Advancing Your Academic Career Through Blogging

Image Courtesy of KristinaB on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnett/2836828090/in/photolist-5jFua9-2NE65H-fcFSH-5vr8AD-nsHVZ1-53RCCs-5LGncg-GoGK7-siyFa-fcFao-waV7u-5PC2h-5w2mwv-8FWfyj-t4wP-5b2SHx-fpY49-2ToGm6-7AF1hr-4jqtVo-7EYg8H-5T3wwy-nxBta-c658FS-dzjAky-bC3rXP-cC1bJs-3aZBuR-4YYHCn-8hQekB-5Bo3Jf-BsSBE-56xqcd-5FknuQ-7T9xQj-4UguPy-bnok7-bTVtJP-4pobhA-peJ8R-6tqDi-5rwwAb-8ykuf1-4LyLmB-8Ut2td-dUnZaM-aj2RRC-hzxKSV-58bUfr-ajiSCt

Advancing Your Academic Career Through Blogging

Blogging is a media of enormous influence today, but one that is frequently neglected by academics and would-be professors.  This is largely due to the fact that it is sometimes deemed “not scholarly,” but that is a short-sighted view of one of the world’s most influential media.  Instead, one might consider that however scholarly an academic journal may be, what it boasts in terms of erudite academic credentials, it lacks in popular appeal.  The opposite is often true for blogging.
But rather than taking the bait of the false-dichotomy of the “either/or” fallacy (EITHER blogging OR journal articles), why not do both?  Blogging is a way for a person moving to higher education to gain a following.  This credibility converts into having influence over potential students and to public credibility, both of which universities and other institutions want.  For this reason, we shouldn’t neglect nor underestimate the value of blogging as a way to enhance our attractiveness as an academic candidate.
Learn more about this idea below in the featured video. After viewing this resource, connect more deeply with Academii by taking advantage of our mini-course featuring a full month’s worth of daily video vignettes by joining our free Academii Gratis membership.

Image Courtesy of KristinaB on Flickr

BlogTalkRadio

blogtalkradio

White Paper

BlogTalkRadio


Description
BlogTalkRadio is an interactive social networking and online steaming webcast website. BlogTalkRadio is not only a place to listen to radio shows but a site where you can also broadcast your own show. BlogTalkRadio enables anyone, anywhere the ability to have their voice heard through their own broadcast show and the chance to interact with people from all over. The best thing is, BlogTalkRadio is FREE! With a free account you can broadcast one 30 minute show per day, with a limit of five live callers. Depending on what type of paid subscription you may choose to purchase, you can broadcast longer and field more calls. Besides creating your own radio show, you also have the ability to create your own blog/personal page. Here your page can be linked with your Facebook, Twitter, ITunes, and personal webpages. Besides using BlogTalkRadio for radio, BlogTalkRadio is a great place for advertising products through a show and through advertisement banners.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
BlogTalkRadio is accessed by visiting the website www.BlogTalkRadio.com. If only wanting to listen to broadcasts, all one needs to do is visit the website and search for whatever type or specific show he listens to. It is important to know that listening to a show depends on the scheduled time of broadcast. You may listen to and download broadcast archives depending on the availability of an episode. To broadcast your own show, one needs to sign up for an account. Depending on the type of access and broadcasting one wishes to do, there are different account types to choose from. You can also sign up for an account using your Facebook account as your way to access your BlogTalkRadio account.
Using This Resource in Academic Teaching

  • BlogTalkRadio enables you to create an online class where students all over the world can watch and interact with the professor.

 

  • Because BlogTalkRadio connects with people all over the world, students have the ability to be exposed to a greater number of opinions and the possibility of interacting with others.

 

  • Students can broadcast their own projects with the possibility of not only teaching many but also receiving feedback.

 

  • The more a student or professor teaches on BlogTalkRadio the more exposure is possible, creating more opportunities for teaching.

 

  • Because BlogTalkRadio allows one to be connected with your personal social media accounts, the ability to make one’s learning both interactive, personal, and fun.

 

  • BlogTalkRadio allows students to present and discuss topics of whatever they choose. They can broadcast on their own topics without limitations.

