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Oracle Education Foundation: ThinkQuest &Think.com

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Who We Are

The Oracle Education Foundation (www.oraclefoundation.org) is an independent, philanthropic organization funded by Oracle Corporation. As part of its mission, the Foundation provides ThinkQuest and Think.com as free services to the global primary and secondary school community. These programs are designed to connect students around the world and engage them in collaborative, project-based learning using technology. We promote global collaborative learning through partnerships with schools, government agencies, other nonprofits and NGOs internationally. In addition, we make a small number of grants to select primary and secondary schools that serve as test beds for our Think Programs, and fund evaluation activities linked to our grants and programs.

Why We Do This

Many people ask what motivates Oracle Corporation's philanthropy through the Oracle Education Foundation, and its investment in programs like ThinkQuest and Think.com. The reason is simple: Many of us at Oracle care passionately about education and believe it's the right thing to do. Our aim is to support technology education that fosters students' love of learning and their sense of citizenship in a global community.

In a world in which cross-cultural understanding is more important than ever, the ThinkQuest and Think.com programs reflect our goal to promote collaboration and learning that spans borders, both real and imagined. We believe that getting students from different backgrounds to communicate, collaborate and learn about each other's life experiences is valuable.

Of course, beyond being the right thing to do, this work has long-term benefits for companies like Oracle. The technology industry will continue to prosper only if our global society produces citizens capable of leveraging technology and teamwork to solve business challenges and address needs in all areas of life. The global community's future is reliant upon the same factors - the skills and wisdom of this next generation.

ThinkQuest

ThinkQuest is all about students thinking and learning together. Students work in teams to create the best educational websites and compete for exciting prizes, including a trip to ThinkQuest Live, an educational extravaganza celebrating their achievements. 

Sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation, the competition offers a unique project-based learning experience to students and teachers around the world. Globally relevant subjects and diverse teams are encouraged.

The teams' websites are published for the world to see in the ThinkQuest Library. This rich online resource contains over 5,500 educational websites, created by students for students. Search the library and you'll be sure to find a site that intrigues you.

With an annual competition, it's never too late to join the 30,000+ students worldwide who have competed since 1996. Start thinking...

 http://www.thinkquest.org


Think.com

Learning is a social phenomenon, which is why Think.com engages and inspires students. Few students are motivated to write for an audience of one -- their teacher. By providing a wider yet protected audience, Think.com turns students into multimedia authors for a global community and allows peers to think and learn together.

More than a Blog . . . and Safer Too!

Only students and teachers from member schools can enter this password-protected learning community. Once inside, members use websites and interactive tools to publish their ideas, collaborate on projects, and build knowledge together.

The Oracle Education Foundation, a non-profit organization, hosts this free service without any advertising for accredited primary and secondary schools. Think.com provides interactive learning tools to thousands of schools around the world in 8 languages.

http://www.think.com


Thinking Together sessions – ACEC2006

1. Thinking Together – An introduction to ThinkQuest and Think.com

This presentation will focus on introducing participants to ThinkQuest and Think.com; two innovative, educational web based learning experiences that bring together students globally, through the use of ICT - Information Communications Technology.

2. Thinking Together – Meet the panel from ThinkQuest and Think.com 

In this symposium, participants will have the opportunity to interact with ThinkQuest and Think.com staff from USA and Australia, and past ThinkQuest winning students from Australia and Indonesia.

3. Thinking Together – An interactive workshop session exploring Think.com and ThinkQuest

This workshop is aimed at educators who want to further explore online learning communities and project-based learning, promoting student collaboration on a global level and resulting in the creation of educational websites. Basic computing skills are all that are required to participate in this interactive workshop.





Jim Ballard   Vice President  Oracle Education Foundation 

Jim Ballard has been involved in the planning, development and implementation of Oracle information technology systems for over 20 years, serving global companies in telecoms, energy, and manufacturing, and various government agencies. In his current role as Vice President, Oracle Education Foundation, Jim leads the team that provides the award winning ThinkQuest competition and the globally recognized Think.com online community.  These programs help students throughout the world gain the 21st Century skills needed to be successful learners and good citizens of the global community. Jim has a B.A. in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of Texas and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.

