Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Tiziana Fuligna and Maura Zepponi, ITET Bramante Genga, Italy.
Istituto Tecnico Economico Tecnologico "D. Bramante - G. Genga" (ITET Bramante Genga) is a vocational college in Pesaro on Italy’s Adriatic coast. The institute aims to produce graduates with skills that will help them attain career success in the corporate world. Its courses cover management, finance and marketing, languages, information technology, geometrics, international relations, green construction technologies, and environmental planning.
In line with all of the vocational disciplines offered by ITET, the curriculum for information technology (IT) is fine-tuned to the current requirements of the business world. ITET’s course Sistemi Informativi Aziendali (SIA) — corporate information systems — has been jointly developed with a Pesaro-based technology company focused on providing business solutions for small and medium enterprises.
Maura Zepponi is in charge of IT curriculum design at ITET. She holds a degree in Law from Università degli Studi di Macerata. Tiziana Fuligna leads the team of teachers at ITET. She holds a degree in Art History from Università degli Studi di Urbino.
Oracle Academy: What is the criteria for designing technology courses at ITET?
Tiziana Fuligna: The name reflects our mission — to produce graduates with professional skills to support regional technical and economic growth, specifically in the Province of Pesaro and Urbino. Our job is to orient students to the working world, and to do so, we need to provide them with advanced competencies. That means continuously enhancing our curriculum by adopting innovative teaching methods and resources.
In 2021, we identified the need to upgrade IT teaching with new technologies in use within the corporate world. One of the elements we were lacking was a scalable platform for database programming and applications development.
Oracle Academy: And how did you remedy this deficiency?
Maura Zepponi: We turned to Oracle Academy. Previously we were using a variety of resources including spreadsheets, word processing packages, and SQL notebooks. We knew that SQL was a key programming language, along with PHP. We found that Oracle Academy’s database curriculum provided what we needed, along with Oracle APEX as a low-code development platform. We chose Oracle Academy for its smooth and well-organized path to mobile applications development and other skills that graduates can immediately use in the world of work.
Oracle Academy: How did you connect with Oracle Academy?
Maura Zepponi: Through contact with the Italian Oracle Users Group, we got to know Roberto Capancioni, an expert in analytics and business intelligence who is an Oracle ACE and an Oracle APEX developer and teacher. He enthusiastically collaborated with us in helping to innovate the institute and trained 10 of our teachers in the teaching of APEX and SQL programming. He was the bridge between our old methods and the Oracle Academy curriculum we offer today.
The partnership with Oracle Academy has been of high satisfaction to all of us — long may it last!
Tiziana Fuligna: Our head teacher gave full approval to the new platform, which we launched in the 2021-22 academic year. Going forward, Oracle Academy will be an integral part of curricular teaching. Our students are 17 to 19 and their parents pick ITET for the career opportunities offered. Many of these parents are IT savvy and, when realizing that we offer Oracle APEX at no cost to the family, enrolled their offspring without hesitation.
Oracle Academy: What prestige! How many students are learning APEX?
Maura Zepponi: Currently we have about 200 APEX accounts. It is a great tool for creating mobile apps from scratch. Each student can now access an APEX workspace in the Oracle Cloud for use at both school and home. Of course, SQL programming is high on the agenda along with database design, and basic skills such as using PHP for retrieving data from MySQL — all the database knowledge needed within companies.
Oracle Academy: What exercises do you give students?
Maura Zepponi: We give students projects related to finance and budgeting using fictitious companies as case studies. They execute graphical data analysis, and run reports and other tasks necessary in the corporate world. I am convinced that APEX gives our young people a competitive edge in the workplace. It allows almost anyone to build real-life applications with no coding experience.
Oracle Academy: Have you considered preparing students for Oracle professional certifications?
Tiziana Fuligna: It’s on our roadmap. We have used Oracle Academy resources for only one year but are planning to propose certification in Sistemi Informativi Aziendali curriculum. We understand the importance of certification and how great it is for students to have this on their CV to help them to get jobs.
Oracle Academy: And artificial intelligence?
Tiziana Fuligna: Currently ITET has a robotics laboratory course but I plan to use the Oracle Academy curriculum, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with Java along with the Oracle Academy Cloud Program. Our objective is to give students the cutting-edge instruments to succeed in corporate life.
Oracle Academy: What type of job opportunities do graduates land?
Maura Zepponi: There is a wide variety of jobs available to our graduates. We see most of our students become computer programmers, lawyers, or accountants. It’s wonderful to hear of their success in their new jobs.
Oracle Academy: Terrific. And what interests do you have outside of teaching?
Tiziana Fuligna: Outside of ITET, I write articles about painting and modern art. I also have taught industrial archeology. Contemporary art was my specialty at university. Recently I have contributed to a Venetian gallery catalog about an artist who makes abstract paintings. I also enjoy walking my four dogs.
Maura Zepponi: I love walking and finding good fruits and vegetables at country markets. I also have a cat.
Thank you, Tiziana Fuligna and Maura Zepponi, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.