West Downs 9
Chair: Terry Freedman
Time 9.35 – 10.35

Cybersecuring the future

Authors: Lynne Dagg, Sheila Garfield and Steven Haswell, University of Sunderland

Computer Science Teachers work within a time of profound technological change which impacts on the curriculum they are asked to deliver.  One such area is CyberSecurity. The aim of this research was to consider how aware students and teachers are about the topic of CyberSecurity and to gain an insight into where teachers felt they required training and where pupils would benefit from greater understanding.

This was a small scale study which was conducted using two online surveys.  The first survey was aimed at University students of Computing including some who were undertaking Teacher Training Programs. The second was directly aimed at teachers.  The first questions were similar between the two surveys although additional questions were asked to teachers relating to their teaching, their learning and the learning of their students.

Although the response size was small there were a number of interesting findings particularly relating to their practices of utilising security measures in their own contexts.

The study is important because it allows future consideration about two areas. Firstly the question why those who are generally more informed than the general public would not always comply with good practice when dealing with matters relating to passwords and digital footprint outside the educational context.  Secondly the study provides an insight into where teachers may require additional training relating to CyberSecurity and methods through which this may be effected.


I qualified as a teacher around 30 years ago and worked as a teacher/lecturer in both schools and colleges before coming to the University in 2003.  My interest in computing began when I was at school but opportunities to utilise that interest were restricted. I used some of the first IBM PCs in the UK during my degree as well as the Mainframe computers which were then the norm. While working in colleges, I delivered modules in computing to degree level. My interests in computing are diverse and this is useful within my job role as teachers can be asked to deliver a wide range of content to children in school.

At the University I have been involved in delivering Teacher Training courses in Computing/ICT for the past 14 years. My role leads me to teach modules on other programmes and to supervise some dissertation students.

Teaching and supervision
I am Programme Leader for PGCE Computer Science with Qualified Teacher Status. Trainee teachers who undertake the programme spend a large number of days in school and I work with them both within the school and within the University setting.

My work with the trainees within the University setting leads me to consider pedagogical issues relating to the teaching of computing including the particular need to consider Health and Safety issues within computing classrooms. I also work with them to develop their subject knowledge in computer science.

Research interests for potential research students

  • Computer science education within secondary education
  • Policymaking within education
  • Governance