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May 20, 2004

Panel Discussions

Over at SansBlogue, Tim Bulkeley is looking for a group of Bible scholars who are into the "doing biblical studies with a computer" business. The aim is to make some short presentations and hold a panel discussion at the next Association Internationale Bible et Informatique conference to be held later this year in Leuven (Belgium). Read the full story here.

Joe Fleener, Director of Library Services at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, Pennsylvania (USA), has posted a note at the BibleWorks Users Forum where he says they are considering hosting a professor's conference and panel discussion next July under the general title "Using Exegetical Software in the Classroom".

These initiatives are becoming common place. Now, given the fact that not everybody who might be interested will be able to go to all these different meetings, I submit to you the possibility of hosting a similar online event here at Bible Software Review. If we could have four or five people willing to invest some time in sharing their professional experience on the use they make of computer technology and Bible software resources in their writing, research, or teaching, I would be happy to coordinate the team and take up questions from readers. I'm just thinking aloud really (that's what blogging is in a sense), but if you think this might be something worth pursuing and/or you would like to participate, please email me.

June 19, 2004

Update on Panel Discussions

Further to my previous post on the subject, the two events I mentioned are moving forward. Tim Bulkeley is "organising a session with a series of short presentations and panel discussion around the topic 'How does an electronic communication environment change the way we do biblical studies?'" to be presented at the seventh conference of the Association Internationale Bible et Informatique (Leuven, Belgium, 23-24 July 2004). For a list of participants and subjects, see here.

As for Joe Fleener, this is what he's written about the forthcoming Professor's Forum on Exegetical Software in Classroom Instruction, to be held at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (Lansdale, PA, 9 July, 2004):

With the growth and development of electronic tools (such as BibleWorks, Accordance, Logos, etc.) professors are rethinking pedagogy.

- How do we make use of these "new" tools in the classroom?
- How can these "new" tools help me prepare for teaching?
- How can we instruct our students so that these "new" tools are a help and not a hindrance to their language development?

Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary will be hosting a one day "Professor's Forum" to discuss many of these questions. Please join us for a time of networking and focused discussion centered on this very important topic.

More information is found here or in this PDF flyer.

My offer to host a similar online event still stands, but I think we are all too busy right now, so it would probably be better to get some feedback on these meetings first, and then see if we can arrange something. BTW, apparently, there is a similar seminar being planned for next SBL annual meeting later this year. I'll let you know more about it if/when I get more information.

July 29, 2004

AIBI Report

Tim Bulkeley, who recently attended the 7th congress of the Association Internationale Bible et Informatique is beginning to report on this "colloquium." I wonder if the presentations are going to be made available either in print or online. At any rate, two of the topics that immediately caught my attention were Ferdinand Poswick's "The Bible in the civilisation of the electronic writing: an evaluation (1985-2004)", and D. Noel's "Literary Approach with Statistical methods." I hope Tim will let us know more about the panel discussion he was involved in. He's probably still recovering from jetlag!

Update (July 30): Paul Nikkel was kind enough to leave a comment with a link to an abstract of Ferdinand Poswick's presentation. He also lets me know that some comments should be posted on deinde shortly. Thanks!

November 7, 2004

SBL Panel Discussion

This announcement was posted earlier today to the Pedagogy & Technology Group:

Panel Discussion: Exegetical Software in the Classroom
The Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room #210A
San Antonio, TX

Friday, November 19, 2004
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Registration:
Attendance is free and no registration is necessary. This discussion is an offering of The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) 2004 Annual Meeting. You must be registered for the SBL annual meeting in order to participate in the discussion. To register for the annual meeting click here.

The purpose and direction of this panel discussion has been set by a group of educators from theological institutions in the Philadelphia area who met in July 2004 to start an on going discussion that would help those involved make more effective use of computer tools in their teaching. If you would like to join those involved in the July 2004 meeting in an online discussion click here. This online group is also the best place to go with any suggestions or questions you have regarding the SBL panel discussion.

Format:
Each member of a panel will give a brief presentation on his/her use of exegetical software as a tool for instruction. This presentation will be followed by moderated questions and answers.

Some questions panelists will discuss include:
1. How do you ensure students are learning Greek or Hebrew and not just the software?
2. Pedagogically, how does your teaching change with a classroom full of laptops?
3. Whose responsibility (e.g. Greek/Hebrew prof, librarian, etc.) is it to teach the students the proper use of these new tools?
4. How can we use the tools to aid in retention of the languages?
5. Can these tools help in non-language courses, and if so, how?
6. How do these tools fit into our "outcome based" educational assessments?
7. What does a sustainable skill set include?