 
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BibleWorks 9 Software

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White Paper

BibleWorks 9 Software


Description
BibleWorks 9 is a Bible language software aimed at students, pastors, and scholars that provides tools for research, exegesis, and use of the biblical languages. BibleWorks is a Windows-based program, so Mac users must create either an emulation environment or install Windows as a native operating system.
BibleWorks boast a variety of features. Standard features from past BibleWorks editions include dozens of translations in numerous languages, an electronic collection of several lexicons, grammars, and concordances, topographical maps, and much more. In BibleWorks 9, several new features are also available. Among the most significant improvements are an additional analysis window, a verse tab, the CNNTS NT critical apparatus, as well as new material that can be unlocked, such as Metzger’s critical apparatus, Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and numerous other additions.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
BibleWorks 9 can be purchased by visiting bibleworks.com. While the cost is about $359, it is extremely competitive with the market. Competing Bible software such as Accordance (available only for Mac) and Logos cost about $149-$349 and $629-$1689 respectively. For those already with an earlier version of BibleWorks, upgrades are available for about $159 (from version 8) or about $199 (from version 7).
 
Using This Resource in Academic Teaching
BibleWorks 9 has a wide-range of application to teaching courses related to the Bible and biblical languages.

  • Use BibleWorks Hebrew and Greek language fonts to create paradigms, quizzes, exams, etc. in Microsoft Word.
  • Export specific texts to Microsoft Office programs to create charts, tables, or simple text files.
  • Export results of word studies to other programs for comparison.
  • Conduct words studies through lemma searches.
  • Use language tools to parse words and look up meanings in lexicons.
  • Use searches to find inter-textual links in biblical texts.
  • Compare various versions of a text in order to see different translation strategies or the difficulties involved in translating certain passages.
  • Use maps as a visual aid in class to point out the location of the events in specific narratives.
  • Quickly and easily move between texts that are being used as illustrations.

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BibleSoft PC Study Bible

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BibleSoft PC Study Bible

 


 
Description
An advanced exegetical and original language electronic study Bible resource designed for pastors, educators, and scholars of the Bible.  As with other electronic study Bibles there are several packaged “libraries” available.  The largest library has a collection of about 400 reference work volumes including Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, Hebrews and Greek language helps, pastoral sermon resources, and word study resources.  Additional resources to expand one’s system are available.  One of BibleSoft’s sales taglines is: “Stop Searching – Start Studying.”  The system is icon based which makes it straight forward and easy to use.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
BibleSoft PC Bible Study is reasonably priced resource available from their website, www.BibleSoft.com as well as through Christian Book Distributors, Amazon.com and local Christian bookstores.  The website has the most current information and the widest selection of available options.  Biblesoft’s Customer Service phone is 866.722.4253.
Using this Resource in Academic Teaching

  • To aid pastors and Bible study leaders who preach and teach God’s Word.
  • To simplify lesson preparation with easy access to Bible tools and resources.
  • To access all available original language word information with “quick links.”
  • To help with instant Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic word database pop-ups for parsing and transliteration information.
  • To provide audio pronunciations for the Greek lexical forms.
  • To interface easily with options for changing the size and format of displayed content.
  • To allow one to take a sermon or other written material and include it as a “searchable” resource, with an “authoring system.”
  • To quickly copy multiple texts using the “append” feature that allows multiple copies to the clipboard and a single paste to the saving document.

 
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Articulate Presenter

White Paper

Articulate Presenter
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Description
Articulate Presenter transforms PowerPoint presentations into flash video. By affixing audio, video and enhanced graphics to PowerPoint presentations Articulate Presenter provides users an edge over single-frame presentations. Flash video presentations increase product communicability for viewers. Articulate Presenter allows for interactive branching scenarios dependent upon viewer input. PowerPoint presentations are empowered through Articulate Presenter’s simple to use interface giving clients a necessary advantage in today’s competitive environment.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
Articulate Presenter is available free for a 30-day trial period at http://www.articulate.com/products/presenter.php. Customers can purchase Articulate Presenter for about $799 at http://www.articulate.com/store. For a limited time the software can be purchased at a discounted rate of about $699. Upon purchase customers can download Articulate Presenter directly from the product website. No physical software is available for order.
Using This Resource in Academic Teaching

  • Articulate Presenter allows for professors and students to enhance presentations for increased effectiveness

 

  • Professors can increase classroom interaction by improving lecture presentations

 

  • Professors can reinforce content through branching scenario features that encourage student participation

 

  • Recorded audio and video allows professors or students to incorporate pre-recorded elucidation from themselves or outside voices to reinforce lecture agenda

 

  • Embedded websites in presentations offers students and professors avenues to incorporate various material from the internet

 

  • Branching scenarios provide avenues for testing and collective exploration

 

  • Articulate Presenter’s intuitive design allows for students and professors with varying degrees of computer competency to sharpen their presentations for impact

 
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Animoto

White Paper

Animoto Edu

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Description
Animoto Edu is a web tool that works to automatically generate videos using music, images, video clips, and text. Geared toward the classroom, Animoto Edu is an online service allowing users to upload pictures and video segments together with text, then select music and special effects to create a unique way of presenting information in any educational setting. The core of Animoto’s distinctive features is what it calls its Cinematic Artificial Intelligence technology, which analyzes the user materials and develops a finished product for the user, so that every Animoto production is totally unique, geared toward the individual user’s material. Animoto has cleared copyright for the music selected at its site. With YouTube and others recently sharply applying copyright law and disabling infringing videos, Animoto’s copyright satisfaction is a helpful step.
In the visual world of the 21st century, Animoto offers educators and students easy access to professional-like productions, so that the expectation for precision and quality can be met with minimal effort.
Locating or Acquiring This Resource
Animoto Edu is a free resource that anticipates teacher and student use. An application for free educational use can be accessed at http://animoto.com/education. With the educational use account, the music license feature with access to 1000+ tracks is available. For those who would not qualify for the free educational use, there is a free trial, Animoto Lite, that allows for unlimited 30 second videos. For about $30 a year, Animoto Plus offers unlimited full-length videos. For Animoto Pro, you have access to the music license feature described above with several other features, at about $249 a year. If applicable, Animoto offers a free Plus account to charitable/non-profit organizations.
Using This Resource in Academic Teaching

  • Embed an Animoto video into the school website for access and use.

 

  • Create unique videos for teaching components of lectures.

 

  • Use crafted videos for introduction of case study analysis in class.

 

  • Use Animoto to deliver lecture materials in a format accessible at any time by students, freeing up class-time for interactive discussion of materials that cover the homework.

 

  • Feature student work, including music, photos, and written material, in unique ways to increase confidence and encourage creativity.

 

  • With the Education Account, students are able to access Animoto for developing their own videos. And so, assignments can be as varied as both teacher and student can envision Animoto’s capabilities.

 

  • Students who shy away from presentations will be able to rely on Animoto to create support materials, bolstering student’s courage.

 

  • The teacher and student can use Animoto presentations to grab attention or encourage empathy for an issue or circumstance.

 

  • The teacher can use an Animoto video to remind students, humorous or otherwise, of due dates for assignments.

 

  • Animoto offers educators individualized teaching aids for the classroom. For example, an educator could take a Hebrew term and describe its meaning, usage, historical context and other in a way the professor considers ideal (because he/she created it).

 
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Adobe Connect

White Paper

Adobe® Connect™

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Description
Adobe Connect is a high-end video conferencing solution designed for businesses and institutions. It offers a full array of options and features and can be used from any computer or mobile device with Adobe Flash installed. Meetings may be held with audio only, video feed from the host only, video feeds from all participants, and other combinations of feeds. Adobe Connect is capable of creating breakout rooms which allow the administrator to break the participants into smaller groups for collaboration. Additionally, meetings may be recorded for future viewing. Real time captioning is available for deaf users.
Locating or Acquiring this Resource
Information regarding Adobe Connect may be found at http://www.adobe.com/ap/products/adobeconnect.html. There are several options for purchasing Adobe Connect, including annual, monthly, and pay-per-use plans. Pricing discounts for educational institutions are reached at 888-649-2990.
Using this Resource in Academic Teaching

  • Adobe Connect can be used to emulate a traditional class room setting. The live video feeds from the instructor as well as the students allow the participants to interact in almost all of the same ways that they can in the class room. The lecture is live and the interaction between the instructor and the students is live. Adobe Connect is scalable and allows for even large classes to meet in the cloud.
  • Adobe Connect can also emulate small group breakout sessions. During the class time, an instructor can break the class into small groups for discussions and collaboration. Those small groups can then be brought back into a larger group for presentations of the results of their breakout session.
  • There are whiteboard and file sharing features which further enhance the classroom emulation.
  • Real time collaboration for group projects can also be facilitated by Adobe Connect. Students can collaborate with their group members in live discussions with the quality of communication that can only come with both visual and audio contact.

Guest lecturers can be brought into a traditional classroom without the time and expense of having the lecturer come in person.
 
