Education experts address misconceptions and biases that impede progress on incorporating computer science into the nation's classrooms.
It seems nearly everyone who cares about education—from scientists and leaders of major tech companies to parents, teachers and students—feels passionate about advancing computer science (CS) education in our schools. This is certainly with good reason; the more we learn about preparing students for the future, the more widespread the agreement that computer science education is essential in today’s curriculum.
But agreement about the value of computing education doesn’t always translate to agreement about actions. Misconceptions, biases, and lack of quality research impede our progress toward wisely incorporating CS into our schools and our curricula. What we are not doing today ultimately impacts how well, or how poorly, we are preparing students to be tomorrow’s citizens, workers, and leaders.
We unpacked several myths associated with CS education and discussed different approaches to dispelling these common misconceptions. Here are a few of the most notable points:
Myth 1: Computer science is only for rich kids on white collar job paths.
With each passing day, computer science skills and processes are becoming core requirements for more and more jobs outside of traditional IT and Silicon Valley, transforming CS knowledge from an “upper-class skill" to a requirement for all students. In saying this, we’re not talking about turning kids into code monkeys who memorize steps but don’t understand computing logic.
Rather, a good CS education teaches students to decompose complex problems into simple steps, think critically, experiment and fail on the path to succeeding, and understand the fundamentals of logic and programming so they can apply this knowledge to learning new technologies as they progress in their education and careers.
The entire spectrum of future jobs – whether blue collar or white collar – will require students to understand and be skilled in computing at some level.
Carol Fletcher, deputy director of the Center for STEM Education at the University of Texas, Austin, put it simply: “If we teach students a foundation of computational and algorithmic thinking skills, this will empower them to better problem-solve and experiment in the future.”
Myth 2: Technology is everywhere, so CS education is accessible to all.
While it’s most certainly true that we are increasingly surrounded by technology, it’s decidedly untrue that every student has access to one or more computers at or outside of school.
High school principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman has dedicated her career to improving education for low-performing urban high schools and low-income children in North Philadelphia. One of her goals is to infuse computer science into teachers’ daily curricula. Yet, she faces a constant struggle both with hiring qualified CS teachers and with students lacking access to technology outside of school.
As she explained during our conversation at SXSWedu, resources are limited when working in underprivileged communities, and many schools and students lack the hardware, the broadband, or both, as required to consistently practice and learn CS.
This much is not a myth: Access to computing education is a major issue nationwide. From inner-city to rural schools and everywhere in between, we must focus on providing CS education to all students. While incorporating CS into our public schools is the surest way to ensure access, sometimes we have to get creative and offer alternative solutions.
Wayman, for example, works with nearby universities and local businesses to establish after-school programs to offer computer science education to students. She also encourages teachers to leverage their students’ ability and willingness to learn.
“I think my students are bright enough to say, I can take this a step further on my own if I just learn, research and play with this thing called a computer that a lot of people take for granted,” she said.
Myth 3: Teachers should be experts in computer science to teach it.
It’s difficult to stand in front of a classroom and teach a subject you don’t feel fully comfortable with. Yet, in any school, subject or classroom, no one knows or does it all. Teachers should be empowered to apply this philosophy to computer science, and as educators, administrators and experts in CS, we must support them.
From funded professional development to ongoing community support, we need to provide teachers with the resources they need to feel comfortable in this new territory and to model successful strategies for applying it in their own agendas.
Addressing these myths is critical to providing good CS education for all students. At SXSWedu, we ultimately agreed on one most important element in approaching CS education: Give kids opportunities to solve problems.
As Ted Fujimoto, founder and co-chairman of the Right to Succeed Foundation, put it, “The environment we need to provide is giving students the space, time and stimulation to experiment and to break things. Test their flawed theories and see how far it goes — many times that’s the best learning — when you find how things break.”
We need to be bold enough to apply this philosophy to providing CS education, too.
Alison Derbenwick Miller, Vice President, Oracle Academy
Original Post: EdScoop, April 11, 2017
At Oracle Academy, we believe everyone should have the skills and opportunities to achieve their dreams. To succeed in any industry, students must learn fundamental computing concepts and develop their IT and business skills, so we partner with educators to advance computer science education and bring industry authenticity to classroom experiences with free technology, educational resources, and professional development.
