Oracle Academy Newsletter

May 2016

In This Issue:

Computer Science Around the World
Events and Headlines


Solaris 11 Now Available to Oracle Academy Institutional Members

Oracle Academy Institutional members now have access to free Solaris 11 licenses for teaching and not-for-profit academic research use. With this addition to the Oracle Academy licensed software list, educators can bring an operating system designed to support mission critical applications and more directly to their classrooms. Along with free software licenses, Oracle Academy members have access to a variety of resources to learn more about and teach Solaris as part of their standard curriculum offerings. These resources include:

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to bring industry-leading software to your classroom and portfolio!
 



Oracle Academy Advances Computer Science Education in America

On April 13, 2016, in conjunction with the White House Science Fair 2016, Oracle and the White House announced Oracle’s plan to invest $200 million in direct and in-kind support for computer science (CS) education in the United States over the next 18 months. Oracle’s pledge supports the Administration’s Computer Science for All initiative and is part of the company’s greater annual worldwide investment of $3.3 billion to empower CS educators and engage diverse student populations globally. With this commitment, Oracle expects to double the number of U.S. teachers it trains and reach more than 232,000 U.S. students through Oracle Academy, its philanthropic CS-focused educational program that impacts more than 2.6 million students in 106 countries annually.

Computer Science Job Market Study (2016) by Burning Glass Technologies and Oracle Academy.
View the infographic.

“Our latest research findings confirm that access to computer science education in the United States is both an economic and social equality issue. Moreover, these findings help quantify and contextualize the need to expand CS to all students regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status,” said Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president, Oracle Academy. “We’ve been working to advance computer science education globally for more than two decades, and today’s commitment takes Oracle Academy to a new apex in our journey. It’s an honor to be part of this collaborative mission, led by the White House. The potential power of Computer Science for All to change the lives of our children and the future of our world is awe inspiring.”

As part of the White House announcement, Oracle Academy will provide free academic curriculum, professional development for teachers, software, certification resources, and more. Further, Oracle will work with K-12 schools, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities to support continuous CS education pathways through a number of new and meaningful ways, which include:

  • Training more teachers in computer science. Aims to double the number of U.S. teachers Oracle Academy trains in the 2016-17 academic year.
  • Providing access to free Oracle software. Offers students hands-on experience through free software licenses for a large number of Oracle products
  • Expanding outreach to underrepresented populations. Commits to invest more than $3 million in nonprofit organizations focused on inspiring young girls and engaging underrepresented students in pursuing STEM and CS degrees.
  • Launching innovative courses in emerging CS fields. Introduces new Cloud-focused boot camps in the 2016 academic year and expands access to Oracle Academy’s Big Data Science boot camps.
  • Connecting world class innovators with educators and students. Plans to build an innovative new public high school, d.tech, at Oracle’s headquarters in California.
  • Driving efforts to ensure CS counts as an academic credit. Expands policy push and partnerships with other corporate and nonprofit leaders to encourage all 50 states to recognize CS as an academic graduation credit in K-12 schools.

We are proud to support the President’s Computer Science for All initiative and invite you to join us in bringing computer science to every student, everywhere.

Read a great follow-up piece about the importance of our CS for All commitment, Why Computer Science for All Is Not a False Peak, written by Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president Oracle Academy.

[1] The College Board (2015), AP Program Participation and Performance Data 2015: Program Summary Report. Retrieved from https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2015/Program-Summary-Report-2015.pdf.
 



The Raspberry Pi Weather Station Kits Have Landed!

Oracle Academy is delighted to announce the arrival of the Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Stations Kits at 1,000 schools around the world, including 205 Oracle Academy members in 39 countries.

In 2014, the UK-based Raspberry Pi Education Foundation engaged Oracle Academy to provide feedback on ideas for an Oracle Giving grant application, resulting in a proposal to design, build, test, and produce a Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station Kit that would introduce students to SQL programming via Oracle Academy curriculum using weather data from around the globe. SQL programming is a critical skill for data science, advanced analytics and business intelligence. These kits, which include curriculum resources, have been distributed free to 1,000 of the schools that applied to the Pi Education Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station project offers teachers a way to deliver fun and creative cross-curricular activities to engage their students, ages 11-16, using computing, meteorology, and geography. The students will be asked to gather data from measuring instruments, commission the weather station, create web pages to display local weather conditions, and use databases to gather and analyze large data sets—leveraging Oracle Academy Database Design and Programming with SQL course materials. These materials teach students to design and create data models and databases with SQL, using the Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler and Oracle Application Express (APEX).

