In June, Oracle Academy signed two agreements with key collaborators in India—ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTACT) and ICT Academy of Kerala (ICTAK).
Oracle and ICTACT have signed an agreement to incorporate the Oracle Academy curriculum into 450 educational institutions in Tamil Nadu to teach students industry relevant skills. This initiative is designed to support 45,000 students and 750 faculty members over the next three years. Once the initial 450 faculty members are trained, ICTACT aims to train another 300 faculty members, further expanding the program. Through the program, educators will learn to teach computer science fundamentals, and then train other teachers at ICTACT-affiliated schools in their local communities. The collaboration will enable students from rural areas develop their computer science skills and the knowledge needed to progress in an IT career.
“We’re excited to give the students of Tamil Nadu more exposure to the current trends and technologies in the IT industry. This collaboration will help students gain a better understanding about the types of career paths and jobs that are available to them,” said Sivakumar M, CEO, ICTACT. “Oracle Academy can help us ensure that we have a strong talent pool with necessary training and credentials to fill the increasingly skilled jobs that our economy demands.”
Earlier in the year, Oracle CEO Safra Catz announced plans that Oracle Academy would expand the company’s computer science education efforts throughout India in support of Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives, “Digital India” and “Skill India.”
In July, Oracle announced a new collaboration with ICTAK that supports Oracle’s overarching goal of educating 500,000 students in India annually through Oracle Academy.
As part of the new partnership, 125 colleges in Kerala will become members of the Oracle Academy program. Over the next three years, ICTAK intends to leverage Oracle Academy resources to create strong computer science education pathways for 6,000 students as they prepare to launch successful careers in the IT field and meet growing demands for a highly skilled technology workforce in Kerala. Working with ICTAK, Oracle Academy will train 500 educators on its academic curriculum in Java Foundations, Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, Database Foundations, Database Design & Programming with SQL, and Programming with PL/SQL. After these educators are trained, they will be tasked to pass on this training to other teachers and to students.
To meet the growing demand for Java professionals, ICTAK will also deliver a specialized course in Java Fundamentals to students through the Government of Kerala’s Additional Skill Acquisition Program (ASAP). The technical portion of the course has been mapped to Oracle Academy’s Java Fundamentals course and aims to educate 500 students annually.
“Even though Kerala has one of the highest literacy rates among states in India, we want to provide new avenues for our students as they prepare to enter the workforce. IT prowess is a strong enabler for successful careers and we are excited of our extended partnership with Oracle,” said Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala.
“We are happy to expand Oracle Academy’s collaboration with ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu and ICT Academy of Kerala through these new agreements, which will enable us to provide professional development for more teachers in more subjects, and in turn will enable them to reach even more students,” said Damian Haas, regional director, Oracle Academy, Asia Pacific and Japan.
Oracle Academy is helping to create pathways to the future for youth in Lagos, Nigeria, by supporting the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) efforts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) bootcamps for summer camp students.
W.TEC, focused on empowering girls and women socially and economically with information and communication technology (ICT) skills and knowledge, collaborated with Oracle Academy on an initiative to train teachers in Yaba, Lagos, how to teach Getting Started with Java Using Alice and provide mentoring programs for the students. During the 2015 – 16 academic year, 180 girls from 10 secondary schools were introduced to the course and successfully graduated on June 26, 2016. Oracle Academy was proud to receive an appreciation award from W.TEC for empowering teachers with computer science knowledge and skills and creating pathways to the future for students.
In addition to the W.TEC initiative, Oracle Academy collaborated with Spark IT to offer Getting Started with Java Using Alice as part of Spark IT’s summer STEAM bootcamps. On July 21, the bootcamps kicked off with a visit to the Oracle Lagos office where the 25 students and their parents were welcomed by Adebayo Sanni, Oracle Nigeria Country Leader, and learned about the benefits of focusing on computer science. They also had the opportunity to participate in a mini introductory Getting Started with Java Using Alice session and showcase their newly learned skills.
Following the kickoff, older students (ages 12-15) participated in a five day Java session. These students participated in a friendly Python versus Java competition where the parents were the judges.
Congratulations to the students for their accomplishments:
The Robotics Project by Michelle and Bibre
Using Java, Michelle and Bibre programmed their LEGO© robotic arm conveyor belt set to simulate robots on a manufacturing floor. Within three days, the team successfully programmed the robot interface to pick up an item from one place, gently place it on the conveyor belt, and take the item to its final destination.
The Timer Project by Tokemi
Using a Java Applet, Tokemi programmed a timer to interact with an internet server that was activated via a web browser. Within three days, the timer was connected, programmed, and successfully reset each time the browser was reloaded.
