Oracle Academy Gives Training Scholarships to Teachers

Oracle Academy logoBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

We often take teachers and the work they do for our children for granted. But the fact is that teachers work hard and are under-compensated, and it’s important to recognize and appreciate their effort.

To that end, Oracle Academy launched a program this year to grant scholarships to first-time attendees of the annual Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference. It’s one of the world’s best professional development opportunities for CS teachers and would-be teachers, offering three days of useful learning that can be taken directly into the classroom.

But many teachers have no professional development funds to tap for events such as this, and must fund them from their own pockets. So this year, Oracle Academy launched a scholarship program — which gives teachers $1,000 each to offset conference registration, travel and hotel expenses.

TeacherCSTA received more than 300 applications for only 20 available scholarships.

Wage Gap for Teachers

The scholarships are so sought after and so appreciated because the teacher wage gap in the United States is growing. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute found that female teachers in 1960 earned 14.7% more than women in other comparable positions – but today teachers across all genders earn 17% less than others in comparable jobs.

According to the study, the average teacher’s weekly pay actually went down $30 (adjusted for inflation) between 1996 and 2015, and experienced teachers have suffered greater pay deterioration than new teachers.

So take a moment to stop and thank a teacher. They deserve it!

Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at

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Why Is It Important For Students to Learn to Code?

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Sept2016-Why CodingDid you know that students with coding skills make 33% more than those who don’t? And 7 million job openings in 2015 were in occupations that value coding skills – a full 20% of “career track” jobs.

If you have ever wondered why computer science is so important, a recent study commissioned by Oracle Academy provides clear answers. The study, conducted by Burning Glass Technologies, a job market analytics research company, found that across industries, computer science skills translate to added value and earning power.

The report — Beyond Point and Click: The Expanding Demand for Coding Skills — analyzes the market and highlights the magnitude of employer demand for coding skills and the range of opportunities that learning to code can open for students.
Data was culled from 26 million U.S. online job postings collected in 2015 and analyzed to determine the specific jobs and skills that employers are seeking.

Oracle Academy logoKey findings include:

  • Coding skills are in high demand, and not just for programmers, but across five major job categories:
    • Information Technology (IT) workers
    • Data Analysts
    • Artists and Designers
    • Engineers
    • Scientists
  • Coding jobs pay $22,000 per year more than jobs that don’t — $84,000 vs. $62,000 annually.
  • Coding skills pave the way for progression to high-income positions. Half of jobs in the top income quartile (more than $57,000 per year) are in occupations that require coding skills from applicants.
  • Coding jobs are growing faster than the job market, led by programming jobs, 50% faster than the market overall.

Read the full report.

Curriki’s partner Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Learn more at

Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world.

A Great Idea: Computer Science Workshops-in-a-Box


By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Did you know that Oracle Academy is a terrific source of computer science educational resources for students and educators?  Oracle provides a variety of resources to students around the world (in 106 countries) that can be used in the classroom and in not-for-profit academic course and degree-related research.

An easy way to start is by checking out Oracle Academy Workshop in a Box, which is designed to facilitate the delivery of introductory computer science workshops by parents, volunteers, computer club sponsors and educators who may not specialize in teaching computer science.

It’s everything you need in one place:


You can begin with Getting Started with Java Using Alice, which is designed for students with little or no programming experience and teaches basic Java programming concepts through developing 3-D Animations in Alice 3.1 and Creating Java Programs with Greenfoot which engages students who understand basic programming concepts to create 2-D games using Java.

You can find thousands of other free STEM resources on Curriki.  Start planning what you’ll do with the upcoming summer months by browsing the Curriki site today. Here are a few resources to give you an idea of what’s available:



Oracle Academy Expands in India


Oracle CEO Safra Catz

Reblogged in part from, which discusses Oracle’s expanded commitment in India, including Oracle Academy Expansion;

Oracle CEO Safra Catz met with Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi (12 February 2016) and announced three major investments that support the country’s global digital leadership. Catz unveiled a massive, state-of-the-art campus centered in Bengaluru, 9 incubation centers throughout India, and an initiative to train more than half a million students each year to develop computer science skills.

“Oracle has been in India for over 25 years and during that time we’ve grown our investments tremendously,” said Catz. “In fact, India now represents our second largest employee base outside of the United States, with nearly 40,000 current employees and an additional 2,000 current job openings. We are investing over $400 million USD in Bengaluru, opening 9 incubation centers, and training half a million students each year during this expansion phase to support India’s tremendous growth. We ‘Make in India’ for the rest of the world.”

“I’m particularly excited about the incubation centers which will house substantial software and technology capabilities, tools, and training to help launch new technology startups built utilizing Java and the Oracle platform,” said Catz.

“Increasing diversity and creating opportunities for women in technology starts with investing in STEM and computer science education for girls,” said Catz. “Student learning and training has been a focus at Oracle for more than 20 years, and we are expanding our curriculum to include girls-only programs.”

