Teaching Cybersecurity using Sphero with Tod Johnston Cybertraps 158

Tod Johnston, a Senior Education Content Manager at Sphero, discusses how his company uses robots to teach cybersecurity concepts to middle school students. Their robotic balls help students visualize abstract cybersecurity topics like man-in-the-middle attacks. Tod explains how they developed lessons in collaboration with cybersecurity experts to give students an initial understanding of cyber threats and how to act responsibly online. Tod hopes to expand these lessons to younger students in the future. The discussion also touches on the challenges of educating both students and adults about cybersecurity given that technology is evolving rapidly and privacy policies are often difficult to understand.

  • Sphero – Blueprint– basics of engineering 
  • Educators need to think about cybersecurity from a student’s perspective, rather than a technology perspective. 
  • We should be inviting students to learn about their privacy policies to help them make better choices. 
  • Sphero programmable balls are good for teaching programmable, algorithmic skills, but it’s always difficult to teach cybersecurity. 
  • An example of a man in the middle attack 
  • Can’t damage other people’s property 
  • Student in Miami-Dade who hacked the school district. 
  • Dr. Pauline Mosley collaborated on Sphero’s curriculum 
  • The hope for the future of designing software and hardware and what they should look like. 

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About Tod Johnston

Tod Johnston is a Senior Education Content Manager at Sphero, leveraging over 10 years of experience in classroom settings. With a focus on classroom technology, math education, STEM, and the environment, Tod applies practical teaching expertise to positively impact technology integration in schools. He also has experience as a Learning Experience Designer – designing curriculum, presenting at conferences, and researching educational technology and math education trends. He is dedicated to transforming education through innovative approaches.

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