Throughout the project, there are opportunities to discuss weather patterns, meteorology, and climate. Students will use a predefined Raspberry Pi hardware kit to build their own weather station and write application code to log a range of weather data including wind speed, direction, temperature, pressure, and humidity. Students will also write applications to interrogate their weather station and record data in an Oracle Application Express database in the Oracle cloud. Through these activities, students will learn to:

  • Interrogate the database via SQL to enable macro-level data analysis
  • Develop a website on the Raspberry Pi to display local weather conditions that can be accessed by other participating schools
  • Access a Weather Station for Schools website to see the geographical location of all the participating weather stations, access the local weather websites of participating schools, interact with students to share their experiences, blog, and get online technical support

We can’t wait to see the results of this project!

Follow the journey with us: https://www.raspberrypi.org/education/weather-station/
 



Oracle Academy in Latin America Celebrates Girls in ICT Day

On April 27-28, 2016, Oracle Academy celebrated International Girls in ICT Day across Latin America to help empower and encourage young women to build knowledge and skills that will prepare them for a career in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), including the fields of engineering, technology, and computer science.

Oracle Academy teams, Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) members, and Oracle executives—all passionate about making a difference for young women—collaborated to hold learning and development events for more than 500 young women from high schools and universities across Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica including the University of the Andes, the Catholic University, National University, the CUN, the Pilot University, the Cooperative University, Javeriana University, Konrad Lorenz and EAN in Bogotá, the UTN Buenos Aires, the UDG Guadalajara, the University San Ignacio of Loyola in Lima, the American Hispanic University in San Jose, and INACAP of Chile.

"This initiative is a clear response to a critical need in the region. Oracle Academy has established a strong team that supports education systems by training teachers,” said Andrea Velez-Greene, director of Oracle Academy for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our goal is to provide quality knowledge and technical tools that allow women to build confidence and achieve success, and thereby reduce the gap between men and women in STEM careers across the region.”

The Mexico, Colombia, and Peru events included Alice workshops, giving participants an opportunity to learn to create 3D animations using object-oriented programming—a great way to be introduced to Java by unleashing creativity for learners at all levels. Mexico added break-time fun with ping pong games and tours of the innovative Oracle Development Center in Guadalajara. Colombia was excited to host guest speakers Maria Isabel Mejia, Vice Minister of the ICT National Ministry; Cecilia Mora from the Ministry of National Education; Rubby Casallas, Professor of Engineering, University of Los Andes; and Camila Quintana, Professor of Colombian School of Engineering.

International Girls in ICT Day is a great opportunity to get more young women interested in and on a pathway to learning computer science.
 


Coders in Action

Congratulations Dear Hero 2016 Challenge Winners, The FDI!

Oracle Academy and Destination Imagination (DI) were proud to announce the Dear Hero Computer Science Challenge winners in April–The FDI! This team of 9th and 11th grade first-time coders from Clovis, California, created an inspiring video to thank someone who has made a positive and significant difference in their lives: Elizabeth Christensen, a third grade at GATE teacher at Cedarwood Elementary in Clovis. Dear Hero challenged the team to use Alice 3—a free computer animation program from Carnegie Mellon University—to create the special message to their hero.

Check out their Thank You video.

The students from the winning team, 4 girls and 2 boys, attend University High School and Clovis High School, and created their team name, “The FDI,” as a pun merging “the FBI” with DI because their skit for the “Get a Clue” challenge for Destination Imagination is a mystery set at a beauty pageant. They chose to take on the Dear Hero Computer Science Challenge, too, because they were excited for the opportunity to learn to code and honor someone important to them. Mrs. Christensen, they say, is very creative and very passionate about STEM skills, inspiring students to do things they never dreamed they would do – so it seemed a perfect fit to honor her by trying to do something they’d never done before, computer programming.

Creating their winning animation involved mostly research and experimentation as the team taught themselves to use Alice 3. “There were things that we assumed would be easy (such as making an animated figure walk or having the scenery switch to a new background), but some of those things were extremely difficult,” they report. Because the Alice 3 program was user friendly and easy to use, the team says, “it made us want to keep using the Alice 3 program to create new animated videos. We never dreamed that we would win the contest. It still seems unreal!”

