Oracle Academy Newsletter

April 2018

In This Issue:

Member Spotlight
Program Spotlight
Computer Science Around the World
Events and Headlines


Oracle Academy Teams with CodeLagos to Train 1,000,000 to Code

Oracle Academy is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to provide access to computer science education for Lagosians through the CodeLagos initiative. CodeLagos aims to position Lagos State as the technology frontier in Africa by training one million Lagos residents to code. To date, nearly 20,000 students have been trained through the CodeLagos’ Coding Education Framework.

“Oracle Academy is delighted to support CodeLagos on this innovative project to train one million students over three years,” said Jane Richardson, senior director, EMEA, Oracle Academy. Oracle Academy’s Java Fundamentals curriculum and teacher training programs will be a key component of the after-school programs run by CodeLagos in their Code Centers across the state.

This collaboration supports the our mission to advance computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields through a free and complete portfolio of software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty trainings, support, and certification resources. We want all students everywhere to be able to achieve their dreams and be able to contribute to community stability, economic prosperity, and future innovations.
 



Oracle Academy Collaborates with Montenegro Ministry of Education

Oracle Academy and the Ministry of Education, Montenegro, signed a partnership agreement to incorporate Oracle Academy Java and database design curriculum into more than 90 schools over the next three years. In addition, Oracle Academy will help ramp up the skillsets of 300 teachers and support them with the needed resources for their 3,000 students across the country.

As part of this collaboration, students will be encouraged to sit an Oracle Certified Junior Associate exam for database or Java, which, if earned, will help set them apart from the competition. Students will receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping to prepare them for success in future careers.

"We are very proud of having a new partner, Oracle, as one of the global leaders in software production, whose mission is to advance computer science education through Oracle Academy. In 2017, Oracle Academy supported 3.5 million students at nearly 12,000 institutions across 120 countries, and it is now time for Montenegro,” said Dr. Damir Sehovic, Minister of Education, Montenegro. “In the next three years, we will jointly advance computer science education in Montenegro and help students and teachers to first gain new knowledge that will help them in teaching, and to build a good base for further IT knowledge.”
 



Post-Secondary Student Scholarship Initiative – Making an Impact!

In collaborative engagements with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Great Minds in STEM (HENAAC), and United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Oracle Academy’s student scholarship initiative was announced earlier this year.

This fall, we will award more than $40,000 in student scholarships to undergraduate and graduate computer science and engineering students in North America. This collaboration with AISES, HENAAC, and UNCF represents our common goal of supporting computer science for all by providing opportunities and resources to help historically underserved students pursue and maintain their engagement in post-secondary computing education.

AISES supports STEM studies and careers by serving American Indians, including both Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian members. HENAAC works to promote career and networking opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math for students of Hispanic or Latino decent. UNCF works to strengthen students, communities and the nation by helping African American and other students of color go to and through college.

At Oracle Academy, we are committed to investing in the current and future diversity of computing fields—making an impact one student at a time.
 



More Than 11,000 Students Attend Oracle Academy Virtual Student Day

Oracle Academy member institutions across India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal joined our Oracle Academy Student Virtual Day—a unique online virtual conference with Oracle experts presenting key technology and IT career topics to help attendees build their technical and industry knowledge. Student registrations hit a record number with more than 11,000 attending to learn about Big Data, NoSQL database, IoT smart devices, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital experience, and database security. In addition to the technical offerings, students learned about career building blocks during sessions entitled “How to Get Your Career Started” and “How to Prepare for a Corporate Career.”

This event was one in a series of Oracle Academy Student Virtual Days happening around the globe. Although Student Virtual Days are open to any Oracle Academy Individual members, many Institutional members choose to encourage their students to participate. These universities, polytechnics, colleges and schools often provide computer science (CS) education programs using Oracle Academy curriculum, including Java and database courses, as a part of their CS syllabus. In cases like this, Oracle Academy Student Virtual Day events create a unique and fun opportunity for students to engage with content that complements their formal coursework.

Watch our events calendar for more Oracle Academy Student Virtual Days coming soon.
 



Diversity in Computing Featured at SIGCSE 2018

In February, Oracle Academy participated in the #SIGCSE2018 conference in Baltimore, Maryland—giving us the opportunity to engage with higher education and K-12 computer science teachers from all over the world. We welcomed the time to learn about teacher successes and gather feedback as we revise current resources and create new projects.

During the conference, Oracle Academy facilitated a panel on The Importance of Diversity to the Overall Health of the Technology Industry. The panel discussion focused on ways diversity can increase innovation, how to create and nurture a diverse workforce, and ways to encourage more girls and underrepresented minority (URM) students to participate, persist and succeed in computer science education pathways and careers. The panel was moderated by Lorilyn Owens, Director of Member Services and Engagement, Oracle Academy, who led a lively discussion reflecting a wide variety of perspectives. Some highlights included:

  • Couragion CEO Melissa Risteff sharing research supporting the position that in order to effectively address diversity challenges, computer science must be a core education requirement;
  • Data showing that numbers of underserved minority students taking CS classes is on the rise in Texas and Utah;
  • Dr. Carol Fletcher of the University of Texas, Austin emphasizing the relationship between committed investment in teacher professional development and increasing diversity in the student population;
  • Dr. Helen Hu, who is a CS professor at Westminster College, focusing on the connection between diversity in the K-12 CS student pipeline and the types of programming skills universities generally seek in CS students;
  • The importance of role models and near-peer mentors to the success of undergraduate URM and women students as experienced by Maya Garcia, Director STEM, DC Office of State Superintendent of Education; and
  • Thamina Christensen, Group Product Manager, Oracle, sharing her personal story of how her perspectives shaped the views of her otherwise all-male team and ultimately impacted product design decisions.

Oracle Academy was pleased to support #SIGCSE2018. We look forward to seeing you next year at #SIGCSE2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota!
 


Coders in Action

Innovation Thrives Throughout Oracle

Innovation is an Oracle hallmark—from internal product research and development that helps ensure customers get the latest technology without having to modify their infrastructure to research innovation from Oracle Labs that tackles technology paths that are high-risk, uncertain, or otherwise difficult to undertake within a Product Development organization—present throughout the company.

Oracle Labs’ focus is research, and its mission is straightforward: identify, explore, and transfer new technologies that have the potential to substantially improve Oracle’s business. The Oracle Labs External Research Office (ERO) sponsors collaborative research projects led by investigators from both Oracle and external research organizations, including academia, spanning a wide range of research topics – from VLSI, to parallel programming, to multi-language VMs, to machine learning, quantum computing, and beyond. Oracle Labs is a global organization, with offices in the US, Europe, and Australia, and its researchers have been recognized with a number of prestigious awards.

Oracle Labs researchers search out novel approaches and methodologies. Importantly, researchers are change-makers: they aim to develop technologies that will someday play a significant role in the evolution of society and technology. Oracle is known across industries for its innovative products, many of which evolve from research collaborations. We invite you to learn more about Oracle Labs and its ERO. And, if you’re a faculty member, research director or principal investigator at a university, national laboratory or non-profit research organization and are interested in exploring collaborative opportunities, we encourage you to contact the External Research Office at eroadmin_us_grp@oracle.com.
 


“Code Together with Oracle Academy” Advances Computer Science Education in Sri Lanka

Oracle Academy recently hosted a “Code Together with Oracle Academy” event in Sri Lanka to support the country’s initiative to advance computer science education and help inspire students’ creativity. Around 120 students between the ages of 12-14 years old across 10 schools in the Western Province attended the event aimed at sharpening their knowledge about coding concepts and helping them gain insight into the latest tools and emerging technologies.

