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ArkansasIDEAS – “Data Security Awareness: Security Mentor Modules 1-6”

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  • Kayla Fletcher
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Are you aware there is a market threatening student data? Are your practices putting your students at risk? A new course from ArkansasIDEAS – created in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Security Awareness Campaign – is an opportunity for educators to be trained on a variety of security topics that focus on awareness, passwords, email, phishing, public WiFi, and how to recognize and report security incidents.

According to Security Mentor, “Busy schedules, information overload, and long gaps between trainings can make it hard for employees to learn the security information they need.” Experts have recognized that employees play an important role in securing its most sensitive information.

To help strengthen that role, the Security Mentor modules are packed full of interactive lessons, opportunities for educator reflection, and a collection of the Security Awareness Campaign posters to help include students in the conversation.

The first module, “Introduction to Security Awareness,” will launch on November 1, 2018, and additional modules in the first course being released monthly through April 2019. ArkansasIDEAS, the Arkansas Department of Education, and the Security Awareness Campaign plan to launch the remaining modules in a second course beginning October 2019.

Arkansas Department of Education Director of Data Use & Privacy Ray Girdler had the following to share about the program’s launch:

“In the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to tour Arkansas and provide training to multiple audiences. We do our best to provide support to schools and districts to meet the real needs in the field. Even though we provide training on a multitude of topics, I’m not sure there is any single training that catches education professionals more off-guard than the topic of ‘security awareness.’

Most of us got into the field of education because of our love for children. Along the way, we have seen changes in the educational landscape. The immersion of technology in the classroom is among the most obvious of transformations. In trying to keep up with the technology curve, we’ve all been working tirelessly to try new tools and innovate in new ways. It just so happens, there has been another growing trend less obvious to the average classroom teacher. The data that is now being collected by these technology companies has become the new ‘gold standard.’

As educators, we get so consumed by the work. It is easy to overlook the danger and risks associated with using student data. The urgency increases when we stop to reflect on data breaches that have been made public, people we know who have had their identity stolen, or letters that have been mailed to our homes notifying us our account has been compromised. There are real dangers for our students if we don’t do all that we can to protect their information.

The challenge for many of us is we’re not sure if we’re protecting our students’ information, because we don’t know how to protect our students’ information. This is how the idea for our Security Awareness Campaign was born. One of the best ways to protect your students and yourself is to become informed.

ArkansasIDEAS has championed the Arkansas Department of Education in this effort to provide industry-leading (Security Mentor) security awareness training modules to every education professional across this great state! We’re excited to be releasing a new module at the first of each month. For more ways to increase security awareness in your school or district, please visit our campaign page.”

“Data Security Awareness: Security Mentor Modules 1–6” is available through ArkansasIDEAS at Additional modules to be released through April 2019 will include:

  • “Passwords,” December 2018.
  • “Phishing,” January 2019.
  • “Email Security,” February 2019.
  • “Public WiFi,” March 2019.
  • “Reporting Incidents,” April 2019.

    ADE Security Awareness Campaign


    Arkansas Department of Education