I have taught digital forensics at the University of Washington (on and off) for the better part of a decade. I have also been a guest speaker at several universities for longer than that. One thing that I learned from the continuing education courses is that most of the students are already working adults with many already working in the IT industry, and I take advantage of their experience by incorporating it into the classroom.
For example, I have had attorneys (prosecutors, public defenders, and civil attorneys), police officers, federal agents, software developers (some were founding members of commonly used software), and a few ‘white hat’ hackers in my courses. Students who did not fit in any of those categories sat right next to them.
That was the benefit to the students: being able to absorb information from fellow students with years, if not decades, of experience. On the first day of every course, I stress this to the students. Take advantage of the 10-minute breaks, not by checking your email, but by talking. Those 10-minutes breaks produce more relevant information than can be gained from a Google search, because you can talk to the people who have done it, do it every day, and want to share. Rather than 'read' about a case, speak directly with someone who does those cases.
As for me, you better believe I took advantage of the students with experience, all for the betterment of the courses and myself. In my prior law enforcement career as a city cop, I was a detective that worked undercover and was assigned to state, local, and federal task forces as well as investigated cyber-related crimes that spanned the planet. I also investigated multi-national organized crime groups (drug trafficking organizations, gun trafficking, outlaw motocycle gangs, street gangs, human trafficking, counterfeit goods, etc…), terrorist cells in the United States, along with a few other crimes that took me across several states.
I give my brief background not to brag, but to show that even with my experience, I gained something from every class from nearly every person and I asked for it directly. When I found that I had a software developer from a major software company in class, who worked on a program that I use daily…I used him for discussions in class on incorporating that program into forensic analysis reporting and visualization. Every student in the course may not have recognized the value of speaking with someone instrumental in that one program, but we all learned new ways to use something in forensics that we would not have learned otherwise....