Help us support students on their pathways to success and bring our free educational resources to your community and classrooms. Please contact us for more information.
On June 23, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) announced the recipients of the inaugural Oracle Academy Scholarship for the 2016 CSTA Annual Conference, which was held July 10-12 in San Diego, Calif. Oracle Academy sponsored US $20,000 in scholarship awards to support first-time attendance at the annual Computer Science Teachers Association conference for twenty teachers. The Oracle Academy Scholarships covered the attendees’ conference registration and provided support toward lodging, travel, and meals.
The scholarships were administered by CSTA. Interested teachers were required to submit applications and had to be first-time CSTA conference attendees.
“Oracle Academy continues to directly affect one of the most important needs of K-12 Computer Science teachers, access to professional development opportunities,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, CSTA Executive Director. “This scholarship for first time attendees revealed a level of need and interest greater than we anticipated. We deeply appreciate the continuing partnership between Oracle Academy and CSTA in support of K-12 CS education,” he added.
“We were delighted to launch our inaugural year of Oracle Academy Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Conference Scholarships for first-time attendees. Hands down, the CSTA conference is one of the best hands-on professional development opportunities for computer science teachers—or teachers who want to teach CS—in the world. The CSTA conference is three days of useful learning that can be taken directly to the classroom as well as to administrators to increase support for and access to CS education,” said Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president, Oracle Academy.
“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,” wrote Ramsey Young, Millard Public Schools, upon learning of his award. “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 and I will see you in San Diego!”
“Oracle Academy, thank you for extending the opportunity to those who are committed to computer science and for educating our students about this unique and evolving field,” said Alphana Hobbs, Ravenscroft School.
Annually, the CSTA conference welcomes more than 400 computer science teachers and administrators to share and learn from national speakers, networking sessions, and participate in professional development breakout sessions to help advance computer science education. Oracle Academy delivered two new workshops—Solve it with SQL workshop and Programming the Finch Robot with Greenfoot—now available for use in the classroom. These workshops were favorites with teachers as they got to see their programming skills come to life in-real time.
Oracle Academy and CSTA were proud to receive more than 300 applications for the scholarships and thank each teacher for participating. We thank you for your commitment and the passion you bring to your classrooms each and every day.
As part of its CS for All commitment to expand support for CS educators, Oracle Academy joined forces with MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) in southern California to award 16 MESA educators the inaugural Oracle Academy Teacher Professional Development Scholarships recognizing excellence in teaching of computer science and strong STEM leadership.
Each winning teacher received a $1000 scholarship from Oracle Academy to support attendance at the annual Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference, which included professional development workshops, networking sessions, and nationally recognized speakers.
“I just wanted to thank you for your support with this conference. I went because I got a scholarship from Oracle Academy. I learned so much and I am very excited to apply what I learned in my classroom. I will be also sharing my ideas with other teachers from the district and the administration,” said Valentina Mascorro, Math Teacher, Los Banos Junior High School. “It was great to meet teachers from across the country teaching computer science to K-12 students. I was also very impressed with all the technology available and the support that the companies are providing.”
Since 1970, MESA has been helping educationally disadvantaged students prepare for, pursue, and graduate from four-year colleges and universities with a STEM degree. MESA currently serves 25,000 underserved students in California and has been replicated in 8 other states. The Oracle Academy Teacher Professional Development Scholarships help support and strengthen educator professional development specifically in the field of computer science.
Throughout the year, Oracle Academy offers professional development opportunities for educators around the globe. We encourage you to visit our events calendar and register for a training event in your area.
The July, 2016 Oracle Academy newsletter highlighted an Oracle volunteer group from the Oracle Sunrise, Florida office that developed a computer science competition training program for local high school students who wished to compete in the Miami-Dade NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO).
As of publication time in July, this volunteer group had successfully mentored two students who won their regional competition and were on their way to compete at the national competition in Ohio.
The response to this article has been so positive, we wanted to provide an update from Perside Foster, lead Oracle volunteer:
Our two mentees did an amazing job at the national ACT-SO competition, competing against 600+ contestants representing the United States. Our students did not place this year but valued the learning experience so much that they have already started working on their submission for next year! Throughout the entire experience, Oracle volunteers have provided the perfect support system.
Thank you so much!
Thank you to this Oracle volunteer group for sharing their IT passion with students. We wish the students the best of luck and can’t wait to hear what happens next year!
We are turning the spotlight on our members who are making an impact with Oracle Academy.
