Jon Udell writes about discovering an unanticipated benefit of screencasting (in his case, recording an elaborate route on a map):
… the most valuable part of this process might not be the use of the final output, but rather the act of producing it.
This hit on something i’ve been mulling over about electronic Bible study and the learning process. Back in the day, i led inductive manuscript studies with InterVarsity. We’d go away for a while and spend a long time marking up a wide-margin paper copy of the Scriptures with lots of colored marking pens. There was no “right” way to mark them: but the process of highlighting themes, connecting thoughts, outlining bits of grammar, looking up Old Testament references, etc. (and doing it in color, on paper) got us engaged with the text in wonderful ways far beyond passively listening to lectures.
Fast-forward 25 years to the present, where our software already knows connections between hundreds of resources at the level of words, references, topics, etc. It provides an enormous pool of information, but also tends to short-circuit the “hands on” process of exploration that made manuscript study engaging. How do we provide the benefits of personally exploring and organizing the material, without losing the benefits of all the other organization that’s now available?