“At Oracle Academy, we are thrilled to support ongoing work in Sri Lanka to inspire and engage students in computer science. This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for students to display their coding skills and it was heartening to see how they understood object-oriented programming concepts with a little bit of advice and guidance from us,” said Damian Haas, regional director, Oracle Academy, Asia Pacific and Japan.

An Oracle Academy trainer conducted several informative sessions, and then, in a hands-on session, taught students how to use Alice, an educational Java development environment for creating 3-D animations in a drag-and-drop coding environment. Most students had little or no experience with programming or developing 3-D animations. By the end of the session, students were able to develop complete animations using their imagination, creativity and computing.

“Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. I am so glad to see the level of interest shown by these young minds,” said former Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardena. “Events like these help generate Sri Lankan students’ interest in the field of Computer Science, provide them an opportunity to code in a collaborative environment, and equip them with the IT skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s job market.”

In addition to learning beginning Java programming skills, students heard from a number of speakers at the event—Oracle partners, Oracle Academy members and guest speakers—who shared their experiences pursuing a career in the technology field to inspire participants to work toward becoming a future leader of Sri Lanka.

“I am thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm and level of interaction displayed by these young minds at “Code Together with Oracle Academy,” said Chandita Samaranayake, head of applications, Sri Lanka, Indochina and Maldives, Oracle. “These students are our future assets. Our aim is to provide the necessary exposure and interaction with computer science, while creating an awareness of the latest technologies, innovations and opportunities available.” Bring computer science to your community
 


Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla Students Dive into Oracle Academy Resources

Oracle Academy Institutional member Benemérita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (FCC-BUAP), Faculty of Computer Science, hosted an Oracle Academy Day event to invite more than 1,000 students to learn more about the free educational resources Oracle Academy offers its members.

This event was a collaborative effort between Oracle Academy and FCC-BUAP to help drive adoption of Oracle Academy materials with FCC-BUAP’s undergraduate and graduate students and teachers. During the event, educators and Oracle Academy team members shared the value of Oracle Academy’s benefits. Students showed particular interest in acquiring knowledge of and skills in Java and Database programming.

Alma Delia Ambrosio Vázquez, M.C., Benemérita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, emphasized the importance of the educational collaboration between her institution and Oracle Academy to both enrich and complement the institution’s IT and computer science courses. “A special thanks to Oracle Academy and their willingness in all the steps taken to make this project possible,” she said.

Collaborative events like the Oracle Academy Day with FCC-BUAP help orient students and faculty members to the Oracle Academy resources available to them, drive student technology knowledge, and support the University’s talent recruitment strategy.
 


Member Spotlight

We are turning the spotlight on our members who are making an impact with Oracle Academy.

The spotlight is on Dr. Frane Urem, Vice Dean and Professor, Polytechnic of Šibenik, Croatia.

Dr. Frane Urem, Vice Dean and Professor at Polytechnic of Šibenik, is a senior lecturer in object-oriented programming, software engineering, introduction to databases, and design of information systems. With a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and professional experience in the IT industry prior to his academic career, Dr. Urem is skilled in all major programming languages and a strong proponent of Java.

For Java, Dr. Urem follows the curriculum designed by Oracle Academy, teaching Java Fundamentals to polytechnic students and training high school teachers to do the same. Not only is he the only Oracle Academy trainer in Croatia, but he also delivers Oracle Academy trainings to colleagues across Central and Eastern Europe, including online and in-class courses in Java Fundamentals and Database Design and Programming with SQL.

Oracle Academy: Why have you focused on teaching students and training other teachers Java?

Dr. Frane Urem: I’d say over the past five years, around 50-70% of IT jobs are connected to Java. If you are a Java programmer or developer in Croatia you have no problem finding employment. At our institution, the Polytechnic of Šibenik, we are preparing students for their future careers in the economy and the prospects are bright. Companies send out headhunters who publicly claim that anyone who knows how to program in Java is welcome in their company. Most of my students have found a job one month after graduating.

Another aspect to the importance of teaching Java is that Croatia has had a brain drain in the past and needs more STEM graduates to bolster the economy in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To find out more, watch the video.

Oracle Academy: How did you become involved with Oracle Academy?

Dr. Frane Urem: In 2016, I joined a week-long event in Zagreb organized by Oracle Academy to bring Java Foundations training to faculty teachers. Over the past 18 months, I successfully completed training in Java Foundations, Java Fundamentals, and Database Design and Programming with SQL.

I was then invited to become an Oracle Academy Instructor and have trained teachers in Croatia as well as locations such as Hungary, Slovak Republic, and other Eastern European countries.

Oracle Academy: What is the main challenge with training teachers?

Dr. Frane Urem: The main challenge is that although they know how to teach, they do not always have digital competencies. By that, I mean that up to now nobody has shown middle and high school teachers how to teach kids modern programming languages or object oriented databases. That’s where Oracle Academy excels.

Before, we had to surf the net and trawl bookshelves to compile content for our courses. With Oracle Academy, all the resources are in one place at your fingertips; it’s fantastic. Today if you are a teacher and you want to improve your digital competencies, Oracle Academy courses get you very competitive in a very short time. That’s my experience.

Oracle Academy: Can you tell us about some of the trainings you deliver?

Dr. Frane Urem: I’m currently involved in delivering a new series of trainings, with total of 160 teachers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, and Slovenia registering for four available trainings: Java Foundations, Java Programming, Database Foundations and Database Design and Programming with SQL.

Prior to this, at Šibenik, I taught 32 students Java Fundamentals and Database Design and Programming with SQL. In Croatia and the region, I trained 61 teachers in Java Fundamentals. I also taught the beginner Getting Started with Java Using Alice course as a volunteer, for which I’ve run workshops for 80 primary school pupils.

This past summer, Oracle Academy put on summer training camps in cooperation with the Croatian Education and Teacher Training Agency (this governmental agency is organizing professional development activities for teachers in primary and secondary schools in Croatia), again introducing middle and high school teachers to the basics of Java programming, much as I was in 2016. We successfully completed those trainings back in September and 30 attendees received their certificate of completion.

Oracle Academy: How do you structure your programming courses?

Dr. Frane Urem: Polytechnic of Šibenik has mapped four of the Oracle Academy courses to our formal curriculum. We offer our own Introduction to Databases course and the Oracle Academy Database Fundamentals course. Students can choose, and get the same credits for either one.

What can you tell us of your extra-curricular activities?

Dr. Frane Urem: Outside of the academic world, I enjoy mountaineering and have climbed most of the high spots in the Dinaric Alps of which there are many dozen. And with four kids, I also enjoy games such as basketball and street ball. My beautiful wife organizes it all and, guess what, she is a programmer too!

Thank you Dr. Frane Urem for your dedication and making an impact on your students!

It’s time to turn the spotlight onto our members who are making an impact with the Oracle Academy. If you are interested in being featured or nominating another member for the spotlight, please contact us.


Program Spotlight

Hands-On Labs are Here!

Complementing classroom theory with hands-on experimentation in real world applications is crucial to reinforce learning and foster student development. But, finding practical, easy-to-follow and appropriately-leveled projects and labs can sometimes be a challenge.

To help address that challenge, Oracle Academy has created a series of Hands-On Labs for students. Oracle Academy Hands-On Labs are technical projects based-on real world applications—broken down into easy-to-manage chunks—enabling students learn via step-by-step lessons. To help assess their learning, students independently develop an end-to-end solution at the conclusion of each lab.

Oracle Academy Hands-On Labs can complement classroom education, be implemented as part of a formal instructor-led lab program, or be provided to students as an extra self-study option. Our current Hands-On Labs series include Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Analytics.

We invite you to try them today, and tell us what topics you would like to see next!


Oracle Academy Advances Computer Science around the World

There’s a lot more going on with Oracle Academy.

Oracle Academy members and Coders in Action around the world are advancing computer science education to drive knowledge, develop skills and deliver innovative solutions in technology fields.



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