In March, we hosted our first Oracle Academy Student Day, a benefit of Oracle Academy membership. Designed to engage large groups of students in a conference-like experience using an online platform, Oracle Academy Student Days encourage learners to explore technology career paths, learn about key computing subjects including Cloud, Big Data, and IoT, and better understand the skills they need to succeed in a modern career.
Oracle Academy Student Day premiered in India, and on March 24 more than 2600 first- and second-year university students joined the 4 hour live event which used both live and recorded content and offered a social platform and gamification to facilitate interaction among students. Students participated in polls and quizzes and were able to replay sessions post-event. Content was provided primarily by Oracle experts and included technical lectures and mentoring talks about working in the IT industry. Participants provided an overall satisfaction rating of 4.26 out of 5.
“It was wonderful for students and faculty at our Oracle Academy member institutions in India to hear directly from experienced practitioners with real insight into modern technology and its applications,” said Damian Haas, director, Oracle Academy JAPAC. “I speak for all of us at Oracle Academy when I say we’re looking forward to hosting similar events in other regions soon.”
When the Prime Minister of Sarajevo canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konaković, skips a regular session to attend Sarajevo’s first-ever Oracle Academy event because it was too good to miss, you know you’re on the map.
At an event hosted by the prestigious Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Oracle Academy presented its program to local government representatives, school principals, and programming and computer science teachers. Many teachers also brought their students to the event. The collective goal was to assess together whether secondary schools in Sarajevo would be interested in joining Oracle Academy in 2017 and beyond.
This event laid another footstone in the path to closer cooperation between the government and Oracle in the area of education. Through increased cooperation over the coming months and years, Oracle has the opportunity to play a significant role in helping to increase the competitiveness of the region’s IT workforce and enabling innovative start-ups.
Prime Minister Konaković and the Minister of Education Elvir Kazazović attended the event because of their focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) educational curriculum. The Prime Minister spoke about the project his government started at the beginning of their mandate, through which they will modernize IT infrastructures in Sarajevo’s schools. He also spoke about how important partnerships with companies like Oracle are in order to provide access to state-of-the-art technologies, educational resources, and more.
Oracle Academy plans to organize training and courses for teachers in Sarajevo, which will help enable and empower students to take their Java, SQL and database skills to the next level.
Following the successful Oracle Academy Days in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Oracle Academy team continued their focus in Central European countries during March and April 2017.
On March 21, the Oracle Slovenia Office welcomed Oracle Academy Institutional members—including University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, University of Nova Gorica, Vegova, and several vocational technical schools in Slovenia—to learn about modern technologies, computer science, and programming. The event, hosted by Rajko Novak, Oracle country leader, invited representatives from Oracle University partner S&T Slovenija and president of the Supervisory Board of the Slovenian Oracle User Group (SiOUG), as well as Alice enthusiasts Samo Jamšek, Primary School Bičevje, and Matjaž Marussig, Oblačna šola, to share their experiences.
On April 3, representatives from universities and high schools were invited to attend an Oracle Academy Day at the Oracle Czech office in Prague. Josef Svenda, country manager, Oracle, welcomed participants and emphasized the importance of learning Oracle technologies to increase employment opportunities as both Oracle and its partner network in Czech Republic are continually growing and hiring. Oracle has a lasting cooperation with EUNIS-CZ, association of Czech universities that connects them with the IT industry, and professor Ivan Vrana, the president of EUNIS-CZ, talked about this collaboration at this event. Also, to help the attending educators understand how easily Oracle Academy curriculum can be implemented into the classroom, Ondrej Mandik, deputy director, Secondary Vocational School Ječna, Prague, shared how they mapped Oracle Academy Curriculum with their school curriculum, how it fits into their school programs, and how it provides their students with real-life skills to help increase employability within IT careers.
ICT Academy (ICTACT) India recognized Oracle Academy for contributions and support to help build the ICT Academy through initiatives that will impact the success of their faculty and students across the State of Tamil Nadu.
In June 2016, ICTACT and Oracle Academy established a partnership agreement to incorporate Oracle Academy curriculum into 450 educational institutions across Tamil Nadu to provide students with industry relevant skills. This initiative will help 45,000 students and 450 faculty members over a three year term.
