Saturday, June 14, 2008

TBAR, Virtual Reality, the Arts, and the Public Schools

TBAR, the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance, is very much related to the public schools. We have forgotten that education is not all about standardized testing. We forget there are real benefits to education. I believe education can ignite a renaissance in business and in the arts.

Here is a proposal for a project that can tie together education, business, and the arts: multi-media / virtual reality projects for students that are based on the classics of literature.

The epic poems of Homer: the Iliad and the Odyssey are fabulous when you hear them spoken. These are crying to be turned into animated films. This is something high school students can do. There are translations old enough to be in the public domain, so students have a script. It is also good for students to learn about copyrights and the public domain. Intellectual property is an important part of business in a knowledge based economy.

Students can plan and manage the production of animated films of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Theater students can do the voices. Orchestra students can write and perform the sound track. The techies and the artists can both work on the animation.

There is a 3D programming tool, free from Carnegie Mellon University, called Alice. It is intended for high school students. They have a program for middle school students called Storytelling Alice. Money for software is not a problem.

Plano (my home town) can teach high quality animation in its public schools. Lack of will power and vision are the only obstacles.

Animation is an important part of the new economy. Texas can have an important part in the business of animated movies, and we can start with our public schools.

The works of Shakespeare are in the public domain. Besides learning animation, our theater students would have more opportunities to perform. The orchestra students would understand soundtracks and see how they can be opportunities for creativity. When the projects are finished, the animated versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey can be used for instruction, along with works by Shakespeare.

Students can learn the classics.

Students can learn hi-tech skills.

Students can learn important business skills.

Our children have great opportunities. Texas needs visionary leadership to enable our children to excel. This is a great opportunity for all the children of Texas, not just Plano.

Robert Canright

No comments: