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Last Updated: September 2011

Case Study

Annual C3 (Cyber Ethics, Safety and Security) Conference: An Educational Springboard


The first C3 event was held in June of 2001 in the bottom of the Benjamin Building (College of Education) at the University of Maryland - College Park. Founding members included Davina Pruitt-Mentle (former UMCP COE Educational Technology Outreach Director, Rodney Peterson (former UMCP, Project NEThics Director) and Amy Ginther (former Assistant Director, UMCP, Project NEThics). In 2005, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance (Ron Teixeira, Executive Director), the Annual C3 Conference moved to the first Thursday and Friday in October to help kick off National CyberSecurity Awareness Month (before it was officially branded). The event has grown over the last ten years to a full two-day agenda with over 500 attendees.


The core mission of the C3 Conference is to inform the educational community about the ethical, legal, safety, and security implications of technology use and illustrate how educators and parents can apply these concepts to their own setting. Tutorial sessions include practical applications that can be immediately applied to your home or classroom setting.

Participants hear from state and local educators, law enforcement, internet safety/security curriculum providers, researchers, and policy makers on a broad range of topics to include: current and pending legislation, available educational initiatives, the latest "hot topics" to include cyberbullying, identity theft and sexting, internet safety provider updates, online reputation management, newly released online interactive simulations and games that promote responsible online behavior, C3 framework and matrix, and much more. Digital Literacy encompasses Cyberethics, safety and security. The focus is on educating teachers, parents and students to use technology and digital media in a safe and responsible way.


The Annual conference has served as a springboard for schools and school districts in and beyond Maryland to share current research, resources and expertise for promoting cyber education in their own communities. The C3 framework continues to be adopted by the educational community to bring about a holistic approach to educational communities regarding cyber education. While the target audience is K-12 educators, the venue continues to attract law enforcement, local, state and federal government and 2 and 4 year faculty.


New technological gadgets and ethics, safety and security topics continue to expand. It is difficult to narrow down the topics and presentations.

Implementation Challenges

2011 will be our tenth year and we are well established for hosting the event in October. However, the month has become saturated with numerous workshops and conferences. Securing funding takes time and effort.

Future Plans

Working with our partnership with CyberWatch (a NSF funded ATE center) and the consortium of 2 and 4 year institution members, in addition to our non-profit internet safety curriculum partners, we continue the dialog year round. We and our higher education members share resources back and forth. We continue to expand our C3 Award of Excellence and mini-grants to help K-12 educational communities bring about awareness campaigns in their own schools and communities. Plans are underway to replicate the C3 conference in Arizona and Florida. We continue to support National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the broader Stop.Think.Connect. campaign.

Return on Investment

Wider, yet more detailed dissemination process by giving LEA’s the tools and flexibility to address their population and community needs.


5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is Highly Replicable)


5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is Highly Effective)

Submitted By

Davina Pruitt-Mentle, Executive Director, Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach

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