Chichester College staff have developed an education programme which is set to be rolled out at schools across the country.
Andrew Davies, head of learning for creative & performing arts, and Ellis Langdell, an instructor/technician in media, have been working with a specialist police team to develop a project to teach young people about the dangers of cyber crime.
The result has been the creation of ‘Cyber Champions’, an interactive game which demonstrates the dangers and also educates young people about the Computer Misuse Act – something they can very often find themselves breaking without even knowing they are doing so.
The Cyber Choices Team from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) approached the college for help in designing the game.
Peter Chaffey, Police Cyber Choices Team & Police Cyber Protect Advisor, said: “We wanted to be able to engage with a young audience about a subject which isn’t always the most ‘exciting’ but could have serious implications on their futures.
“That’s how the idea of the game came about, enabling players to follow a ‘live’ cyber incident, learning about the Computer Misuse Act while they play.
“As members of the police force, we knew we probably weren’t best placed to design, create and produce this – so we approached Andy for inspiration and we were blown away by his and Ellis’ ideas.”
Andy added: “We were really excited to be approached by Peter and his team.
“This took us out of our comfort zone to create something that has a really important message for young people, telling them about the danger of misusing computers – even if it’s not done so in a malicious way – and to encourage better behaviour online.
“We road tested this with our own students at every step of the way, and their honest feedback has helped to shape the game and give us all confidence in the finished product.”
The game, which can be embedded as a complete scheme of work, takes the perspective of an officer working in a cyber crime unit. It presents a number of scenarios for the players to assess if the activity is legal or illegal and what punishments may face those involved.
Peter said: “When we say the final edit, we knew Ellis and Andy had created something unlike any other cyber crime awareness lesson and it encapsulates all that we wanted – it’s inclusive, attention grabbing and, above all, teaches those playing the law regarding computer misuse.
“The game is now available to every young person in the UK via our website: serocu.police.uk – and is part of our ‘Cyber Choices’ lesson plan for schools.
“The feedback so far has been tremendous from both young people and adults. It has already gained national recognition and support from the National Cyber Security Centre.”
Julie Kapsalis, managing director (commercial) at the Chichester College Group, added: “We firmly believe the college is central to its community and we are privileged to be able to work with local organisations.
“Andy and Ellis worked tirelessly with Peter and his team to create a fantastic game and deliver what is a truly important project that can make a big difference to young people.
“For this to go out nationally is a huge credit to their hard work, vision and drive. We’re incredibly proud of them.”