Since the signing of the agreement in June, more than 165 faculty have been trained in various Oracle Academy courses including Database Design and Programming with SQL, Programming with PL/SQL, Java Fundamentals, and Java Programming. Upon completion of the training, faculty members are ready to take their knowledge to students to equip them with needed IT skills that will empower future studies and employment opportunities. Students from ICTACT member colleges have enthusiastically participated in the events organized and sponsored by Oracle Academy, including the Virtual Student Community Day and the First National ACM-W Women’s Hackathon. The students and faculty have been leveraging the Oracle Academy resource library, free licensed software, and certification discounts to further advance their technology skills.
As a result of this work, Oracle Academy was presented with the Best Technology Partner Award during the BRIDGE 2017 Conference—ICT Academy’s flagship conference and one of the largest Industry-Academic Interaction events in India. Damian Haas, regional director, Asia Pacific, Oracle Academy was a keynote speaker and addressed the role of industry and academia, ‘Measuring Impact: the Importance of Measures of Success in the Transformation Journey’.
“Oracle Academy is proud to continue its partnership with ICT Academy. Through its various initiatives, ICT Academy plays a key and unique role in strengthening India’s four important visions on Skill India, Digital India, Startup India and Make in India. Oracle Academy supports the ICT Academy programs in the areas of Faculty Development, Student Skill Development and Digital Empowerment and we look forward to continuing our work with this important organization in the years ahead.”
Once again this year, Oracle Academy sponsored coding competitions with ADFABER to support computer science education and help inspire students’ creativity in Romania.
From December 2016 through February 2017, the “Java Competition – Code with Greenfoot” enticed more than 300 high school student teams—each consisting of 2 students and one teacher/mentor—to create amazing games and educational stories using object-oriented programming skills and the Greenfoot educational development environment.
“At Oracle Academy, we are thrilled to support ongoing work in Romania to inspire and engage students in computer science. This competition provides an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their Java skills,” said Jane Richardson, Senior Director, EMEA, Oracle Academy. “Oracle recently made a significant commitment to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, a multi-stakeholder partnership to bolster computer science (CS) and coding proficiency at all levels within Europe’s workforce. Our sponsorship of this Java competition with ADFABER continues our momentum to advance digital education and increase diversity in technology fields in Europe.”
Then, from March through May 2017, the second edition of the “Java Competition for Universities” drew the interest of more than 100 competing students and teachers who want to make the world a better place through technology. The challenge—Smart City—invited participants to leverage technology to make lives easier by developing a web-based or mobile Java application for Oracle Database with the potential to transform the city. Twenty-seven valid projects were submitted; three projects were awarded special prizes and three were given honorable mentions.
According to Richardson, this competition allows students to showcase their Java and Oracle database skills while stretching their creativity to design and develop web and mobile apps that benefit the public.
First place was awarded to DD Team for their creation of the MedicalWEB application that helps identify the nearest hospitals and generates a short answer regarding the incident. MedicalWEB’s aim is to improve the process of ambulance response times by quickly identifying the vehicles that are able to respond the fastest to emergencies and the nearest hospitals.
Second place was awarded to the Smart Parking app that allows one to reserve a parking spot near a destination of choice, and third place was awarded to Busity app which helps people track public transportation buses. Honorable mentions were awarded to the Event Management System app, which helps people find events based on their identified interests near their current location; Smart Travel app, which offers a way for people interested in sharing their vehicles to connect with those who need to borrow a car to get around the city; and the Steam app, which helps people identify open pharmacies or restaurants at any specified time of day.
We are turning the spotlight on our members who are making an impact with Oracle Academy.
Haliç is the Turkish name for the Golden Horn, the estuary linking Istanbul to the Bosphorus Strait. Haliç University and its five campuses overlooking the Golden Horn offer a broad range of degree courses in Business Administration, Engineering, Fine Arts, Social Sciences and Architecture.
Oracle Academy resources and content are integrated into the Computer Science courses taught across Haliç’s faculties, institutes, and vocational school. The task of incorporating the materials is coordinated by Şükran Yaman Atci, Head of the Computer Science Department.
Şükran is a Senior Lecturer with a Masters in Computer Engineering, skilled in all major programming and scripting languages. She is also Technical Program Chair and Chairperson of the academic and planning commission.