Panel Coordinator:
Joseph Fleener
Director of Library Services
Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary
Lansdale, Pa.

Panel Members:
Rodney J. Decker
Assoc. Professor of New Testament
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pa.

Tom Findley
Professor of Old Testament and Semitics
Talbot Seminary
La Mirada, Calif.

Rodney Whitacre
Professor of Biblical Studies
Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
Sewickley, Pa.

November 28, 2004

SBL Panel Update

I asked Joe Fleener for an update on the recent SBL Panel Discussion on Exegetical Software in the Classroom held at San Antonio, TX, earlier this month. Here is what he said:

The SBL Panel Discussion on Exegetical Software in Classroom Instruction went very well. It was an official SBL seminar and hence attendees were required to be registered for SBL. I attended the ETS conference leading up to the seminar on Friday and found a significantly high interest among ETS attendees in the subject. There is a growing interest among professors who desire to learn how to use the various software tools more effectively themselves and then to integrate them into their "traditional" classroom instruction.

When it came time for the actual panel discussion there were 75+ people in attendance at the peak. It was a 1 1/2 hour session and people came and went during that time. The numbers were a very good sign of the level of interest, but not real good for open dialog. I think people would have felt more comfortable to discuss and ask questions in a smaller crowd.

I began the session with an introductory presentation. In it I introduced the panel members and gave an overview of the purpose/need for our discussion. This PowerPoint presentation can be found @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pedagogytechnology/ Following Dr. Rodney Decker of Baptist Bible Seminary gave a presentation detailing his thoughts on the subject and his use of the exegetical software (Accordance) in preparing classroom work and assignments.

Dr. Rod Whitacre of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry gave a presentation of his use of BibleWorks in the classroom.

Finally Dr. Tom Finley of Talbot Seminary gave a presentation of his use of BibleWorks in his preparation of assignments as well as classroom instruction.

These presentations were followed by an extended Q&A time with each member of the panel responding as needed.

There were several good ideas given. However, at this point the primary outcome was a clarified realization of the need for this kind of discussion and a forum for professors to interact, share ideas and learn from each other. There are a lot of questions. I believe there is a tremendous need for faculty to catch up to the learning styles of this new generation of students, but there are very few places for faculty of theological institutions to have these discussions.

One place for this online is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pedagogytechnology/. In addition we are working on a plan to provide opportunities at both ETS and SBL next year. We will keep you posted.

Thank you, Joe, for the summary.

November 21, 2005

About Biblioblogging Session at SBL

I am not at SBL, in fact I am thousands of miles away from Philadelphia. But thanks to fellow bibliobloggers I can get a feel for some of the things that are going on there.

Most bibliobloggers are sharing their thoughts on the various meetings they attend, and I have been particularly interested in their reports on the recent session about biblioblogging. Apparently it went really well, according to AKMA, Mark Goodacre, et al. (sorry folks, I can't link to everyone who's blogging on this!)

One thing I find worth noting: now that we have pretty much agreed on the name (bibliobloggers has become the standard), we seem to be facing an identity crisis or sorts. Who can really (and I mean really) be categorized as a biblioblogger, given the fact that there are as many different styles and outlooks as there are bloggers? There is no easy answer. As a matter of fact, I doubt there is an answer at all. I would dare say, however, even at the risk of contradicting myself, that it has a lot more to do with the ultimate purpose behind blogging than with the actual content or personality of the blogger. I'm not wanting to imply that content is not important. It is. What I do want to suggest is that what turns a blog into a biblioblog and not something else is the motivation and goal one imposes upon himself/herself when it comes to setting up a blog and following a blogging "career".

Take BSR, for instance. This may surprise some of you, but, truth be told, I couldn't care less about software per se. It only interests me to the degree that it becomes a useful tool that enables me to pursue my passion: biblical studies (in the broadest sense of the word). That's precisely the reason why I consider it to be a biblioblog, even though the content itself may sometimes appear to be foreign to the academic study of the Scriptures.

Well, what do you think? Am I way off here, or is this a valid argument in the midst of current discussions about the nature of biblioblogging? I'm interested in your thoughts...

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