Technology and teaching Greek

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Mon Aug 27 13:18:43 EDT 2001

> On a related note. I am teaching Intro this semester in our new technology
> room at Brite Divinity School, and am making full use of it (document
> scanner, litho IR whiteboard, built in video/audio, and a G4 server computer
> with projector). This far into the semester, we are ahead of schedule, and
> much of it is on account of the availability of these tools. We begin the
> semester with a two-day intensive retreat to get the students into the
> language, and we went blazingly fast, compared to years past. I create
> powerpoint slides for each teaching point, including progressive declension
> systems and examples from the workbook. I have web resources ready to hand.
> We use Flashworks to introduce new vocabulary... all in front of them on the
> big screen. The benefits included:

Hey Joe, Whatcha doing with that mouse (gun) in your hand?

After reading this long list I see some conspicuously missing components.
You are using a G4 then what should a G4 have running on it to teach Greek?
Well I think that Helen and Roy Brown might have something to say about
this. In other words why do you not list Accordance as one of your teaching
tools? (Helen, please send me the key to Jeni-Westermann for free after
making this pitch, thank you, Clay).

> I'm curious if this will prompt someone to respond with hostility at moving
> away from classical approaches to learning, a maintenance of "tried and
> true" methods which are not innately "true", just because they are "tried".

No hostility going to come from Three Tree Point. All in favor of using the
best technology. But having been a training developer in what was until
recently the biggest high-tech firm in Seattle, and having used most of the
tools you mention and having sat through hundreds and hundreds of hours of
courses developed with all the latest methods and all the most expensive and
latest gadgets, my conclusion to all this is:

Good teaching isn't highly correlated with high technology. A brilliant
teacher can do a great job with a white board  and a 1960's style overhead
projector. The high tech gadgets must be used well to make the course
effective. The gadgets themselves are a neutral element, neither good or

There is not an argument to avoid the new gadgets. Use them if you have them
but don't expect miracles. You still need to be a brilliant teacher to teach
a great class. The technology isn't going to make you or break you.

Being a publications guy for over two decades, the most significant
technology change I have seen in recent years is electronic paper (Adobe
Acrobat). This technology is now taken for granted but it certainly takes
most of the pain out of sharing documents on biblical languages across
platforms (Mac, MW, Unix, Linux). I am waiting to see it replace completely
the MS Word doc as a standard format for shared files.

Three cheers for high technology.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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