TRANSCRIPT: Tales4Teaching ep. 76 – Moving from learning space to learning environments
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Joan: Welcome to Tales for Teaching, a podcast where we explore stories with purpose in higher education. We’ll share expert insights, engaging interviews and thought provoking discussions that will inspire your teaching. On behalf of Deakin University. I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the unceded lands and waterways on which you are located. I acknowledge the Wadawurrung People of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners on which this podcast was recorded and I pay my respects to elders past, present and future. My name is Joan Sutherland and this is Tales for Teaching, brought to you by Deakin Learning Futures. So welcome to another episode of Tales for Teaching, where we’re exploring learning spaces and the way we are transforming the learning experience in this environment. Today I have Angela An with me who will be talking about her experience in teaching cybersecurity. Welcome, Angela.
Angela: Thank you.
Joan: It’s great to have you here. To get started, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself?
Angela: Thanks, Joan. My name is Angela and I’m currently a Ph.D. student from School of Science. And this trimester I’m also a tutor for SIT182 Cybersecurity for real world.
Joan: Cybersecurity for the real world. That sounds really interesting. So what type of things do you go into in that space?
Angela: This unit basically we are talking about the cybersecurity and concepts for the students and a talk about a difference cybersecurity attack tolls for the students we we use and Virtualbox which integrate a different cybersecurity attack toll. And we use [inaudible] where the student can explore different cyber attack. So during our cyber cybersecurity class these are things we are doing. Yeah and we are kind of doing penetration tests which is highly related to the workplace. Later, if a student or looking for a cybersecurity job, we can use all different kind of skills, you know, either you know, in the workplace. Joan: So is your background in cybersecurity?
Angela: I did a Master of Networking you know you from M.I.T. and know two years ago I also did a Master of Computer Science from Edith Cowan University that then last year go to the Ph.D. at Deakin.
Angela: Yeah, kind of like cyber. I mean, also cyber related and doing I’m doing blockchain for the EV charging stations, which also for the cyber cyber aspect.
Joan: It is Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is why I was keen to have you on. What’s your key tip around cyber security that you give your students for the real world?
Angela: Actually, I you know, I also also teaching outside Deakin doing some of the cybersecurity awareness to tell the students. Yeah. So you know, nowadays for the technical things is easy to prevent, someone can use their technical skill. But however, for the human side of cybersecurity is harder to you know, it’s hard to tell the people. For example, someone in the office, they don’t really shut down their computer. Also for the password, always for the password. All we told told to a student, always remembering your password, don’t write down their password in the paper. Always try to protect your privacy. And again, it’s like from a cybersecurity awareness. Cybersecurity awareness, the human factor is very important of what in our daily life. Yes. Are part of from technical skill or technical skill. You know, students can learn from a class. We can learn from YouTube with different tools. So you know, by the for the human factor is very, very difficult to to you know actually well.
Joan: I’m just hearing things like passwords and shutting down your computers and I think because you use them all the time, you get a bit complacent. So you might not actually do that. And I’ve been guilty off of it. And then but I hear what you’re saying is the awareness of what you should be doing and what you can be doing to prevent that cyber security breach. Well, you given a lot of tips already, and that’s just the beginning. So you teach cyber security for the real world. What technology do you use in your teaching practice?
Angela: So we we do we do use different tools. We use VirtualBox, which I mentioned before, a integrated difference, different, different software. Yeah. So student and can practice in the class and also for we have a certification different layers for the certification for a network. Wow. Okay.
Joan: So do you teach via Zoom or is it face to face?
Angela: Face to face. We also have with the online classes through the Zoom. Once we finish the Zoom and the recording it’s going to DeakinCloud.
Joan: And so I’m hearing it’s a lot of hands on real world application things that happen in the workplace that you actually apply to the teaching and learning context. So they’re doing things like you mentioned virtual books and passwords. Yeah. Oh, wow. Sounds sounds exciting. Now, how does the engagement from a student perspective, are they engaged in that real world activity?
Angela: I encourage student as a group two or three of them or four or five of them sit together and experiment, you know, find a you know, for the first a few classes. I’ll try to help. What happens to each each and each one, one by one is console mechanism that is not that effective. So I try to make them as a group. Yes. Always better. You know, I must do the they are good as has on job they help with another and in this case the student the can have a repeat time of practice and a student you can get some idea. So far, so good.
Joan: That’s like peer feedback they’re giving in that small group. So they give you an instruction and they’re also giving feedback because their strengths and weaknesses in each group so they can solve it together. So group problem solving.
Angela: Yeah. Yes. And also in this unit here we have what’s called group discussion in Deakin Cloud in the unit contents. You know, the you know, if they do, they don’t know how to do the experiments. They don’t know the answer. They can ask the question. Other student can help for evidence of the helping each other for the task. Yeah. When I mark I can see their communications, how they solve the problem. It’s quite good. I like this one. And the students engage with it.
