Prof. Paul A. Watters: EAI Distinguished Lecture on Cyber Security Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Designing Digital Education for the 21st Century

Prof. Paul A. Watters from Macquarie university outlines some of the key challenges for digital education during the COVID-19 emergency, as well as challenges for cyber security, as a part of EAI Distinguished lectures program.

According to Prof. Watters, digital education became an overnight necessity across the world. Schools and universities have closed their doors. It would be quite rare in any country at the moment for all students to be back studying on campus. And this has led to a fundamental reshaping of the way we design and deliver education.

Challenges of online education

Prof. Watters also describes pedagogical and curriculum challenges the education system faces. For example, if you have designed a networking curriculum around students coming to a physical laboratory with benches, cables, and routers, it’s very difficult then to switch that to a simulation environment. The question then arises: will this simulation experience be equivalent to one which students might have if they were in the physical classroom?

The future of cybersecurity education 

Cyber security issues have quickly come to the fore in discussions around digital education. Essentially, we have nowhere near enough people working in cyber security to meet the labor-intensive demands of a very hungry industry. And this is forcing the profession to investigate new, more diverse cohorts, from which the future workers can be drawn. For example, students, who are on the autism spectrum, might find going to physical classroom challenging. Also, they may find it more comfortable to get fully digitally delivered experience for their education and training. Consequently, the field may end up with a confluence of opportunities and available resources, which certainly wasn’t envisaged during the emergency move to online learning. 

Prof. Paul A. Watters is Australia’s leading cybersecurity researcher and a founder of the He is the Academic Dean at Academies Australasia Polytechnic, Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, and the Honorary Professor at Macquarie University. He was recently awarded $2.364m from the MBIE Catalyst Strategic – Cyber Security Research by the New Zealand government to develop Artificial Intelligence for Automating Responses to Threats.

The honorable Distinguished lectures program serves as an inspiration featuring great talks by the world’s most prominent researchers. Let us introduce to you our featured world’s top speakers presenting a topic as our distinguished guest lecturers.

Watch EAI’s previous Prof. Thomas Magedanz: EAI Distinguished Lecture on Understanding the Role of 5G Campus Networks to Leapfrog in the digital Transformation