Category Archives: Pedagogy

Communicating Your Message

If you care about something, you want other people to know about it. This means that the way you present your information is important because it can mean the difference between true communication occurring and boredom or confusion. Unfortunately, many presentations (especially at conferences) fail miserably at this task. If you think your content is important, you need to pay attention not only to what you talk about but how you do it.

Many people think that Powerpoint (or Keynote) presentations assist in communicating ideas and facts. It’s true that visual information that accompanies oral presentations can help — but it has to be done well!

Here’s a youtube video of how NOT to use Powerpoint.

And here’s a slide show that shows how creative visuals can supplement (not compete) with the speaker’s words. Ideas and information will be better retained when this kind of dual presentation is employed.

The creator and presenter of this slide show, Beck Tench, works for the NC Museum of Life and Sciences. Follow her on Twitter at @10ch

Review: A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (by Jo Ann Hackett)

Intro to BH

I am very grateful to Allan Emery at Hendrickson Publishers for the opportunity to review Jo Ann Hackett’s soon-to-be released textbook, A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (with CD). He sent me PDF copies of the galleys so that I could write this review. I am also indebted to Prof. Hackett for her gracious answers to my emails that will add clarity to my review.

I am delighted that Hendrickson granted permission for me to post PDFs of both the Table of Contents and the author’s very helpful introduction, “How To Use This Book.” While I will quote some of this material below, I recommend reading both files because they give both the structure of the book and an explanation for how the book is intended to be used and the thought behind some of the novel pedagogy. The Table of Contents is very detailed and provides an excellent overview of the course plan.

PDF Files to view/download

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Look what I’ve learned today

Here are some great science links that I was told about today from the Science Online 2010 conference (being held in Durham, NC this weekend).

Fold It: Contribute to science research by playing protein folding games (very cool)

Science for Citizens: the source for science you can do

Mindmeister: Real-time Brainstorming

A bit of humor: The Soul Storage Company

Routes (lots here, but this link takes you to “Sneeze” game… you may get infected)

More later! You can follow the conference online by following the #scio10 hashtag on Twitter. Also, live streaming here. All sessions will be up on YouTube later. I’ll provide the link once they are up.

Directory of Tools for eLearning

Jane Hart, from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, has compiled a very complete and helpful directory of tools for eLearning.

There are currently 3,141 tools catalogued, and 2,381 of those are FREE!

You won’t be overwhelmed because the site is well-organized. Even if you are not involved in distance education, you will find some helpful tools to make your teaching/life more productive. Check it out!

Jane also has several blogs worth following. For example, Social Media In Learning or Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day.

You can also follow Jane on Twitter: @C4LPT

Biblical Hebrew Textbook Comparisons

At the 2009 ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) meeting in New Orleans just prior to the SBL meeting, there was a session about how to choose a Biblical Hebrew textbook. I wasn’t at the session, but some friends did obtain a copy of the handout for me. As a result, I also contacted Dr. Hélène Dallaire and asked about the textbook reviews she had done previously (she presented some of her own material at SBL 2006 and the 2009 ETS handout included a completed chart that she had started with Jason DeRouchie). She graciously sent me some digital copies and gave me permission to post them here.

I think these are helpful for instructors trying to make informed choices about textbooks to use for classes. There is no one “best” textbook. Rather, a teacher must consider their students, the type of class, the goals for the class, and their own teaching style and skills in selecting a textbook. The summaries are also helpful for students who are looking for supplemental reading and reference. I have tried to track down a digital copy of the ETS handout, but have not been successful yet, so I am posting a (relatively poor) scanned copy. If someone knows who has the original, I would be grateful if you brought that to my attention.

There are some additional textbooks due out which I hope to review. Most notably the Hendrickson textbook, A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew by Jo Ann Hackett and Fred Putnam‘s upcoming grammar to be published by Sheffield Phoenix.

Should Schools or Students Choose Bible Software?

At the recent New Orleans SBL meeting, one of the “hot” sessions was the Software Bible “Shootout” in which five different software options demonstrated their method for solving a series of challenges. Read Rick Mansfield’s summary here. More discussion here (with lots of further links).The software vendors represented were: Logos, SESB, BibleWorks, Accordance and Olive Tree.

You can look at each of the resources in depth at your leisure. My question today is not which one handles what challenge better, but rather, who should determine which software you use?
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Another convoluted English sentence for the list

Last month, I posted a list of English sentences that highlighted just how confusing the spelling, semantics, and pronunciation of the English language can be.

I’m looking to expand that list. So, here’s one more (add your own to the comments).

When the doctor was the patient, he was patient with his doctor, but the other patients had no patience for him.

I’d also like to find examples of similar kinds of use of language in the Hebrew text. Any takers?