Over the past three years, she has successfully completed Oracle Academy Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, and Java Foundations. Şükran now teaches Java to her students and trains other teachers to do the same. In 2016, she became an Oracle Academy instructor in order to deliver training to secondary school teachers in Turkey.
She was recently invited to be a guest speaker at Oracle Academy events to share best practices and her experiences of integrating Java into the various levels of Haliç’s curriculum.
Oracle Academy: How did you first learn about Oracle Academy and why did you decide to join?
Şükran: Three years ago, I attended an Oracle Academy Day in Istanbul. When I learned about the free resources and tools I couldn’t wait to implement them in my classroom. What I found extremely useful was that the methodology guides teachers how to use innovative teaching practices to transfer the knowledge directly to their students.
Oracle Academy: What was your experience with Oracle Academy training?
Şükran: I’ve now completed Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, and Java Foundations. I took the training online in my own time, after college working hours, and the great thing is that you only need an internet connection and a headset with microphone for listening and participating in the classrooms. All virtual sessions were recorded, so I was able to catch up any time if I missed a live session.
Oracle Academy also provides teachers with Course Completion Certificates which I found very motivational to attend more training.
Oracle Academy: How is Oracle technology integrated into your current curriculum?
Şükran: Oracle Academy’s practical resources make it simple to integrate the courses into our classrooms. We even prefer to use the Oracle Academy course names.
I have adapted the Java course content into my different lesson plans. For vocational school students, I have integrated some parts of Java Fundamentals; for undergraduates parts of Java Programming; and for graduate degree students, I’m planning to use the Java Foundations content. It depends on the class degree, the department, and the level of the students.
It’s my belief that Oracle Academy resources are not just for computer engineering departments. They are appropriate to be delivered as elective or compulsory courses in other departments such as Industrial Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and even in the Civil Engineering department.
What’s more, I have integrated Java content for the Business Administration faculty and our Insititute of Social Sciences.
Oracle Academy: Which Oracle Academy resources do you and your students find most valuable?
Şükran: As an Oracle Academy member, I have the privilege to access all elements of the Java and Database curriculum, tutorials, quizzes, and exams. I also find the answer keys very valuable—they help me enrich the scope and content of my own curriculum.
Overall, the Java course materials supplement my curriculum and equip my students with the skills needed to compete in today’s job market.
The most valuable thing for me and my students is that these resources are so well blended together, very student-friendly and easy to understand, with lots of hands-on scenarios providing project-based learning. I see that they like this and they practice, practice, practice!
There’s also a student guide for each course—great for keeping students on track—and the recommended weekly plans help me a lot to reduce lesson preparation time.
Oracle Academy: Will you highlight a favorite Oracle Academy project produced by your students?
Şükran: Oracle Academy includes sample scenarios which get students deeply involved in learning and practicing. We have created ways to improve programming skills and boost creativity. For example, we developed a simple version of The Super Mario Bros™ game via Greenfoot and created animations via Alice which helped my students learn the fundamentals of object oriented programming.
After developing fundamental skills via the Alice and Greenfoot practice environments, they created advanced Java programs. One example I enjoyed at the end of the Java Fundamentals course was developing a Web-based application for keeping track of stock—especially useful for companies who produce or store products.
Oracle Academy: You have taught Java Fundamentals to more than 15 secondary school teachers and will be training more in the future. Will you share your Training the Trainer experience?
Şükran: Very positive. I’m very proud of them because I delivered the training in Turkish but the content is in English. Even though computing terms are universal, there’s still a slight language barrier. But most importantly, they keep coming back asking for more sample scenarios—meaning they are successfully implementing the training in their classrooms.
So I know they really care about delivering this knowledge to their students and this brings me great satisfaction. In addition, during the training sessions, we always brainstorm best methods to teach programming to students in a fun and engaging way.
Oracle Academy: Outside of teaching CS, how do you spend your free time?
Şükran: I spend most of my spare time with my family, especially with my 5 year old son. He’s already quick with Alice! I also do a lot of swimming and on Sundays enjoy playing darts with my friends and loved ones.
Thank you Şükran 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.
Oracle Academy teamed up with AIESEC—a non-profit, international, volunteer student organization—to organize the second Oracle Academy Day for Students at the Athens University of Economics and Business.
More than 350 students attended the event to learn from Oracle experts about:
For the third year, Oracle Academy was proud to sponsor the 7th Panorama of Entrepreneurship & Career in Athens, Greece. During this 3-days event, March 17-19, 2017, more than 200 Greek executives, 60 panels, and workshops focused on sectors of the Greek economy and key trends and skills to help promote entrepreneurship and career focus with more than 5,000 student attendees.
Antonis Monokrousos, country leader, Oracle Hellas, shared his expertise during the panel discussion, “Are there opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment for the youth during the financial crisis?” and stressed the importance of soft and IT skills for all future careers in any sector. In addition, he encouraged the female students to choose IT studies and careers to help bridge the diversity gap in technology fields.
Nikos Gortsilas, senior director, Oracle consulting, Greek Cluster, participated in the panel “After the Polytechnic University, what?”, to discuss job opportunities—especially within security—and the importance of Java skills.
Following this 3-days event, the sponsors and supporters hosted business days to further engage students. On May 10, 2017, Oracle Hellas welcomed 80 students and graduates to share information about the role of their LOB and various jobs roles associated with the business to help students identify possible career paths.
On April 8-9, 2017, Oracle Academy was the Silver sponsor of the 3rd International Educonference, in Struga, FYR of Macedonia, organized by the association Friends of Education. More than 200 teachers attended the event to learn about country best practices to help enable continuous professional development discussions and enhance pedagogy and ICT methodological teaching and learning approaches.
Zagazig University’s Computer Science Students Society—a professional technical society focused on advancing the theory, practice, and application of computer and information processing science and technology—invited Oracle Academy to deliver a session on Big Data, storage, building data warehouse, processing and executing queries. The overall event was focused on introducing the university students and academics to latest technology in computer science fields including Embedded Systems, IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence. The event helped to raise technological awareness among college students as well as introduce Oracle Academy program benefits to participants.
On March 30, thirty-five academic attendees from more than 15 universities across Egypt participated in an Oracle Academy Day to bring awareness to the Oracle Academy program features, including free curriculum, classroom resources, Junior Associate Certificates for teachers and students, as well as discuss Big Data and Cloud Computing and the skills needed for students to become job ready.
On April 11, 2017, Oracle Academy participated in the 3rd CSR Annual Conference focused on the Impact of CSR initiatives to help improve Egypt’s economic competitiveness. The International Labor Organization, Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) helped organize the event to connect students and academics with the knowledge of which core and fundamental skills need to be developed in order to become job ready. Oracle Academy curriculum, training, and certification resources will help prepare students and academics for success.
The Youth Invest Initiative brought together Oracle Academy Nigeria and the TWPC Foundation to train 25 young adults on the Oracle Database via the Oracle Academy’s Workshop “Solve it with SQL”, the Database Foundations course, and the soft skills needed to help students achieve career success and reduce unemployment.
Participants gathered from 15 tertiary institutions from across Nigeria to participate in the practical sessions to learn Oracle Database and how to build applications using the APEX.
During the final day of the workshop, Goke Orija and Adeola Adenubi, Oracle Pre-Sales Consultants, shared their career experiences and what they could expect as a professional Database Administrator or App Developer. TWPC Foundation will continue to mentor the students and encourage the Oracle Certified Junior Associate Exam and Certification to help empower their futures.
“I found the training interesting and achieving although I came from a far distance just to attend this training. I made sure I didn’t miss a day because of the value gained each day. I would like to encourage the organizers not to relent on their efforts in training more participants,” Olawoye Abdrazaq Abiodun, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
“It was an intensive training program. Resources and materials that will aid further learning were freely shared with the participants, “Aghogho Monorien, University of Benin.
“It’s been a really wonderful experience. The training has taught me a lot of things, not just technically, but also on how to carry yourself among other things. It has helped me to shape my career path,” Akaiso Sylvester, Heritage Polytechnic Eket.
March 20 through April 24, the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), one of Nigeria’s Leading Tertiary Institutions, collaborated with Oracle Academy to host a five day Database Foundations “Train the Trainer” event for its Computer Science and Engineering Teachers.
