In a transformative initiative aimed at fostering inclusive education, Oracle Academy hosted a hands-on workshop on November, 9, 2023, in Chogoria, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The workshop, themed “Tech4Inclusive Learning: Bridging Gaps, Empowering Minds!” focused on Oracle Academy’s introductory database workshop ‘Solve It with SQL’.
Conducted in partnership with Learning Differently, an organization dedicated to empowering educators to leverage technology for more inclusive classrooms, the workshop targeted 30 junior high school educators who tutor students with learning disabilities. The event underscored the importance of practical sessions as a teaching strategy to meet the unique needs of students facing learning challenges.
To open the session, Kaimuri Njeru, Learning Differently Co-founder and CEO, coached the teachers on how to use technology to ensure inclusion in their classrooms. She iterated that practical sessions serve as a great teaching strategy in inclusive education, providing students with learning disabilities a tangible and engaging way to grasp complex concepts. By incorporating hands-on activities, educators create a dynamic learning environment that caters to diverse learning styles. For students with learning disabilities, the tactile and interactive nature of practical sessions can significantly enhance comprehension and retention of information.
Kaimuri expressed the significance of Oracle Academy’s practical sessions in empowering educators and benefiting students with learning disabilities. In a statement, she emphasized, “The Oracle Academy workshop exemplifies the essence of inclusive education. The hands-on approach not only makes learning accessible but also ensures that educators are well-equipped to cater to the unique needs of students facing learning challenges. Through this collaboration, over 6,000 students will benefit from a more technology inclusive and enriching learning experience.”
Martin Waigwa, Oracle Principal Technology Architect, adeptly broke down the concepts of the 'Solve It with SQL' session into simple, digestible bits, utilizing Oracle APEX workspaces. This strategic approach ensured that educators could seamlessly integrate the newly acquired knowledge into their teaching methodologies, fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment. The hands-on session delved into Oracle Database, offering educators a comprehensive understanding of SQL, a powerful language used for managing and manipulating relational databases. The workshop aimed to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive learning environments for students with diverse learning needs, utilizing Oracle APEX as the cloud-based development environment.
The workshop transformed the learning experience into an exciting adventure. The participants took on the role of superheroes, solving a series of crimes. Oracle APEX is a low-code/no-code development platform that enables users to quickly and efficiently build applications run on Oracle databases. It allows developers to create scalable, responsive, and secure applications with minimal coding effort. This innovative approach not only made learning SQL enjoyable but also showcased its real-world applications.
Oracle Kenya’s interns, Greg Atemi and Dida Irbaye, played a pivotal role in providing personalized support during the hands-on sessions, enhancing the overall learning experience for educators.
Mr. Antony Munene, an IT teacher at Chogoria Girls High School, who attended the workshop, commented, “the Oracle Academy curriculum goes beyond theoretical concepts. Its practical components are tailored perfectly for teachers working with students with learning disabilities, providing a hands-on and effective approach to education.”
The presentation on Transforming Computing Education, by Oracle Academy Program Manager Lorna Juma, emphasized the importance of introducing students early to databases, especially those interested in pursuing careers in computer science. Learning SQL at an early stage equips students with foundational skills crucial for future careers in technology. The ‘Solve it with SQL’ workshop showcases the broader significance of understanding databases for students interested in a career in computer science. Oracle Academy's database curriculum recognizes the importance of early acquisition of database skills as a gateway to unlocking broader opportunities in the evolving landscape of technology.
In conclusion, Oracle Academy's commitment to inclusive education and the collaborative effort with Learning Differently exemplify the transformative impact that practical, hands-on sessions can have on educators and students alike. By empowering teachers with the tools and knowledge to create inclusive classrooms, Oracle Academy continues to bridge gaps in the space of technology education.
Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and knowledge to take part in such a great event!