Joan: Do they engage with the task at hand, like in relation to providing feedback or helping one another. Sounds like they do. So yeah.
Angela: So some of the don’t know how to do other student, put their screenshots, some listed and give the you know, give you to a video link. Yeah. Some of the give the article. Yeah. Good. You know nowadays we have all of our resources online students you can try to search you know as long as they find is useful for them which is good we are here to support them, not teaching them, you know.
Joan: Yeah, that’s really interesting because as we’ve got the virtual space, we’ve also got the physical space. So there’s an enhanced dynamic that can happen within that environment and it really challenges that power dynamic of teaching and learning. But as you just mentioned, you mentioned about supporting, so breaking down that hierarchy of teaching and learning, but fostering more open communication, which sounds like it’s really working in your space for your cybersecurity class.
Angela: Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. Because for the cyber for the cyber, the loss of a because we only use a few tools in the class. Right. You have different tools lots of content. I always encourage students that if you want to become a cybersecurity expert, you want to find a job in the class. This content is not enough. We only we only and you know, tell you, you know, some basics. So I always encourage student try to search the you know are related to also the industry they’re using because academically for academic purposes some of the tools are free we are using. But in industry any company they use a different one I encourage them to do some research. Yeah Yeah. To try to practice with different tools. So the student doing very, very well. I got feedback some most of a show. So to me some work. Oh wow. I look at it quite good.
Joan: That’s fabulous. And it’s nice that they get in the real world school the skills that they can apply to the workplace. And I hear what you’re saying that it is an issue because there’s so many tools out there that do the similar it’s what tool is that company going to be using. But I think one of the key things you said is what is the industry using? So what’s popular in that industry or what’s the go to software in that industry? Is it Microsoft to do that? I’m sure this bespoke cybersecurity software that different industries use. So that’s great to hear that it’s real world and it’s authentic application and the students are really responding to it and that you’re responding to it and providing that real world application that this is just the grounding, the ground level and then it’s scaffolding that. And what else can you find that specific to your context? Wow, that’s exciting. I might have to enrol. Yeah. If you you know this space and you’re studying the computer science side of things now for you, for your PhD, how did you learn to build capability of how, how to engage students in this content?
Angela: Mhm. Oh that’s good questions you because you also we have a lot of things to do. Very busy. Busy. And actually my area is like blockchain and is it’s related it to cyber. I go through all of content, I go through and experience by myself. You know, some come when, when one time is not working you know always a different take when you to take on new things. I have to practice for a few times, make sure everything is working Monday to Friday. So in a day time I’m also the student. So I have this empathy for the students. I know what’s what’s what’s look like when I do my master’s degree, master’s degree and a better degree. So I’ve got that sense how students think, how you need to you know, I always try to think of from the student sides and, you know, in a class. So I tell the student I’ll. Also goes through. All of this is not easy. I try to support as much as I can. So I think about communications where you have this, you know, the kind of thing. Yeah, we communicate very well. I told them I’m not just your tutor, we are friends. We are learning each other. Sometimes I learn from them as well. Sometimes they show me something. I don’t know. Humble as a thank you. Thank you for that. I just like learning as well.
Joan: So you’ve got a great open approach. You show empathy with your students, so you’re taking a learner centred approach, you’re passing the communication, making sure that they feel like it’s a two way street. And the fact that you’re learning as well is fabulous. Yes.
Angela: Yes, we are all students. I’m a PhD student. They are like bachelors. We are all students.
Joan: Well, that’s it. I always say that we talk about learners and teachers, and I always think, especially with technology in the adoption of technology, teachers become learners in that space as well. It’s just a different space that you’re learning, isn’t it? It may not be context specific or it may be, but it’s just a different knowledge area, I suppose. Yeah, you’ve got a lot of wonderful practices in relation to your learning environment with the physical and virtual, really authentic real world application, open communication, learner centred. How do you have any advice for other teachers that are trying to adopt the same approach that you would give them?
Angela: After class we we normally we use the Teams, we have a Team group. The student, any student if they have general question, general question. You can send them, you can send a text message in the team. So I can also question anybody can understand. And we also we use OnTrack for the assignment and they can message OnTrack on their task.
Joan: OnTrack that’s a portfolio essentially of all the tasks that students do at the end of the at the end of their unit, they’ve got a portfolio of evidence, their progression, and they can reflect on that process as well.
Angela: Yeah, correct. Yeah. Joan: Look, I’d like to thank you for your time today. It’s really insightful and interesting to hear about what a teacher for cybersecurity for the real world actually looks like and what you do and how you’ve incorporated different technology. But the principles behind the technology around that environment for the students is really amazing. So I’d like to thank you for your time, especially in this month of cyber security month. So thank you. I thank you.