 
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Accordance Bible Software Overview

White Paper

Accordance Bible Software

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Description
Accordance is a Bible software program that emphasizes the ability to search the biblical (and extra-biblical) texts. Accordance features an interface that allows users to view multiple translations/texts side by side. Users can also build an “e-library” of Accordance-compatible reference works that can be read directly on Accordance, side by side with biblical texts. Some of these reference works include interactive Bible atlases, timelines, Greek and Hebrew lexicons, and commentaries. One signature feature of Accordance is the Greek and Hebrew “construct.” The construct window allows users to search complex grammatical constructions, using graphs and charts.

Locating or Acquiring this Resource

Accordance can be purchased online at http://www.accordancebible.com. Currently, the most basic Accordance package can be purchased for a reasonable price. The basic package includes Accordance along with a starter collection of various reference tools. Moreover, many Christian stores, including on-campus bookstores, also sell Accordance. In any case, before purchasing, it must be noted that Accordance was originally designed to run on Macs.  For some older versions, PC users may need a Mac emulator to run Accordance.
Using this Resource in Academic Teaching
There are various ways in which Accordance can be useful for teaching and enhancing effective student learning both in and outside the classroom:

  • Professors who teach intermediate or advanced Greek or Hebrew can illustrate real examples of complex grammatical concepts (e.g., Granville-Sharp) all in one convenient window.

 

  • Accordance is invaluable for exegesis of the biblical text. The kinds of searches that can be performed on Accordance are limited only to one’s own creativity. It can be as simple as searching the occurrences of a particular Hebrew word or activating a list of every optative verb in the New Testament. The searches can also be refined—narrowed or broadened—through the use of Boolean phrases. For example, one can broaden their search from every optative verb in the New Testament to every optative verb and every imperative.

 

  • For people who do not mind reading extensively on a computer screen, Accordance allows students and professors to purchase Accordance-compatible reference tools (e.g., commentaries), usually at significantly cheaper prices than their paper counterparts.

 

  • Accordance provides a convenient means for projecting the biblical text for a classroom lecture or seminar. Not only can professors project the biblical text using Accordance, they can also demonstrate on a projected screen how computerized searches of the biblical text can enhance exegesis and exposition.

 
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Why the Best Hire May Not Be the Best Hire

Best Hire
Overview: Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the “Scrapper” a chance. As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says. “Hire the Scrapper.”

Why the Best Hire May Not Be the Best Hire

Suggested Reading Here

Understanding Seminary Professors


For a living, I am primarily a seminary professor. There are lots of different types of professors and it’s easy to misunderstand the nature of this kind of a position. For example, there are Old Testament professors and New Testament professors; Theology and History professors– and, ironically, Historical Theology professors (go figure); there are Apologetic (defending the faith) Professors and Homiletic (preaching) Professors… and Christian Education professors (that’s me).
Seminary Profs generally do one of two things: They provide (a) theological and biblical education and (b) ministerial preparation. Theological and Biblical Education is primarily about biblical content (what the Bible teaches). Ministerial Preparation is primarily about equipping people to use that information (what to do with the Bible and how to do the job of ministry– and what THAT means is “helping people cultivate a relationship with God”).
And because there is so much content that is taught in a seminary or divinity school, so many subdisciplines in seminaries, people often assume that “every” seminary professor is a biblical scholar.. but that’s not really the case.
A Biblical Scholar? Not me.
Take me, for example. I am not (SAY “NOT”) a biblical scholar… not in the least. Now, I DO have a working knowledge of theology and a more expansive knowledge of the Bible than some people– but it’s nothing (SAY “NOTHING”) compared to many of my colleagues. Each of us has our specialty.
Two Sides of the Seminary: Arts and Divinity
Seminaries have two primary areas– arts and divinity. Divinity is about “what.” Arts is about “how.” That’s a horrible oversimplification and not even completely accurate– but it’s a fair approximation and generally holds to be true.
So seminaries offer those types of degrees– Master of ARTS and Master of DIVINITY.
Divinity Degrees are generally related to biblical content areas (knowing). Arts degrees are typically related to practical ministry areas (doing). Again– this is a terribly shallow representation, but it’s got a lot of truth to it, and for our purposes here– it’s a valid description of how to understand what I’m saying.
The Liberal Arts: Practical Living and Practical Ministry
I teach in the Arts side of the school, but do very little in the Divinity side. So, I know and can do a little in the area of Education (such as leadership principles, leadership theory, organizational management and process, educational theory, educational psychology, motivation theory, educational philosophy, learning theory, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, etc.). So my job is primarily helping future ministers and missionaries know how to help people find God and get to know Him. And I do that by teaching them how to construct, lead, and run ministries that can help reach, teach, and spiritually feed and nourish preschoolers, children, youth, adults, senior adults, special needs people, and help those leaders know how to help people find their way spiritually, so they can become all God has made them to be. And because it’s liberal arts, I also help my students understand how other disciplines and subjects integrate and fit into one another: like how politics and faith work together– or how Christians should think about and deal with practical areas of life as a believer– medicine, justice, morality, meaning, economics, choices, etc. That’s, again, a major simplification of my job, but it’s the gist of what I do.
Divinity Studies: Classical Learning in Bible, Theology, Philosophy, etc.