Dave Richards    Director, Global Partnerships    Oracle Education Foundation

David R. Richards is an experienced global executive with a strong track record of successful partner recruiting and management, business development and sales, product management and marketing. Dave has worked on Internet-related programs since its inception and before, building the telecom/datacom infrastructure required for its growth.  Dave is presently employed by the Oracle Education Foundation, globally responsible for partner engagement to deliver the award winning ThinkQuest competition and the globally recognized Think.com online community. Prior to joining Oracle, Dave co-founded the MIT Innovation Lab, pioneering lead-user research and innovation management techniques. Dave’s Ph.D. from the University of Toronto focused on human learning, cognitive processes and neurophysiology.  Dave lives in Reston, Virginia with his wife Virginia and twin baby boys, and has two grown sons in England and a daughter in Reston.

Bronwen Irving

Bronwen has been employed as a Program Manager with Oracle Corporation Australia since August 2003.  During this time Bronwen has facilitated the successful roll out of Think.com, an online community for students and teachers.  She has also seen many Australian teams compete in the ThinkQuest International Competition, resulting with several winning Australian teams each year.  Bronwen manages both the Think.com and ThinkQuest programmes here in Australia, which Oracle Education Foundation provides as free services to the global primary and secondary school community. Previously Bronwen worked as a Principal’s Secretary in the private school sector, giving her an understanding and enthusiasm for Education and leading to her successful collaboration with educators across Australia.
Bronwen lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.

Ralph Leonard

Ralph Leonard has developed, supported and promoted the use of ICT in education for over thirty years.  As a classroom teacher, resource developer and consultant, he has worked at state, national and international levels. In his volunteer roles he is the current President of the Australian Council for Computers in Education, a previous President of the Computer Education Group of South Australia and a member of the International Committee of the International Society for Technology in Education.

Carol Calderwood

Carol has been coaching ThinkQuest teams since 2000.  Most of her teams have been multinational where she has developed skills to work with geographically and linguistically diverse students.  Several of Carol’s teams have successfully competed and gained major awards in both regional and International components of the program.  She holds a position on the internationally diverse ThinkQuest Advisors Council.  Carol is married and lives in Newcastle with her husband and 4 daughters.

Tina Photakis

Tina Photakis has been involved in the field of education for 27 years. She is currently at Norwood Primary School where she teaches Greek as a Second Language, a Year 2/3 class and trains the Norwood PS Junior Choir. Tina has also worked extensively in the area of ICT for many years. She is very passionate about ICT in education at both local and global levels.
Tina has been active on many committees over the years and has been involved with CEGSA, Computers in Education Group of South Australia. She was also on the organising committee for ACEC2004 that was held in Adelaide. She is currently actively involved with ThinkQuest and Think.com, and is an advisor on the International ThinkQuest Advisors’ council.
Tina is married to Peter, who is a secondary school teacher, and they have two sons, Emmanuel and George.

Hilary Calderwood

Hilary is currently a year 12 student at Newcastle High School, NSW.  She was the content researcher and writer for an International team of students that created the website entitled “Feral Feast!” which won a Best of Category award for the October 2003 ThinkQuest competition.  She was only 14 years old at the time.  Hilary was the only native English speaker and sole Australian on the team which also had students from Indonesia and The Netherlands.

Sigit Adinugroho

My name is Sigit Adinugroho and I'm 21 years old, currently living in Bandung, Indonesia, in my 3rd year - Visual Communication Design at Bandung Institute of Technology. I've been involved in TQ since 2001, participating as a student for six times and a coach once. It has always been a fulfilling journey learning about each other as a team and enriching my technology/teamwork skills. There is something magical about it and it's what kept me going.

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