During earlier collaborations in October 2016 with FUNABB and Oracle Academy, 35 teachers from 13 Ogun State tertiary institutions were trained on the Database Foundations.
Out of this first session, two FUNAAB teachers have continued on to hone their skills and participate in the Database Foundations “Train the Trainer” for 15 teachers from their Institution. In addition to training teachers, the institution is focused on preparing 50 students for the Oracle Certified Junior Associate examinations in the next academic year to help set them apart from the competition.
In celebration of the International Women’s Day, Oracle Academy joined efforts with Winihin Jemide Series (WJS) to help encourage girls to be innovators by driving interest in STEM education.
Oracle Academy introduced 20 girls, ages 11- 17, to coding via Getting Started with Java Using Alice, which teaches basic Java programming concepts through the development of 3-D animations. The session was led by Oracle Volunteers Titi Akindunni, Doyin Odutola, Ijeoma Nwoke, and Sefunmi Fadahunsi.
The girls were enthusiastic, learned quickly, and created fantastic animations.
On April 3 and 4, 2017, Oracle Romania was invited to participate at the “Zilele Studentului Electronist Editia a VI-a”(Electronist Student Days 4th edition) by a student association from Gheorghe Asachi University, Iasi.
More than 90 students were invited to hear Gabriel Amarandei, Radu Pinzaru, and Radu Rau, Oracle Romania volunteers, present on Oracle Database as a product/service in a real life environment, and Oracle Database level performance fundamentals workshops.
In March 2017, a group of 24 Business Information Systems students and faculty staff from Trier University of Applied Sciences set out for Ireland for a one-week excursion. The Oracle Digital EMEA team organized the visit for the student to teach about Data Mining and Big Data, Oracle Cloud solutions, existing and future Big Data & Data Analytics trends, and introduce the Data Visualization Contest for Students.
On March 4, 2017, Oracle Academy sponsored TurkishWIN Young Women Career Day at Maltepe University, Istanbul. More than 1100 students from 125 universities had the chance to learn from women entrepreneurs and professionals who shared their IT experience. Filiz Dogan, Oracle Turkey Country VP, shared her inspiring IT career journey to help encourage young women students to consider STEM fields.
On April 7, 2017, Oracle Academy Day in Moscow brought teachers from various Russian schools, colleges, and universities together to hear the latest about Oracle Academy, Oracle, Java, Cloud, and Database directly from Oracle experts. More than 75 participants from 44 educational institutions gathered at the Oracle Moscow office to network, share experiences and best practices, and talk to business and technology experts from Oracle Russia/CIS.
In March, the NingBo Education Bureau invited Oracle Academy China to visit with the leaders of the vocational schools to share how Java Programming might be used within the local curriculum.
Historically students in programming at NingBo were mainly exposed to VB programming language. The visit provided information on Oracle Academy’s Java related curriculums, such Alice and Greenfoot, and was met with great interest by the leaders from the vocational schools.
The Head of Vocational Department of NingBo Education Bureau has since identified five academic leaders from TOP vocational schools to now add Java programming into their teaching system going forward.
The Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) through the Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) has, as part of its ongoing collaboration with Oracle Academy, recently conducted 24 teacher training sessions in Java Fundamentals across 350 Secondary Vocational/Technical schools supporting students in software engineering, computer network engineering, and multimedia courses.
The teachers were trained how to best implement the Java curriculum into their classrooms and integrate it with their existing courses.
Over recent months, 450 faculty members from universities, vocational colleges, and diploma programs across 13 provinces in Indonesia have attended Java and Database training events provided by Oracle Academy. Train the Trainer (TTT) events help the faculty to bring Oracle Academy curriculum and resources to their institutions and classrooms and to ultimately prepare their students for entering into the workforce.
The training has been conducted in collaboration with the Association of Computer Science Higher Education (APTIKOM) provinces in West Java, Lampung, Bengkulu, Central Kalimantan, Aceh, Central Java, North Sumatra, East Kalimantan, Riau, Kendari, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Bali.
In early April, 40 teachers from 34 schools in Hong Kong gathered at the Lam Tai Fai College to take part in Oracle Academy’s Database Foundations training. This event marks the starting point of a joint project between Oracle Academy and The Hong Kong Association for Computer Education which aims to give students 21st century skills preparing them for the global economy demands. Participants were encouraged to earn the Oracle Database Foundations Certified Junior Associate (OCJA) credentials to arm their students with evidence of their knowledge of database concepts.