As Dear Hero 2016 winners, the FDI, and their hero, Mrs. Christensen, will attend the 2016 Destination Imagination Global Finals—the world’s largest celebration of student creativity—at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, from May 25-28, 2016. During the event, The FDI will be named Oracle Academy Ambassadors, their special thank you message will be presented to more than 16,000 attendees, and their Hero will be presented with a special award.

The Dear Hero Challenge was a joint commitment by Destination Imagination and Oracle Academy to the Computer Science for All initiative led by the White House. Thank you to all of the students who participated and took the time to thank a Hero. To the Heroes presented in each of these videos, thank you for making a positive difference. Your support is critical to the success of our children.

Honorable Mentions

Jake R. from Connecticut: Thank You Cath!!

J.T. C. from Alberta, Canada: Thank You To Susan Picard!

Cassidy B. from Wyoming: Thank you Mrs. Jackelen

You too can join our commitment to Computer Science for All and be an Oracle Academy Coder in Action! Read more about the Dear Hero Challenge and find out more about Oracle Academy’s Getting Started with Java Using Alice self-study course.


High School Students use Greenfoot to Raise Recycling Awareness

What do Oracle Academy and the First® LEGO® League competition have in common? Greenfoot!

On April 19, 2016, more than 70 groups of students, ages 5-16, from across Greece united to compete in the second annual First® LEGO® League competition to tackle the challenge of waste management.

The Gold winners of the competition were the RobotGang team of 10 high school students from Larissa, Greece, for their project, "We work to learn and learn to work." The project focused on students’ indifference toward environmental protection and organized various activities to mobilize their peers and change their attitudes through the creation of an interactive game they built using Greenfoot. Petros Dimovelis, the team’s ICT teacher, was able to support the team with their Greenfoot programming because he successfully completed Oracle Academy’s Java Fundamentals course in 2015. We are proud to support teachers and help them bring their knowledge to their students.

Congratulations to RobotGang and Petros Dimovelis for your accomplishments!


Oracle Academy Advances Computer Science around the World


Europe, Middle East and Africa

Croatia Focuses on Computer Science Education

Croatia is advancing computer science by introducing Oracle Academy across its schools nationwide. Since the first Oracle Academy Day event in February, Oracle Academy has been introducing educators and students to core academic computer science curriculum, leveraging vendor neutral tools and industry-leading Oracle technologies, to help make a difference in their long term education and potential career pathways.

Keystone Events
On February 12, 2016, the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing hosted an Oracle Academy Day event with Oracle Academy to bring into focus the topic of Big Data, exploring the demand for data-oriented professionals across a wide range of industries, organizations, and disciplines, and the unprecedented use of technology to support data-driven decision-making. Twenty-two additional institutions from Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina joined the event via live-streaming.

Throughout March, Oracle Academy continued to support the momentum of Croatia’s focus on computer science education. On March 14–18, 2016, Oracle Academy organized Java Foundations training for educators from Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina at the University College Algebra, Croatia. “The main value of Oracle Academy courses to us is providing students with knowledge and skills that increase their employability by making them more attractive for prospective employers in the IT industry,” Frane Urem, Ph.D, Vice Dean, Senior Lecturer, Polytechnic of Šibenik, Croaita. The next Java Foundations training is scheduled for May 9–13, 2016, at Faculty of Sciences, Split, Croatia.

On March 16, 2016, the e-Skills for Jobs initiative in Croatia was presented to the President of Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, another significant milestone to increase STEM studies in Croatia. Grabar Kitarović supports the initiative because the current number of computer science graduates in Croatia does not meet the demand of the local IT labor market. The e-skills initiative will help contribute to the IT industry growth, provide a more stable labor market, and create the opportunity for Croatia’s global competitiveness in the IT sector. Oracle Academy is proud to be a member of this initiative to help more graduates enter the growing IT labor market.

On March 21–25, Education and Teacher Training Agency (ETTA) organized a national programming competition for K-12 students to coincide with the annual ICT conference. Computer science teachers from primary and secondary schools joined the event in Primošten, Croatia. Students competed in three categories of algorithms, IT basics, and application development. The winners were invited to represent Croatia at the International Olympiad in Informatics. Oracle Academy supported the conference and provided awards for the National Finals’ competition winners.