Gail D. Drake, associate professor and high school teacher, is a computer science advocate who has been teaching Oracle Academy Database Design and SQL Programming for more than 12 years.
Oracle Academy: Gail, as both a college and high school teacher, will you tell us the difference between these two teaching experiences?
Gail: Teaching at college and high school levels are very different. At the high school level, Database Design helps to teach students about the real world, how businesses operate, and how the data drives all aspects of all businesses. I have a lot of fun asking them to take a local business, understand the data requirements that business would need to survive, and what they would need to be successful. We look at every industry. They learn more than the technology and see their local environment in a very different way. Once we complete database design, students are ready to program. They find the SQL semester very hands-on and engaging. Each course is dual enrolled to the college.
In the college classroom, most of my students are professionals that know the business environment. With this knowledge, Database Design takes on a very applicable approach to really understanding their corporate data model. I enjoy when each student learns how critical a good data model is to a solid database.
Oracle Academy: You have been an Oracle Academy member for a number of years, what keeps you engaged?
Gail: The aspects that keep me engaged as an Oracle Academy member are what I refer to as ‘light bulbs.’ I love watching the light bulbs go off during a student’s learning experience. I truly believe that the Database Design and SQL Programming course represents two of the most applicable semesters to every student’s future. I believe students learn more about the world of business in this course than most expect. I also believe that students with this background will outperform their peers in their jobs.
I also love the challenge and the presentation of the PL/SQL programming language. There is a huge focus on object languages today, however all the roots are in the procedural languages. When our students learn PL/SQL, I believe they have a better understanding of C, C++, and Java.
Oracle Academy: How has Oracle Academy benefited your students?
Gail: At the college level, most of my students who have completed the Database course have either been hired for a job, received a promotion, or were recognized for improved work performance.
At the high school level, several of my students have been hired for technical jobs—including college help desk, database support, scheduling office—while attending college because of their database courses in high school. My students often come back to share with me that they were the “most knowledgeable” student in the class, “thanks to the database courses.”
Oracle Academy: What has been your favorite Oracle Academy project produced by your students?
Gail: My favorite project was a class registration design and application. Our course registration process does not make sense to me and apparently it did not to a team of students. This team designed a new process that was remarkable. Another team designed an inventory application for the school.
What inspired you to teach computer science/information technology?
Gail: I personally love to solve problems and I like the BIG picture. I worked at a large corporation and made my way up to the corporate offices of the CIO of and interfaced with our subsidiaries. I ran a large environment and was provided the opportunity to solve large problems. I loved designing ideas that the staff could move forward with, implement, and progress. I always had the dream of being a professor. Once I finished all my course material, an opportunity presented itself, and I had to jump. I left a wonderful, challenging job to become an Associate Computer Science Professor, Bentley University, Mass.
As life moved forward, our family relocated to Washington D.C., and I needed to find my career path with this move. I learned that an Information Technology Specialty High School was scheduled to open the following school year. I talked to the district about getting it started, and now, I am beginning my thirteenth year with both the high school and college.
In addition to writing courses in order for the new school to open, I wrote a grant to be allowed to teach college courses in the high school as well as be able to give the kids credit at both the high school and the college level. It is now a standard dual enrollment model.
Thank you Gail 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.
On May 3, Oracle Academy delivered an Alice workshop to more than 100 educators at an event organized by The Association of Information Technology Educators which aims to bring academics together for professional development on topics such as programming and robotics.
On April 30, Oracle Academy was proud to sponsor the Women Techmakers Ankara event. The event brought together more than 100 technology enthusiasts to learn about developments, innovations, and news in technology from successful women in the IT field.
On April 21, more than 50 participants from K-12 and higher education institutions in Turkey attended the Oracle Education Technology Summit. During the event, Oracle Academy shared information regarding the importance of skills development and advancing computer science education globally.
On August 2, Oracle Academy Romania was invited to keynote during the InfoEducatie conference—a national contest for IT&C in Romania—on the topic, “How to be a programmer using free and friendly environments.” The presentation shared information about the benefits Oracle Academy offers to students and teachers, including Getting Started with Java Using Alice. As a proof point of the speech, a student proficient in Alice presented his project and explained the functions and procedures used to create his project.
“I like that Alice 3 uses natural English expressions like ’move forward‘ or ‘turn right.’ By drag and drop, the kids begin to learn fundamental programming concepts by creating 3D animations,” said Miana Arisanu, teacher, Colegiul National Mircea cel Batran Rm. Valcea.
On July 13-14, Oracle Academy led a two-day workshop at POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest focused on introducing students to Scrum—one of the most used project management methodologies in modern software development—as well as an overview of the general concepts of Agile and how it compares with the classical waterfall approach.
“I was happy to hear about the interest students showed in attending this kind of workshop. It was a very nice experience for me, not only because I’ve met smart, curious students, but most importantly, because I had the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise in this field with some of the greatest representatives of the younger generation,” said Monica Petrica, Senior Development Manager, Oracle Romania. “Although my contribution to this summer school was minor, I think that any contact, any conversation with students at any level, is a long term, high-quality investment in our own children.”
Six students from Tamil Nadu, India, who had emerged as winners in the ICTACT Youth Competition, visited universities and corporate offices in Singapore as part of their study tour.
One student from the Subhas C M,J.J. College of Engineering and Technology, shared his experience with the Oracle Academy team after visiting the Oracle Singapore office.
“I have always admired the success of Larry Ellison from my high school. The visit to Oracle at Singapore was a life changing experience for me and made me more curious about Oracle! When I entered into this magnificent office I was taken back , everywhere I turnaround people are working with passion , first I see a room its filled with delegates from the western world , a meeting I guess , next room a presentation is going on with people from Indonesia , next room tech wizards working on their workstation. I felt like I was walking in the Silicon Valley, lot of innovation and smart work were happening in a single floor. Finally I entered a conference room where I had the opportunity to listen to the words of wisdom from a young team. Explaining about state of the art software products, cloud and database, having an engineering background I was able to understand the complex work behind it yet they make it look simple, they are definitely seeing the future …today at this very moment. Learning about their work culture I completely fell in love with Oracle. They were kind enough to clear my doubts, I really liked the concept of Young Oracle Group, words can’t explain what I experienced there, after the visit I was able to understand why Oracle is trusted from governments to millions of people worldwide. Buddha got enlightened under a Bodhi tree, I saw a form of Bodhi tree at Oracle Singapore. In a nutshell it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
We thank you for sharing your experience and wish you success.
ICTACT and Oracle Academy collaborate with more than 300 member colleges in India.
A Knowledge Builder event, conducted at STMIK LPKIA Bandung city, West Java Province, directly engaged students to get them excited about studying computer science. The students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge about Oracle’s technologies, received information about skills needed to be prepared to enter the job market, and connect with the industry sector.
On August 2, students and faculty from Malang State Polytechnic visited the Jakarta Oracle office, Indonesia. Students learned about the skills they need to develop before entering the work force so they can confidently answer, “Yes” when asked, “Are You Job Ready?”
This past June in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the seventeenth annual Latin America and the Caribbean Virtual Educa congress—the most important technology and education event across the region—attracted more than 10,000 participants and 12,000 virtual classroom participants from 44 countries. Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor of the event, provided five Alice workshops benefiting more than 100 teachers, and participated in 2 forums featuring education and inclusion topics.
To enhance the learning experience and engage students in a fun space, Oracle Academy created an interactive classroom for Alice mini-workshops. Special guest students from Jose Horacio Cora of Arroyo school presented their projects aimed at helping other classmates with dyslexia, diabetes, and multiplication skills using animations and applications created with Alice and Greenfoot.
On June 29 – July 3, more than 20,000 attendees from 300 universities in Mexico participated in the world's largest hackathon—Campus Party! During the Campus Party, Oracle Academy offered Alice and Greenfoot workshops for more than 100 participants to develop skills needed in a hackathon as well as for the future.
June 27 – July 8, the CompuChicas—80 high school girls focused on learning computer science—participated in their second annual event with Oracle Academy at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón.
This event focuses on empowering female students to develop skills that will help them pursue and succeed in STEM careers. Already, CompuChicas is seeing great results for their efforts. Forty girls participated in last year’s CompuChicas camp, and two of them are pursuing degrees in Computer Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón.
Since the completion of the second annual camp this year, where the girls were trained on Alice and Greenfoot, six CompuChicas participants were accepted into the Computer Science department at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón, to pursue their studies in programming.
Building educator computer science content knowledge is a key component to advancing computer science education today. There is no one who knows that better than Oracle Academy’s strategic partners in North America!
During July 2016, as part of our CS for All Commitment to double the number of teachers we train in computer science this academic year, the Oracle Academy North America team and our partners were working to systemically deliver free educator professional development to help educators to reach their computer science education goals. Below are just a few examples of our joint collaborations:
Every Monday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CET
Seven, two-hour training sessions
Registration is now open until October 3
Every Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CET
Fifteen, two-hour virtual training sessions
Registration is now open until October 4