Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Takayuki Tanoue, Computer Science Lecturer, Kinki Computer & Electronics Technical College, Japan.
Kinki Computer & Electronics College is a technical college in the Kansai area of western Japan. The college’s main focus is on cutting-edge technologies related to computing and electronics. Its mission is to nurture technology leaders, concentrating on IT engineering, business, gaming, computer graphics and design, and telecommunications.
Takayuki Tanoue is a computer science lecturer in the Department of Academic Affairs. He is also chair of the Department of Computer Programming at the college. Tanoue currently teaches three classes in the computer programming courses: Introduction to Database, SQL Fundamentals, and PL/SQL using Oracle Application Express (APEX). He also has a course focused on a Japan national certification, the Information Technology Engineers Examination.
The college regularly collaborates with industry and provides an environment for students to learn the industry-relevant technology. As a result, each of the courses has been approved as a “specialized and practical vocational course” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
Oracle Academy: What inspired you to teach computing courses?
Takayuki Tanoue: When I was a student, I was very interested in technology with the goal of becoming a systems engineer. I wanted to develop systems that would be useful to our community. I learned programming skills such as C and Java as well as Oracle database and infrastructure-related technology. I then became interested in teaching―being able to teach students and encourage them to learn technology became my passion.
Oracle Academy: Why Oracle Academy?
Takayuki Tanoue: The institution has been a member for over 20 years, even before it was called Oracle Academy. Since the era of processing with general-purpose machines developed with COBOL etc., and the transition to open source client/server systems and web systems, it has become essential for the industry to acquire knowledge about databases.
Oracle database technology has been regarded as one of the most essential skills students can have to appeal to companies when seeking a job. I earned an Oracle Master Gold 8i certification, and since then, I have been in charge of computing classes using Oracle Academy resources.
If educators can make effective use of Oracle Academy resources, it has a significant impact on their students’ present and future. In the near future, I’m sure that students will lead their own projects in their jobs using Oracle technology.
Oracle Academy: Which Oracle Academy curriculum or resources do you use in the classroom?
Takayuki Tanoue: I use many of the Oracle Academy resources related to SQL. I use the Database Foundations curriculum as well as Oracle Application Express (APEX). I also use content from the Oracle Academy Education Bytes hands-on labs, which I access from the Oracle Academy Member Hub. I modify some of the lessons so that they can be easily communicated to Japanese students. In addition, I create SQL questionnaires to test students’ knowledge, which encourages them to learn more.
Oracle Academy: Can you tell us about the importance of SQL skills to your students?
Takayuki Tanoue: SQL skills are essential for students advancing into the IT industry. Even if a student can program in Java, C, PHP, etc., it is difficult to develop a business system, unless he/she can analyze and deploy the necessary information from the database.
Companies looking to hire graduates list Java and SQL as essential skills. Companies who have recently hired our graduates have provided feedback about their excellent SQL skills and how they immediately have played an active role in the workforce.
Oracle Academy: How is your teaching structured?
Takayuki Tanoue: When students begin the course, I make sure they fully understand the importance of databases in the world today. In the first year, they focus on SELECT queries where they learn the basics. They then move onto solving problems where they learn how to compose SELECT statements much more efficiently. The problem-solving tasks are very useful for me to check the progress and capabilities of my students. I often hear them say, “I've done it so far,” or “I just can't solve this problem.”
In the second year, I teach them how to create, design and build a database based on the specification. They learn how to combine the necessary commands such as data definition language (DDL) and data manipulation language (DML) to execute commands.
In the third year, I teach them how to create stored procedures, functions and triggers using PL /SQL.
Oracle Academy: What are the benefits of Oracle APEX to you and your students?
Takayuki Tanoue: My students love having easy access to a hands-on environment. Oracle APEX encourages students to practice in an environment that enables SQL learning anytime, anywhere without any additional cost. And, those students who are keen to learn more were able to perform additional tasks utilizing SQL or PL/SQL at home during vacation.
In the past, my students did hands-on labs only in the classroom. Now they are able to execute the labs with just the mobile device distributed by the college, regardless of time or place, as long as they can access the network.
Also, using Oracle APEX has been more effective than anything else when online lessons were required for teaching and learning during the pandemic. Even beginners who had just entered the college were able to quickly become familiar with APEX once they received their workspace name and user name.
Oracle Academy: You have been a member of Oracle Academy for a number of years. What keeps you engaged?
Takayuki Tanoue: I have been conducting database education with the cooperation of the Oracle Academy as an institutional member since 2002. Since then, in an on-premise environment from Oracle 8 to Oracle12c, my students have created a DB server and practiced SQL and PL/SQL. This experience will help students thrive in the IT industry.
I plan to continuously explore the Oracle Academy Member Hub for new curriculum and updated resources that are well-aligned with my educational goals. Also, the up-to-date information on the Member Hub and events such as online webinars for the Japan community set up by the Oracle Academy country manager are a great benefit.
Oracle Academy: What are your interests outside of teaching?
Takayuki Tanoue: Outside of education, I love to spend time with my family, going on holidays or simply enjoying walking with my two daughters. I also enjoy playing the guitar and skiing.
Oracle Academy: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Takayuki Tanoue: Oracle Academy has been very supportive of my institution’s educational activities for a long time. I truly appreciate the staff’s continuous passion and cooperation in computing education. I hope Oracle Academy will continue to help me educate students by providing information, educational resources, and technology for many years.
Thank you, Takayuki Tanoue, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.