And just like I have an expertise– each of my colleagues has his own emphases. Whereas I work on the Arts side of the school, most others work on the Divinity side of the school.
Some of them are theologians. A theologian often has a good working knowledge of the Bible, but his primary emphasis is, well, “theology.” That means that he primarily works with SYSTEMS of THOUGHT and DOCTRINAL FORMULATIONS. And each theologian has certain strengths and weaknesses. Some theologians are very strong in, say, what the Bible says about God, Salvation, and Meaning– but may not be near as strong in details about specific Bible books, such as the individual cities the Apostle Paul visited on his various missionary journeys. In fact, a theologian may not know that much at all about some of those more ‘textual’ areas of scripture. What’s more, theologians may specialize in a given area like systematic theology, or philosophical theology, or historical theology, etc.
Other professors are biblicists or biblical professorsbiblical theologians. Among them are New Testament Profs or Old Testament Profs, and the like. Some of these may specialize in the Old Testament– but not have a great handle on ALL of it (since it’s a big book). For example, I have a good friend who is an Old Testament professor but who doesn’t feel like the Hebrew language of the Old Testament is his strong suit. (What??!!!??). It’s really not that far fetched, though, if you know much about how it all works. An Old Testament (OT) Prof may be a specialist on the Ancient Near East or the Pentateuch, or Early Monarchial History or Post-Exilic Prophetic Literature… and feel somewhat weak in other parts of the Old Testament.

The discussion goes on… endlessly.

What This is All About
I say all that to make a point and to ask for a little slack for a liberty that I am going to take in some future upcoming posts.
Like I said earlier, I’m personally NOT a biblical scholar… but here’s what I am: I’m a Christian believer who tries to think deeply about key issues and phenomena (cultural, social, philosophical, biblical, etc.) [or, in other words, LIFE] and who likes to try to produce thought-provoking ideas to help people understand those things AT A STREET LEVEL– because that’s where most of us live. I try to make God and life from His perspective UNDERSTANDABLE as much as possible.
But sometimes I like to think about and dialogue on questions that I’m not a specialist on– on things that perhaps others should address… but they’re not here!!! And one other thing– just because a person (me) isn’t a world-renowned expert on everything I talk about doesn’t mean my perspectives are useless or dangerous. It just means that they are limited in their perspective (but I can deal with that, if you can). Hey~ if I waited until I knew something before ever saying anything, I’d never feel the freedom to even write one post on my blog!
So, that’s why when a friend asks a question that stimulates me to think, I can either SAY NOTHING… OR I can try to provide a reasonable answer, on the street level, though it may lack the specificity or technical accuracy or breadth or depth that a formal specialist in that theological or biblical area would prefer.
That’s my way of saying that, although other people could often do a better job answering certain things than I, I’m going to “take a stab” at some issues from time to time that interest me (and some of you)– even though my knowledge is sometimes a little sophomoric.
That way, even though it’s not the final word and even though it could make me the source of criticism by some more informed specialists, many of them aren’t taking the time to write to the average person about these issues. And if no one answers people’s questions, then what?
What To Look For In Some (Not All) Future Posts
So that’s my REALLY LONG disclaimer.
In the future, I’m going to take the liberty of answering questions that, maybe, I have no business trying to answer. And if someone reads a post and thinks he or she could answer it better or more accurately– I’d be happy to give those people “props” and let them write their own piece, so I can link my post with theirs.
But for now, I’m excited to give at least elementary answers to at least a few questions that people have or that people ask me to address. It’ll be fun.