Ongoing Education
Oracle Academy will continue to support Croatia and its Oracle Academy members through a variety of free trainings for continuous learning and development of educators, including Alice and Greenfoot workshops. The workshops are ideal for teachers who have never taught computer science or for those experienced computer science educators who want to refresh their skills using the tools and techniques employed in our courses.


Connecting Students with Mentors and Hands-on Learning

Over the past few months, the Oracle Romania technical divisions have been mentoring and providing specialized technical workshops to students at Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics and UTCB – Informatics, Romania.

The Oracle Mentorship Program connects students with an assigned Oracle engineer to assist with academic papers and projects to support achieving their master degree and final exams.

To further extend their Oracle Product expertise, the students participate in a weekly Oracle Academy Club session, attend presentations, complete practical exercises in Java programming, process automation, applied project management delivered by senior Oracle engineers, and attend technical workshops.

The workshops focus on driving skills development and knowledge of Oracle Database installation, tuning, management and new features, data warehouses, cloud related architecture and Big Data, as well as operating systems concepts and features, primarily, Oracle Linux.

“Oracle Academy Romania has increased the focus in extending the knowledge sharing between university students and the Oracle Romania engineers community, with the purpose of having the students better prepared and faster integrated in the IT labor market once they graduate,” said Florin Dragnea, Director, ACS Service Management, DB Expertise Center.


Training Teachers to Impact Lagos Education

From March 21 – 24, 2016, Oracle Academy organized a four day workshop at the E-learning Centre, Marina, Lagos, for more than 85 junior, secondary, public, and private school teachers. The workshop focused on teaching teachers how to teach computer science using the educational Java programming environments, Alice and Greenfoot, and ensure quality delivery of computing education to their students.

The Lagos State Ministry of Science & Technology supported the event to drive their vision of including computer science as a part of primary education.


Turkey Academic Informatics Conference 2016

On February 4, 2016, Oracle Academy sponsored the eighteenth Annual Academic Informatics Conference at Adnan Menderes University, Turkey. To build awareness of the importance of computer science education and the career opportunities computer science makes possible, more than 100 students learned about Oracle Academy and Oracle technologies.


Oracle Technology & Career Day

On February 11, 2016, Oracle Academy sponsored the Oracle Technology & Career Day for more than 200 IT students and academics in Istanbul, Turkey. During the event, participants had the opportunity to:

  • explore different career paths within IT, Oracle, and Oracle’s partner ecosystem
  • gain insight into Oracle & Java technologies
  • learn about Oracle’s career acceleration programs including Turkey’s annual student summer camps and Oracle Academy
  • network with industry experts, and
  • discover internships and employment opportunities available through attending organizations.

Information Technology Educators Workshop

On February 25, 2016, the Association of Information Technology Educators in Bolu, Turkey invited Oracle Academy to host an informational workshop. Students, educators, and technology providers gathered to learn about innovative technologies and educational resources available to bring computer science to classrooms, including Oracle Academy’s workshops in Alice and Greenfoot, which introduce Java programming.

More than 100 participants joined the workshop in person and more than 1760 people joined via online broadcast.


Sixth Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career

On April 1–3, 2016, Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor of the sixth annual Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career, the largest entrepreneurship and career orientation event in Greece. This three-day event featured 195 guest speakers, 36 panels, breakout sessions about the Greek economy, and key trends and in-demand skills.

Antonis Monokrousos, Managing Director, Oracle Hellas and Senior Director GMCM Cluster, was invited to participate on the CEO panel, “The Way to Professional Success.” During the discussion, Monokrousos stressed the importance of IT skills for careers in all industry sectors, as well as the investment Oracle has made in computer science education globally through the Oracle Academy program.


Digital Economy Forum 2016, Athens, Greece

On March 9, 2016, Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor of the Digital Economy Forum 2016, in Athens, Greece. The event, organized by the Association of ICT Companies in Greece (SEPE), focused on the digital restart of the Greek economy. More than 800 executives and government officials from Greece attended, including Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece. Oracle Academy’s Eleni Tsipa participated in one of the panel discussions to talk about the e-skills initiative, Oracle’s investment in the Greek educational system, and the need to develop ICT skills.


