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Due to coordinated efforts across the whole of the US government and non-profit organizations like Code.org, more than half of all high schools in the country offer classes in Computer Science. While it’s good that students are learning about programming, the AP Computer Science curriculum does not require them to learn how the tools and operating systems they rely on actually work. Their skills are narrowly defined and difficult to translate into the real world because key knowledge like networking, the command line, and how virtualization works is completely skipped. In addition, the existing material students are expected to learn has almost no relevant security training, meaning students who are more interested in that side of the field have to find their own way. Roppers Academy fills those gaps in material with a free, open-source curriculum that students can self-teach technical topics with minimal teacher supervision. With the right learning path, anyone can teach themselves whatever they need to know, but without one they might be paddling in the wrong direction.
Roppers is free and will always be free. It was started with the goal of being the best place on the internet for someone to begin their journey into the field of computing and fundamentals. That mission has expanded over time and is now described here: CTF 2027 Mission. One of the key pillars of that strategy to bring Capture the Flag into every school in the United States is to have a scaleable educational framework to train our next generation of experts. We've had tens of thousands of students go through our material, with each student helping to make our self-guided course as perfect as possible. Now that we have the curriculum nailed down, it is time to get the material to as many students as we can. These teacher's guides are a critical part of our plan to make that happen.
Roppers will provide all the support we are able to any teacher who brings Roppers into their classroom. Whether if it's as part of the syllabus or something for students who are racing out ahead are pointed towards, we are here for teachers.
We have a dedicated support channel in our Slack for educators, #educators. We provide teacher's guides for all of our material. We are in the process of building out slide decks, videos, and labs for students to test their knowledge on, but those will be in the long term.
In the short term, we can provide students with all the material they need to work through this on their own, and we can ensure that you feel supported as a teacher. Ensuring students have felt supported every second of the way has been a cornerstone of our success so far, and we will do the same with our teachers.
Ropper’s flagship course teaches Computing Fundamentals and what a student needs to know in order to set up their own programming environment and troubleshoot problems they encounter. Taking students from installing their first Linux Virtual Machine and understanding how computers really work under the hood, to learning sysadmin knowledge and understanding networking tasks, this course is the perfect complement to any introductory programming course and ensures students are able to fend for themselves.
Our Security Fundamentals course provides the context needed for a student to develop a technical understanding of security and how different roles in the security industry fit into every day. This course teaches the mental models, online tools, and general vocabulary required to understand where security fits into the modern world and what is required for them to be safe online. There is no prior experience required and this course can be used by any teacher who wants their students to be more security savvy.