Nine Incubation Centers

To contribute to India’s “Start-up India” and “Make in India” initiatives, Oracle is opening nine incubation centers throughout the country. These centers will support entrepreneurship and development of innovative start-ups by providing software, tools, and training to new software and technology companies utilizing Java and the Oracle platform. These centers will be located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Noida, Pune, Trivandrum and Vijayawada.

Oracle Academy Expansion

In support of the prime minister’s “Digital India” and “Skill India” programs, Oracle Academy plans to engage with local schools and universities to train more than half a million students throughout India in computer science each year.

Oracle Academy currently partners with more than 1,700 educational institutions in India, to advance computer science education and drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Through these collaborations, more than 3,000 India-based teachers were trained in Java and database last year alone. With today’s announcement, Oracle Academy aims to expand its partnerships to another 1,000 institutions in India, with a goal of reaching 500,000 students annually.

Worldwide, Oracle Academy trains more than 2.6 million students in 106 countries. In the past fiscal year, the program delivered nearly US $3.3 billion in resources globally to help prepare students for life and work in today’s modern technology-driven economy.

Kids, Learn to Code!


By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Photo of Janet Pinto

Whether your child wants to be a fireman or a computer programmer, one of today’s most valuable skills is learning to code. Even if your child isn’t interested in creating websites or new apps, coding is a great exercise in problem solving skills.

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think. Computer science should be a liberal art.”

– Steve Jobs in an interview from 1995

At the recent JavaOne4Kids conference in San Francisco, more than 400 children ranging from 10 to 18 years old were introduced to programming, robotics, and engineering through courses like Greenfoot, Alice, Minecraft Moddinjavaone4kidsg, Java, Python, Scratch, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, NAO Robot, Lego Mindstorms, and more.

JavaOne4Kids is a collaboration between Devoxx4Kids initiative and Oracle Academy, and next year’s conference will be held in Fall 2016.

However, you don’t need to wait until then to learn valuable programming skills. Java is a great place to start, and Oracle Academy has generously shared numerous tools to teach young people how to program using Java, based on the learner’s age and aptitude. Here are a few courses you can find on Curriki:

  • Scratch (for ages 5 to 15), is a simple programming language with a drag-and-drop interface.
  • Alice (less simple for ages 8 to 22), is a 3D educational software tool with a drag-and-drop interface for creating animations. alice
  • Greenfoot (less simple, for ages 13 to 25), is a visual 2D educational software tool with a code editor for creating games and simulations.

No experience required!

One of the speakers at the JavaOne4Kids event was Hania Guiagoussou, a high school student from Dublin, California, who developed a Water Saver system to monitor and control water usage in gardens and fields. “I wasn’t into programming until I took a Java programming summer workshop at Oracle in 2011, where I learned object-oriented programming using Alice,” she told attendees. “I was a newbie, just like many of you.”

Help children “learn a second language” by checking out the many resources on!

Oracle Academy Collaborates with German Robotics Initiative

Reblogged from

0715-story2The new “EV3 Programming with Java” textbook introduces Roberta teachers to Java programming techniques. The book has been published as part of the Fraunhofer Institutes’ “Roberta – Learning with Robots” initiative and is a joint development project run by the Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and Oracle Academy.

In addition to working through simple programming tasks, readers learn about a large-scale Roberta experiment, which highlights the advantages of textual and object-oriented programming demonstrated with practical examples.

“By collaborating with the Roberta initiative and supporting the latest Roberta volume, Programming with Java (Programmieren mit Java), we continue our commitment to supporting computer science education,” says Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president of Oracle Academy. “We hope that through the creation of educational materials and programs that make a challenging discipline like computer science engaging for everyone, we will increase participation, especially by girls and other underrepresented populations in the field, creating a richer and better future for everyone, everywhere.”

The initiative introduces children and young people to the joys of science and uses robots to teach gender and age-appropriate courses, showing how much fun technology and the natural sciences can be. The textbook explains not only the simple transition to text-based programming, but also introduces teachers and their pupils to a new programming language.

Watch the video, “Roberta Solves the Cube”:


For more information visit

(available in German and English)

“With Roberta-Academy, in an open learning environment, we reach hundreds of children aged 8-13 years who build in just two hours a robot that responds to stimuli of his environment.” – Dr. Andrea Niehaus, Head of Deutsches Museum Bonn


New Academic Resources to Help Students Develop Computer Science Skills


By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki Photo of Janet Pinto


Did you know that Oracle Academy (Oracle’s philanthropic educational arm) develops a wide-range of computer science education resources and makes them freely available to secondary schools, technical and vocational schools, and colleges?

Well, here’s some great news! Oracle Academy just unveiled an exciting lineup of computer science education offering, including new Java and database coursework, designed for faculty and students in computer science. These global resources are designed to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers and visionaries.

Today’s students need computer science classes as part of their educational pathways.

Oracle Academy offers a wide range of classroom courses, self-study instruction, workshops and resources – at no cost to individuals or schools. Learn more about this announcement and join Oracle Academy today.