Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on João Carlos Ferreira, Coordinator of Computer Science teaching, Faculdade Promove de Tecnologia, Brazil
Faculdade Promove de Tecnologia is a technical university in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, providing over 50 paths to graduation with career-ready skills. Courses range from Information Systems to Odontology; from Gastronomy to Hospital Administration. Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state, has 12.7 million people in its metropolitan area and a vibrant job market.
Faculdade Promove de Tecnologia added Computer Science to its roster of graduate studies in 2003, offering four-year courses in Information Systems. In 2004, it began offering a two-year course in Internet Systems and Computer Networks.
Professor João Carlos Peixoto Ferreira is Coordinator of the Computer Science department. He has a Master's degree in Education, Administration and Communication from São Marcos University in Sao Paolo. As a specialist in Informatics in Education, Ferreira has published extensively and speaks regularly at events such as Oracle Academy’s virtual Latin American Summit in November 2020, with the theme ‘Education Reimagined.’
Oracle Academy: How did you get involved with Oracle Academy?
João Carlos Ferreira: When I joined Promove in 2016 I looked into IT training that would align to the needs of the labor market. I became aware of the Oracle Academy program and contacted them to find out more. It was a perfect match. In 2016 we became an Institutional member, and since then have incorporated the full database and Java curriculum into our teaching. Oracle Academy has been our university’s official curriculum since 2017.
Oracle Academy: How many of your staff are trained in teaching Oracle Academy curriculum?
João Carlos Ferreira: To date, 21 teachers have attended in-class instruction organized by Oracle Academy through a local train-the-trainer program. We all became your students! This semester eight of us are engaged full time in teaching the Portuguese versions of Database Foundations, Database Design and Programming with SQL, Java Fundamentals and Java Programming. In addition, all of us are learning how to use the Oracle Cloud Free Tier platform.
Oracle Academy: What can you tell us about your experience using Oracle Cloud Free Tier through the Oracle Academy Cloud Program?
João Carlos Ferreira: Oracle Cloud has provided fantastic academic opportunities during the pandemic situation and also has expanded the breadth of our teaching. The year 2020 was a challenging time in which several institutions closed their doors because their staff were not prepared for distance learning. Promove already had virtual classrooms in place but Oracle Cloud just made it easier to stay connected. The platform not only kept students on track, without missing a single day of classes, but also broadened the learning panorama considerably.
We are now teaching them how to create virtual machines, install operational systems and work with databases and applications in the Oracle Cloud. We couldn’t do this before with our limited resources. One of the greatest benefits is that students can connect and study whenever they want and from wherever they want.
And from the university standpoint, we’ve been able to increase the quality of our teaching through this far broader online environment and at the same time save money and energy by shutting down our servers. All in all, Oracle Cloud saved the day!
Oracle Academy: What examples can you give us of content delivered through the Cloud?
João Carlos Ferreira: We have teachers using Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle APEX for delivering database and Java classes. Personally, I’m focusing on the infrastructure-as-a-service aspect of the Oracle Cloud Free Tier, showing students how to use virtual machines to create operational systems online.
We also deliver the Oracle Academy Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning in Java course and are exploring how to integrate it into a new curriculum we are designing. In that context, we are examining the resources available through the Oracle Academy Member Hub, including Oracle Academy Education Bytes.
Oracle Academy: You mentioned the training received by your instructors – how effective has it been?
João Carlos Ferreira: In my view, being trained in how to teach specific skills is decisive in the performance and qualification of our professors, most of whom already have Master's and Doctorate degrees.
Oracle Academy benefits students and teachers alike. The training has been super important to our staff, not only for understanding the content but as a learning platform ― how to best deliver the content. Teachers also feel very comfortable teaching database and Java courses that come sealed with the approval of the company that created these technologies.
Oracle Academy: And what can you tell us of the demand for Oracle skills in Belo Horizonte and beyond?
João Carlos Ferreira: There’s strong demand in Belo Horizonte for IT professionals, especially in the area of information security and mobile applications development. Oracle skills are very important to employers in our region. Recruiters are extremely pleased when students mention that they have taken Oracle database and Java courses. They are gratified to know that our students have studied the same content that is used in Japan, the U.S., the world over. Clearly the students are thrilled by this too.
I believe that what Oracle Academy provides is enough to get 100% of our students into the job market. Whether it is during internships carried out during their studies or later in full time employment, having Oracle skills taught by Oracle-trained professors is a powerful calling card.
Oracle Academy: Are you involved in Oracle Academy communities throughout Brazil?
João Carlos Ferreira: What makes Oracle Academy stand out from other academic programs is the ability to engage with other teachers and institutions in the field. This sharing of knowledge and teaching experiences opens up all sorts of perspectives. In my talks and professional activities, I have connected with many Oracle communities. Through one of them I met a teacher in Sao Paolo who has mentored me in my doctoral research into biomedical engineering.
Watch Ferreira talk about how the Oracle Academy Cloud Program has kept his university students engaged and learning even during the pandemic.
Thank you, Professor João Carlos Peixoto Ferreira, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.