharing curricular material with fellow educators and also has scoring capabilities that support evaluation and assessment of various cyber concepts and skills through branching web comics for hands-on evaluations or practice exercises and labs for process and strategy.

This innovation is completely and easily transferable to other institutions. To access it, and more like it, go to the National CyberWatch Center’s member portal HERE. Academic memberships are FREE, and other memberships are available HERE.