The staff and students at the new Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology recently organized a school-wide conference on cyber-ethics and the consequences of hacking that drew experts from major private and public sector organizations. The UAG Cybersecurity Summit on January 31, 2013 featured Goldman Sachs vice president Joel Ruffin, a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, UAG Technology Coordinator Kayon Pryce and students Michael Gonzalez and Bryan Valarezo.
Student input was critical to ensuring the event was relevant and responsive to student concerns. “It was nerve-wracking to be on the panel, but in the end, I felt empowered,” says student Michael Gonzalez, one of the school’s more experienced programmers. For schools that have tech-savvy and tech-curious students, computer and network security can become a challenge when newfound knowledge can tempt students into the uncharted territory of digital rights and responsibilities.
According to sophomore Arthur Tyce, “I like that we have experts come in to give us the latest and best information about cyber security.” The Summit also featured a discussion of the latest cybercrime trends including catfishing and cyberstalking. Students submitted questions for the panelists ahead of time in their Technology classes and were able to engage with panelists in two sessions, one for 10th graders and another for 9th graders.
The Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology (UAG) was launched in 2011 with a mission to engage students through inventive problem-solving that integrates innovative technology and the habits of mind that prepare them for college, careers and life. UAG is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school offering three Technology Pathways: IT & Systems, Digital Design and Animation, and Software Engineering and Programming. UAG will graduate its first senior class in 2015.