Online course in Teaching

Introduction to Encryption and Cryptography

Learn how encryption keeps information safe, and teach your students how it's used in the world today. Supported by Google.

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $44 Find out more

Discover the history of encryption and learn how it's used in the modern world

On this course, you will learn about what encryption is and understand its use in the past by using the Caesar and Vigenère ciphers.

You will also look at the present and future of encryption and investigate both symmetric and asymmetric encryption schemes.

The course includes several practical encryption activities which you can complete and use in your own classroom.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 secondsHow can you prevent your online messages from being read by hackers? How did German spies decipher British secrets during World War II? How can you break the Caesar cipher? What is quantum cryptography? This free course will teach you about the basic principles of encryption, the importance of secure keys, and the future of data security. We'll take part in practical activities to generate your own cipher texts and perform some code breaking yourself. This three-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and feedback on your knowledge as you progress. You can learn whenever and wherever you want.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsSo whether you're a teacher with students of your own or simply curious about cryptography, this course will help you to understand the importance of encryption in the modern world. Sign up now at rpf.io/encryption.

What topics will you cover?

  • A brief look at the history of encryption
  • The encryption and decryption process, and the importance of keys
  • The Caesar and Vigenère Ciphers
  • Symmetric and asymmetric encryption schemes
  • Public key encryption in the real world
  • An introduction to quantum cryptography

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 2 Dec 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the general process of encryption and decryption
  • Apply a Caesar Cipher and a Vigenère Cipher
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different encryption algorithms
  • Compare symmetric and asymmetric encryption
  • Produce an implementation of a Caesar Cipher and RSA encryption in Python
  • Demonstrate methods of breaking simple encryption schemes
  • Describe how encryption is used in the modern world, and some of the possible ethical implications of this

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers delivering computer science lessons in the classroom, at GCSE level or equivalent.

What software or tools do you need?

You will need either a Python Integrated Development Environment (IDE) downloaded to your computer, such as Mu, or to use an online Python service such as Trinket.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education courses

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