1. Description of Our Team
We are Darren Teoh (16), Liu Yi Lin (17), Park Han Min (18) and Clarence See (16) from the Raffles Institutiton. We have come to know about the Doors to Diplomacy through our Social Studies teacher Mr Eric Koh. Mr Koh is our teacher-mentor. All of us are active users of the Internet services like Google Docs and have keen interest in cybersecurity. To share our knowledge on cybersecurity and its increasing importance in a globalized world, we have decided to take part in the Doors to Diplomacy competition.
2. Summary of Our Project
“If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.” - Bruce Schneier, global expert on cybersecurity
The key aim of our project is to educate the people around the world about the importance of cybersecurity and the growing threat our cyberspace faces in the 21st century. Nowadays, many of us are connected to the Internet and it forms a vital part of our life. Due to the increasing connectivity to the Internet, the threat of cyberattacks grows equally as much.
We explore the various types of cyberattacks and the importance of cybersecurity from various perspectives: political, economic and individual. Additionally, we also explore how various international organisations are coming together to combat the threat of cyberattacks and what the Singapore Government and private sectors are doing to ensure Singapore’s cybersecurity.
Most importantly, we look at limitations of what the so-called cybersecurity “professionals” can do to mitigate cybersecurity threats, and we explain what each individual can do to protect himself/herself from the growing threat of cyberattacks. The key message of our project is that cybersecurity is a collective issue which concerns everyone of us, hence everybody has a part to play in ensuring the global cybersecurity. We believe that cybersecurity is just like ensuring the security of neighbourhoods: police patrols the area for criminals like thieves while each household has their own security measures to prevent breaking in.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
A. Time management As the seniors of the school, we had to meet increasing numbers of responsibilities both academic and non-academic. This put huge pressure on us since we had to allocate as much as we can squeeze out of our daily schedule for our Doors to Diplomacy project. It was a new challenge for us to deal with. We learnt better time management skills from parents and teachers and hence were able to commit better to the Doors to Diplomacy project.
B. Scheduling group meetings When we became the Year 4s of the school (equivalent to Grade 10), we were not given separate curriculum hours for our Doors to Diplomacy project (which is part of the Year 3 curriculum called Research Education). Hence, we had to find ways to meet up and complete the project. This was when the technology proved to be the solution. We used the online collaborative tool Google Docs to hold online meetings and to edit our works simultaneously from our home. This erased the need for us to meet physically unless absolutely necessary. Also, it provided us the opportunity to better manage our time and increase productivity since physical meetings can sometimes turn out to be unproductive for various reasons.
C. Learning Despite having the interest and knowledge in the Internet and cybersecurity, some of us lacked the in-depth technical aspects of the issue. We referred to various books on the Internet and security so as to gain better understand of the technical knowledge. Also, Darren was very helpful in teaching us various technical concepts. He had much more prior knowledge on the issue due to his interest in computer software and gadgets.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility and we are here to promote the awareness of the importance of cybersecurity in our daily life so as to make our online world a safer place for all. “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.” - Bruce Schneier, global expert on cybersecurity
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project is in line with the Raffles Institution Social Studies curriculum which emphasizes on the value of active citizenry. Active citizenry is an act of a citizen to raise an awareness of an social issue and to improve the society. Our project aims to educate the public about the importance of cybersecurity. Additionally, the Social Studies curriculum requires us to make a social documentary. The documentary is based on our Doors to Diplomacy project. As a result of the social documentary, we have learnt video shooting and editing skills which will be useful as we further our studies.
In addition, our Doors to Diplomacy project is part of the school’s Research Education (RE) Programme. Through our project, we were able to apply the research skills we learnt from the Research Education such as literature review, note-taking, APA style citation, etc.