Teaching the Bible with Technology #AARSBL15

Richard Newton moderates a panel on “Teaching the Bible with Technology,” a joint session of the Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies and Global Educational & Research Technology Program Units of the Society of Biblical Literature at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. We bring you a round-up of abstracts and related dynamic media. If you’re on the fence regarding attendance, here’s why you should be there.

[Nicolai Winther-Nielsen’s document is available here:

Word file: [ SBL_Proptotyping Word_VerbCruncher ]

PDF: [SBL_Proptotyping Word_VerbCruncher]

Oliver Glanz
Andrews University

SHEBANQ in the Exegesis Classroom: Teaching Exegetical Research with the Receiver of the Digital Humanities Awards 2014

In March 2015 the SHEBANQ project received the prestigious Digital Humanities Award of 2014 in the category “Best DH Tool or Suite of Tools”. With funding of CLARIN, the ETCBC developed in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences a web-based service under http://shebanq.ancient-data.org/. During my presentation, I will give a short overview on the functionalities that come with SHEBANQ, demonstrate the taught process from question to query, and explain what SHEBANQ features have been proven to be most useful in the classroom setting.

Erica L. Martin
Seattle University

Empowering the Exegete with Open Educational Resources

My students do not know Hebrew, but by the end of the quarter they can critique existing translations and make astute translation choices of their own. How? Using internet-based tools and resources, students can learn about the Hebrew language, explore the semantic fields of important terms, and develop an understanding of translation theory. In this presentation I will share a design for “Targeted Text Studies” in my classes which employ and link to Open Educational Resources for biblical translation and exegesis, all free, easy to use, and empowering for the budding exegete.

Jill Hicks-Keeton
University of Oklahoma

Using ‘Genius’ to Teach Close Reading in Collaborative Learning Contexts

In this presentation, I will demonstrate the ways in which the online knowledge base Genius, a crowd-source software program that allows users to upload and annotate portions of text, is useful for teaching skills of close reading and textual analysis within biblical studies. I will model how to use the program, including the Educator mode specifically designed for classroom use, and then show and assess the finished products uploaded to Genius by my own students in a Bible and Literature class.

Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
Fjellhaug International University College—Denmark

Prototyping Learning Technology in Word: the Hebrew Verb Cruncher

This presentation will guide teachers on how the Hebrew verbal system can be taught more effectively using Microsoft Word to prototype a learning program. For the presentation, the audience will get access to a Word document [pdf & .docx] and verbs will be selected from the Hebrew Bible to illustrate a Seven-Step procedure to parse any Hebrew Verb. The Verb Cruncher was introduced by Nicolai Winther-Nielsen, and the paper will present the evidence for how students developed better skills for verb analysis.

Tyler J. Griffin
Brigham Young University

Bringing Ancient Texts to Life for Tech-Savvy Students

Students today are digital natives. These students are inherently comfortable and capable of navigating complex visual and spatial environments while processing vast amounts of information. Most academic teaching today relies heavily (and at times, exclusively) on textual and logical argument to engage the learners. Much more could be done to bridge this technological gap between academic teaching styles and current learning preferences. This presentation will “practice what it preaches” by showing many examples of how various forms of interactive tools and apps can be used to enhance the teaching of a variety of pericopes in the New and Old Testaments.

Matthew Anstey
Charles Sturt University

“Write them on the tablet”: Using Pen Tablets for Online Hebrew Teaching

This presentation will demonstrate the use of a digital pen and tablet to write Hebrew script for online learning. Three uses will be demonstrated: (1) permanent online lectures recorded with Adobe Captivate; (2) live online lectures with online students connecting with Adobe Connect; and (3) personalized video responses to specific student questions. Guidelines will be provided to show how this technology can be best utilized, and made compatible for both desktop and mobile access. This technology revolutionizes online learning as it allows the presenter to “write” Hebrew for students as if using a whiteboard.

Jason Borders
Huntingdon College

Skype in the Biblical Studies Classroom: Using Social Media Platforms to Construct Practical Contexts for Biblical Interpretation

For the Spring 2015 Semester, I have designed a seminar entitled, “Justice, Nonviolence, and Luke’s Gospel.” Beyond the use of Facebook, students were interested in having candid dialogue with individuals around the globe working in ministries and vocations of peace and justice. I chose Skype as the tool to enlarge the scope of the classroom to take these questions seriously. For the Teaching the Bible with Technology section, I would like to present and demonstrate my findings on the use of Skype in the classroom, the technological requirements necessary for my context, and the opportunities for biblical interpretation within the practical context made possible by this social media platform.

Benjamin K. Forrest
Liberty University

“Unite the Pair So Long Disjoined”: Theological Instruction and Qualitative Research

This presentation will model the potential use of Atlas.Ti, a qualitative research data analysis software, for teaching in the field of practical or pastoral theology. Specifically, this presentation will demonstrate how Atlas.Ti can be practically used by presenting a hypothetical study exploring the conversion experiences of women whose husbands are in the midst of ministry preparation.

Sean Boisen
Logos Bible Software

Teaching the Cultural Background of the Bible

Learning about ancient worldview and cultural practices is an essential component of understanding biblical literature. The Lexham Cultural Ontology (LCO) is a novel classification of concepts relevant to the cultural world of the Bible. This presentation will demonstrate how the Cultural Ontology in Logos Bible Software could be used in a classroom setting to: find relevant cultural concepts for a biblical text, discover other examples (both in biblical and secondary texts) of the same concepts, find reference information to help understand more about the cultural concepts , show the relationships between concepts, other topics in biblical studies, and lexical senses of specific terms [OCM]: http://hraf.yale.edu/online-databases/ehraf-world-cultures/outline-of-cultural-materials/

Bryan Bibb
Furman University

Using Bible Software to Teach Translation Theory

Undergraduate students often have only a rudimentary understanding of why there are so many Bible versions. This presentation will demonstrate techniques developed in a course titled, “The Digital Bible,” in which students use Accordance and free online tools to explore the underlying methods and assumptions behind particular translation decisions. Students are taught, for instance, that the NASB is one of the most “literal” Bibles and the Message is the most “dynamic,” and they are asked to decide which version is “correct.” Rather than casting one translation as more “accurate” or “faithful,” this exercise shows how translation is always already an interpretive act.


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