Second EduConference, Struga, FYR of Macedonia

On April 1 – 3, 2016, Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor at the Second International Educonference in Struga, FYR of Macedonia. The association, Friends of Education, invited more than 400 teachers, students, and ICT experts to discuss best practices from different countries to enable continuous professional development of teachers, the enhancement of methodological teaching, and ICT pedagogical approaches. Danny Gooris, EMEA Manager, Oracle Academy, shared Oracle Academy’s mission to advance computer science education and the resources Oracle Academy makes available for free to support teachers and students around the globe.


Oracle Academy Days in Middle East

On March 15 and 21, 2016, Qatar University, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi Polytechnic Institution, United Arab Emirates, hosted Oracle Academy Days for their educators and administrators.

Qatar University invited educators from different academic departments to learn about the benefits of Oracle Academy membership and how to align Oracle Academy offerings to the Qatar University curriculum.

Abu Dhabi Polytechnic Institution centered its Oracle Academy Day on Oracle Academy’s new Java Foundations and Database Foundations courses that align to Oracle Junior Certifications, Oracle Cloud, and Oracle Database Security technologies and benefits.
 


Japan and Asia Pacific

Oracle Academy Welcomes Webster University Students

Recently, Oracle Academy welcomed 17 students and teachers from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to the Oracle office in Beijing, China, as a part of Webster’s Global Hybrid program that introduces students to global companies. During the visit, the students and teachers were given an insight into Oracle’s culture, development strategies, product portfolio, and how Oracle Academy engages with education in China to advance computer science globally.


Database Courses for Students in Marwadi, India

In February, educators that had been trained by Oracle Academy conducted its Database Design and Programming with SQL course for more than 125, eighth-semester students from the Computer Engineering and Information Technology departments at Marwadi Education Foundation’s Group of Institutions, Rajkot, Gujarat, India. The college offers these courses to higher semester students to help address the local market demand for technical knowledge and database skills. After completing the courses, many students passed Oracle Certification exams.


Oracle Academy Day in West Java & Yogyakarta Provinces, Indonesia

On February 10, 2016, Association of Higher Education of Informatics and Computer (APTIKOM) in West Java province hosted an Oracle Academy Day for faculty members and department heads of Computer Science colleges and universities in Bandung City, West Java.

APTIKOM in Yogyakarta province also hosted an Oracle Academy Day on March 11, 2016, for faculty members and department heads of secondary vocational and technical schools and universities in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta.

Oracle Academy Days create an opportunity to share information about Oracle Academy curriculum—with a focus on Java and Database—and how Oracle Academy courses align to schools’ and colleges’ existing curriculum and current trends in technology.


Virtual Instructor Led Java Fundamentals Course a Success

From March through May, 2016, 24 teachers from ten different universities across Taiwan participated in an Oracle Academy virtual instructor-led training (VILT) course. The teachers attended weekly sessions that included homework assignments and project work to be completed outside of the VILT session to prepare to teach Oracle Academy’s Java Fundamentals course in their own classrooms.
 


North America

Week with Women

Oracle Academy and Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) group were pleased to sponsor a panel of successful women in technology as part of The University of Texas at Austin’s “Week with Women.” The Week with Women invites students, faculty, and staff from UT Computer Science to attend a week's worth of events co-hosted by the WiCS student organization and the Department of Computer Science to increase awareness of the need for greater engagement of women in the field of computing. The Oracle sponsored panel helped students better understand the many career pathways they can pursue with a degree in computer science.

Upcoming Events

MAY 23, 2016

ICT Days for Education

Ghent, Belgium

MAY 23-24, 2016

Careertech

Washington, DC

MAY 25-28, 2016

Destination Imagination Global Finals

Knoxville, TN

JUNE 2016

Tech Sassy Girlz

Florida

JUNE 2016

MYE-Dash

Florida

JUNE 7-9, 2016

WeTeach CS Summit

Austin, TX

June 14-16, 2016

“Get Real!” CEI Colorado STEM Design Challenge

Snowmass, CO

JUNE 27, 2016

ISTE 2016
Oracle Academy Poster Session, 2-4 pm, Lobby D, Table 43

Denver, CO

JUNE 30-JULY 1, 2016

FBLA

Atlanta, GA

JULY 10-12, 2016

CSTA Annual Conference

San Diego, CA

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