I'm working on lots of things for BE101 at the moment but the most exciting thing I've done recently is to start kicking the tires on the Logos Bible Software program. I'll be honest, it's an intimidating package to get started with. But with a good old-fashioned "wonder what this button does?" attitude, I'm beginning to see the power of this tool. Well, that and some helpful training videos...
While it doesn't appear I'm really going to need Logos all that much for my BE101 course, I'm intrigued enough to begin trying to learn how to use it. There is no question I'm going to have to get very proficient at using this software in the future, so I might as well start learning it now.
Technically, Logos is an interesting program that relies on both physical resources stored locally and a connection to your online FaithLife account. Purchases are made and managed through your account. When connected, Logos automatically updates your local resources. Any work you do through Logos is backed up to your account which is handy as it can be synchronized across all your devices. The only real downside I can see so far is that this software is very heavy. It takes up 16GB of real estate on my space-sensitive SSD drive. I might tinker to see if I can transfer the data library to a network drive.
Logos 7 can be an intimidating looking program the first time you bring it up. Unfortunately, it's not the most intuitive program to use and a trial and error approach will surely add to your sanctification. Fortunately, Logos provides a series of quick start videos which are extremely helpful. After watching a little over an hour's worth of these videos, I knew enough to actually start effectively using the tool.
What you get from Logos software is going to entirely depend on the package of resources you have access to through your account. It would be nice if certain features were shown or hidden based on your resources as it's kind of pointless to have zero resources and yet see 26 available options for study. For example, if you don't have any Bible atlases, it would be nice if the Bible atlas tools were hidden in your search results. It does make you scratch your head a bit if you are just getting started and only download the core program.
But with that said, there are some real sweet features that I can access through the package that was developed for DTS students. It takes a little getting used to, but once you know some of the simple basics, you start to pick it up pretty quickly. Within a short time, I was able to link exegetical guides to word study guides and compare translations and such. I've actually been able to use a Bible dictionary and a Bible atlas for my current BE101 assignment which has improved my knowledge and understanding of the text that we're studying now. Pretty cool.
Overall, Logos is not a program that you are likely to just sit down for the first time and be comfortably proficient. But it is pretty easy to learn the basics which provide a sufficient platform for then exploring some of the most advanced features. Over time, these things will become second nature and I'm looking forward to skilling up with this software.
Chipping Away at Module 3
Module 3 became unlocked after I turned in Learning Assignment #3. There is a total of 600 points in this Module (200 reading, 200 video lecture, 100 learning activity, and 100 class interaction). Additionally, Module 4 became unlocked today and has an additional 400 points (100 reading, 200 video lecture, and 100 learning activity). That's a total of 1000 class points that I'll need to finish in two weeks time. Let's get planning.
I quickly knocked off 300 points worth of readings and lectures for Module 3 and I also posted my initial class interaction post. The interaction activity is very interesting and requires a little bit of reflection and thought. I'm looking forward to engaging with my fellow students on this topic over the next week. That leaves only 1 video lecture and 1 learning assignment.
The video lecture is actually locked until I finish the learning assignment. Based on the class so far, the video is probably going to be in the neighborhood of 30 minutes long. Certainly, nothing to worry about as far as scheduling. The learning assignment for Module 3 on the other hand, is going to require some work. Once again, this assignment is focused on observation but also begins to stretch us into a little bit of application of those observations (though not yet interpretation).
Since I'm about a week ahead, I'll have plenty of time to thoroughly complete this assignment. I think it's safe to say at this point I'll probably spend over 10 hours working on it. I'm about 3 hours into it and I'm going to continue chipping away at it tonight.
Oh yeah! I'm scrapping my Wednesday night chapel plan which was part of my original schedule. Wednesday's have been better days to focus on my assignments and therefore Saturday's have become my defacto chapel days. This schedule just seems to flow a little better for me. I mentioned that you need to be flexible with your original assumptions and here you'll see I'm putting that into practice.
Anyway, hopefully, I'll be able to wrap up Learning Activity #4 from Module 3 by the end of this week. I want to give myself as much time as possible to focus on Learning Activity #5 in Module 4. I don't think I'd normally be this gung-ho about getting on top of my assignments, but as I mentioned in previous posts, I have other things going on at the moment which might seriously impact my schedule over the coming weeks. So better to be way ahead, than to fall behind. I know I'll appreciate the buffer when I will eventually need it.
A final observation on my current coursework... Since Module 4 is also unlocked, I'll be able to chip away at the readings and lectures over the coming days as well, even before I finish all the work from Module 3. This is actually pretty cool as I'll be able to take some breaks during my work on Learning Activity #4 to allow my brain to rest a bit which will ultimately result in better work. It's always a good thing refresh and reflect on these kinds of assignments rather than just trying to conquer them in one sitting. Given the time I've been investing in these activities, this makes perfect sense.
Th-Th-Th-Th That's All Folks
In the immortal words of Porky the Pig, that's all folks. I'll be back on Friday with an update on my progress and reflect on the past week and what I've learned.