Monday, July 1, 2013

* Move Over Yale MOOCS: Make Room for YaleGames



In my former incarnation as The Anti-Yale  I attempted to enliven freedom of speech at the Yale Daily News  posting board in what one reporter tells me totals nearly 2000 posts from 2009 until 2013, but also to reflect on a secular world gone mad with materialism in a separate 866 posts on the blog of the same name 
(link The Anti-Yale).

After reading Yale President Salovey's maiden address to the Yale community (below) in which he seems to solicit more than token feedback, I will give him some:

Time is short.  We need to add to Yale's researching what IS and HAS BEEN, the project of imagining and creating  digitally what COULD BE, not simply in the quiet laboratories and library stacks of the University, but in public, for all to see and engage.

I propose that Yale devote some academic energy to creating not simply more  MOOCS (digital curricula) but YaleGames -----digital games for anyone in the world to play and create new alternatives for, with real world problems as their focus:

  • a Middle East peace effort;
  •  a digital global cooling strategy;
  • a digital worldwide water purification and a de-salinization strategy;
  • a digital worldwide fertilizer and pesticide reduction strategy; 
  • a digital teen-violence reduction strategy
  • (fill in the blank)


To merely focus on problems without creating imaginary templates for solving those problems is to waste precious time in a world which seems to be hell-bent on drinking its cup of hemlock little by little each and every day, both  literally and figuratively.  

With the aid of the Internet , these digital YaleGames  could unlock the thwarted idealism of millions of non-Yale, as well as Yale, young folk.

Folks need hope in a world drowning in discouraging and incessant news broadcasts.  They also the power of  real and immediate participation.

Imagination is as important as research, as we know from the new worlds created by Americans, Henry Ford  and Steve Jobs.  

America is the land of imagination ---- and it is the land of Yale.

What's to lose, President Salovey?

On to YaleGames !

Paul D. Keane
M.A., M.Div. M.Ed



Office of the President
Notes from Woodbridge HallJuly 1, 2013
Peter Salovey
It has become customary, on the first day in office, for Yale’s new president to offer a few thoughts on the future. I am honored to continue that tradition.

Today, even as I attend to the mundane tasks of moving into my new office in Woodbridge Hall, I will be thinking about how best to serve the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends of Yale.  In the past six months, I have been impressed anew by your dedication to sustaining the excellence of our university, and throughout my presidency I will rely on the collective wisdom of our Yale community.  I look forward to years of listening to you, being inspired by you, serving you, and collaborating with you to continue to ensure that Yale is a model of higher learning and scholarship, a source of leadership in every sector of society, and an inspiration to the world.

In addition to listening to you, I plan to communicate with you, in the hope that our dialogue will forge the positive working relationships that will benefit all of us and help us to be good and effective stewards of this university. Every few weeks or so, I will write a brief note – like this one – to let you know where I have been, how I have been spending my time, and what I have been thinking about. I plan to focus my efforts in four areas: a more unified Yale, a more accessible Yale, a more innovative Yale, and a more excellent Yale. In speaking with so many of you, I have heard exciting ideas about how to realize these ambitions, and I look forward to continuing these conversations.  To keep the community informed, I will post messages, speeches, and other information at a new web site (http://president.yale.edu). This site also provides a link for you to contact me. I welcome your feedback, observations, and suggestions, and I hope to hear from you, just as you will be hearing from me.

Some years ago, I quoted the great Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in a freshman address.  That quotation captures what I believe all of us, working together, are called to do; that is, to continue to make Yale a place:

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward ... into ever-widening thought and action ....”

I am honored and humbled by your trust, inspired by your confidence, and optimistic about the years to come.

Sincerely,

Peter

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