On March 9 and 10, 187 girls from Sucre, Bolivia public schools, ages 11 – 15, were introduced to object-oriented programming by creating 3D animations with Alice. The students successfully created fictional stories through timelines—screen captured using the gallery of objects and predetermined characters.
After the workshop, Oracle Women Leadership (OWL) members offered a panel for both the students and their parents to share their personal career journeys, help promote the professional development of current and future women leaders, and connect the importance of technology careers.
During the event, the mayor of Sucre presented Oracle Academy with the Guest of Honor Recognition for the support Oracle Academy has given to Computer Science education in the State.
On February 24, the Oracle Academy Caribbean team hosted a Knowledge Builder workshop for students, ages 8 – 9, as part of the Technology Week celebration at the School of Science, Mathematics and Technology (ECMT) of the Municipality of San Juan.
The EMCT's mission is to promote the integral education of young people in science, mathematics, research and technology, with the aim of promoting and developing new talents in these areas.
In order to support younger generations with innovation and the development of their communities, Oracle Academy was invited to participate to share information about the digital transformation and education.
During the event, the Women in Technology session encouraged young women to learn about career opportunities in computer science, as well as presented on Internet of Things and how it impacts our day to day lives.
On February 17, 2017, Oracle Academy participated in the "Conecta Fest: Entrepreneurship" event at the Avansys Institute in Lima, Peru.
The event offered lectures and workshops provided by different technology companies and specialists in the area, in order to create knowledge and boost entrepreneurship.
Oracle Academy offered a presentation on Oracle Cloud, including basic concepts, cloud benefits, and the importance of cloud.
Information Technology and Computer Science is a growing field and providing early exposure is key to ensure that students are aware of careers in technology. Two community colleges—Miami Dade College and Salt Lake City Community College—worked with Oracle Academy to provide an opportunity for students in their area to learn a beginning Java programing language and learn more about programming skills needed in the industry today.
Let Girls Learn—Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus
On March 7, 2017, Oracle Academy and Miami Dade College (MDC) worked collaboratively to lead a girls’ STEM workshop in Florida. Girls, ages 12 – 16, from two high schools and one middle school in the Miami Dade area spent time at the MDC Wolfson Campus, learning a Java programming language called Alice. Although a few of these students had some experience with computer programming, they had never engaged with 3D animations. The students used imagination, creativity, and computational thinking to create animations which included aliens doing aerobics, flying dragons, and even a fashion show. They truly put their imaginations to the test to make their visions become a reality. In addition to learning a new Java programming language, students had the opportunity to hear from the President of MDC Wolfson Campus, Dr. Rick A. Soria, who stopped by to encourage the girls to pursue their interests in the technology fields and from Shani Robinson, Engagement Specialist at Cengage Learning, who shared her experiences of being a woman in technology today.
DigiForge—Salt Lake City Community College
On March 14, 2017, 600 students from across the Utah Wasatch Front, spent the day learning about cutting edge technology at the DigiForge event held at Salt Lake City Community College. Students, ages 14 – 17, had the opportunity to attend three different technology workshops throughout the day.
Oracle Academy in collaboration with Oracle Volunteers introduced students from six different school districts, including Salt Lake School District, Murray School District, Jordan School District, Canyons School District, Tooele School District, and Granite School District to the Oracle Academy Workshop Getting Started with Java using Alice. The students who attended the Oracle Academy workshop are planning to enroll in a Computer Programming 1 course in their respective high schools in the Fall.
The students enjoyed the opportunity to create animations in a hands-on environment, completing a series of tasks on their own, but with the assistance of an Oracle Volunteer as necessary. During the workshop, students took the opportunity to engage with the Oracle Volunteers asking them to share more information about their roles in the technology industry.
On March 12, 2017, Oracle Academy joined Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in celebrating girls in STEM education in Maryland. This was a one day event where middle and high school aged girls gathered together to be introduced, supported, educated and encouraged to learn more about STEM education and careers. Oracle Academy in collaboration with Oracle volunteers, hosted the Oracle Academy Getting Started with Java using Alice workshop. This amazing event allowed our Oracle Volunteers, led by Aisha Bigbee, to host two separate Alice workshop sessions that included more than 50 girls. Oracle Academy was thrilled to be asked to participate in this exciting event designed to empower our young girls to pursue technology as a field of purpose.
If you know of an event or would like to become an Oracle Academy Volunteer reach out to us. We will let you know what is happening in your area and how you can get involved!
March 8 – 11, 2017, more than a thousand computer science educators and supporters from around the world gathered together in Seattle, Washington, to celebrate, teach, learn, and network at the 48th Special Interest Group of Computer Science Educators (SIGCSE) conference. The event was nothing less than spectacular as computer science education continues to grow and the need for world-class resources continues to rise. To answer that call, the Oracle Academy North America team took the opportunity to share with educators, the news Oracle Academy’s newest course, Application Express Foundations! This course of study introduces and teaches students how to design, develop and deploy beautiful, responsive, database-driven web applications using Oracle Application Express.
Oracle Application Express course leverages project-based learning techniques, challenging students to develop a project that challenges them to design, implement, and demonstrate a database-driven web application solution for a business or organization. Oracle Academy provides accounts for instructors and students, prepopulated with the data required for a successful higher education learning environment.
We are very excited about this new offering and hope that it will help our members, as well as impact students. To learn more, visit the Oracle Academy website.
The annual CSTA conference, held in Baltimore, Maryland, July 8 – 11, is a premier event for educator professional development in computer science. This year, Oracle Academy will offer Computer Science Curriculum for K-12 and Beyond on Sunday, July 9. One of the many benefits of Oracle Academy institutional membership is access to free academic, standards-aligned computer science curriculum developed by educators for classroom use. In this session, teachers will have the opportunity to:
For teachers who have never been to the CSTA conference, Oracle Academy and CSTA have partnered again this year to offer Oracle Academy scholarships for first-time conference attendees. Last year was the first year Oracle Academy and CSTA partnered to offer these scholarships. The competition was fierce and the demand was surprising—we were able to award scholarships to less than 10% of the applicants.
Oracle Academy received thank you notes from teachers who had won, and from teachers who hadn’t. One 2016 Oracle Academy scholarship winner, CS teacher Ramsey Young from Omaha, Nebraska, wrote, “I am overjoyed that I will be able to attend the CSTA National Conference! This scholarship was the only way that I would have been able to attend this conference and I know that my students, my CSTA chapter, and my fellow CS teachers in my district will all reap the rewards of what I bring back from this professional development opportunity. Computer Science is a growing field in my state and chances to interact with and learn from other computer science teachers are extremely limited. Thank you again for this amazing opportunity!”
We knew offering the scholarships was important, but until we started receiving these notes, we didn’t fully realize how significant their impact could be. So this year we made some big changes. We nearly doubled the size of the first-time attendee scholarship program! For 2017, Oracle Academy is supporting 35 first-time-attendee teachers with free conference registration and $1000 scholarships that can be used toward conference lodging, transportation and meals. Winners are selected by CSTA and receive special recognition at the conference. This year’s scholarship recipients will be announced soon, and we can’t wait to meet everyone in Baltimore.
We’ve been asked why we are so passionate about our partnership with educators. The answer is easy: we believe everyone should have the skills and the opportunities to achieve their dreams. In this century, making this vision a reality starts with computing education and good teachers!
With a focus on reaching the underserved student community, Oracle Academy was a Global Finals 2017 Computer Science Partner at Destination Imagination, May 23 – 26, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Destination Imagination is a leading educational nonprofit dedicated to teaching students the skills needed to succeed in school, their future careers and beyond. This dedication makes Destination Imagination a perfect venue for Oracle Academy to host customized hands-on, computer science focused, interactive exhibit, and Alice and Greenfoot workshops designed to engage more than 17,000 Global Finals Participants.
Oracle Academy’s workshop was led by Oracle Academy’s Principle Instructor Bruce Regittko in combination with volunteers. Students used Finch robots in the creative process and turned their ideas into reality while learning invaluable skills through processes including creative & critical thinking, team building, problem solving, risk taking, project management, perseverance, and self-confidence.
Oracle Academy continues to expand our collaboration with Destination Imagination by supporting projects that inspire and equip students for life, academics and future workforce success.