Global Music Project Underway to Make All Music, World Music

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Central Pennsylvania Keystone Innovation Zone Businesses, Education Agency and teachers unite to bridge language barriers in global music classrooms. Students set to create and collaborate using a language translation app to share their musical heritage stories, discuss popular music styles and provide feedback on assigned composition projects.

“Music may be the universal language, but the languages we speak are not,” says Mark Burke, CEO of viaEdTechnologies, Bloomsburg PA. The collaborative efforts of viaEdTechnologies, RantNetwork (creators of the COMMUNILATOR™-Universal Language Translation Mobile App) and BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 from Williamsport PA, will unite students around the globe in music and language. The plan is to utilize COMMUNILATOR for Apple’s iPad within joined global classrooms, allowing students who speak different languages to work collaboratively.

“When I pitched this project, enthusiasm was high and the group formed quickly,” says Burke, the Project Manager. He continues, “The goal of the project is to help students experience creativity fed by influences well beyond what they would experience through day to day life within the classroom. While the focus of this project is music, we believe creativity breeds creativity. Creative students grow into entrepreneurs and employees who in turn help our communities grow.”

The project itself is the result of creative, out of the box thinking. Communities benefit when businesses and organizations seek to collaborate beyond the service plans of their normal product offerings. “When I first used COMMUNILATOR, I instantly knew how powerful the app would be in a classroom setting. I envisioned the value the app would provide in allowing students internationally to instantly and effortlessly share stories and ideas. It was important to me to get this app in the hands of talented educators,” says Burke.

“RantNetwork is excited to have the opportunity to be a major contributor in an educational project which will greatly impact how students around the world will be taught and will experience music. The implications of a project of this magnitude will redefine how students learn as this model is utilized within other educational sectors. This was our goal in developing the COMMUNILATOR mobile application- to design a best of breed Universal Language Translation tool which could be used across personal, business, educational and recreational platforms,” says Elisa Grandizio, CAO, RantNetwork.

Several teachers from across Central PA within the BLaST IU17 Region were invited to join the project team, including Lee-Andree Saville, Loyalsock SD, Emily Brumbach, South Williamsport Area SD and Mark Boyer, East Lycoming Area SD. “Creative projects demand creative project team members. I looked for educators with a desire and drive to build transformational curriculum, a history of innovation and a heightened comfort level with technology,” says Burke. Serving as the think tank, BLaST IU17‘s central location provides the perfect project environment for this effort; a place where ideas are hatched and formalized thereby serving as a conduit to share those ideas with other educators globally.

The project team will work throughout the spring and summer to design the activities, integrate the technology, create relationships with and train teachers locally, nationally and globally. Utilizing COMMUNLATOR’s technology, students will share stories about the music of their culture, provide feedback to each other on their own original compositions and create cooperative musical scores, each adding their own musical lines or lyrics. Depending on time zone differences, real-time interactions are planned.

viaEdTechnologies, LLC works with organizations to create innovative learning strategies and curriculum for a variety of needs. In 2008, viaEdTechnologies launched one of the nation’s first online music academies, viaAcademies, For additional information on viaEdTechnologies, contact Mark Burke at mark(dot)burke(at)viaEdTechnologies(dot)com.

RantNetwork, Inc is the Leader in Image and Text Translation Services for the Global Communications Market. Their early vision of a mobile application that combines the text scanner function with machine translation technology was an industry first., for additional information on COMMUNILATOR-Universal Language Translation Application contact Elisa Grandizio at Elisa(at)Rantnetwork(dot)com

BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, is an educational service agency serving 19 school districts in a four county area of north central Pennsylvania. In addition to conventional services, BLaST designs and develops solutions for administrative, curricular and technology integration. For additional information on BLaST Intermediate Unit #17 project and services, contact Jerry Christy, Professional Development Coordinator at jchristy(at)iu17(dot)org.

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