Bible OL in use in Tanzania, Denmark and Minnesota

Picture of Nicolai Winther-Nielsen
Bible OL in use in Tanzania, Denmark and Minnesota
by Nicolai Winther-Nielsen - Tuesday, 20 September 2016, 8:03 AM

Bible OL is now in use in several new educational settings. The vision to expand from Hebrew to Greek is now being realized. Bible OL has been introduced by Judith Gottschalk for Greek in Madagascar in 2015, and our Greek solutions are now in use in three other contexts. 

Since Harold Kime joined GLI as the administrator of Global Greek Grammar, the two 3G online courses he has built over several years, the vision was always to offer Greek online courses in Africa. This vision is now being realized in Tanzania where Harold Kime online is training Greek teacher Kirsten Buch who with her husband and IT supporter, pastor and teacher, Peter Buch, serves as envoys for Danmission to  Nyakato Theological College (see HERE).

Before they left Denmark in May, Judith Gottschalk gave them a two hour introduction to Bible OL. They have now finished all their preparation courses and have started their work at the college. We then set them up to use Bible OL for their students, and Harold Kime gave Kirsten Buch access to his course.

They write on their first impressions:

Students can do exercises on the Greek letters, train vocabulary and read portions of the Greek New Testament. They have their dictionary and grammar at the tip of their fingers, on their mobile, which is really a must in Tanzania. Bible OL and 3G works well in a country like Tanzania, because the software is not complicated, and the internet functions very well. Tanzania is in progress and heading full speed into the digital future. Digital solutions are affordable at the college.

At the moment, students learn well in English and it works well, because this is the exam language at the college. They train Greek and progress well through their exercises. The small videos developed by Harold Kime leads them pedagogically through the learning content. They do exercises over and over, and learning outcome is displayed immediately.

Kirsten and Peter Buch are now already so excited about this good solution for Greek, that they dream about translation the interface and dictionary of Greek into Swahili. We hope that several teachers and colleges eventually will join them in these efforts and that Hebrew will be added at some point. Danmission's regional representative, Simon Kristensen in Arusha, is also responsible for Madagascar and he supported the introduction of this new way of learning at the Lutheran Graduate School of Theology (SALT) in Madagascar. Together with the dynamic and visionary Dean of SALT, Professor Dr Lotera, they formulated a vision for going beyond Hebrew and into Greek. The new Greek learning which is now up and running in Nyakato is the start a larger vision intially supported by Danmission for East Africa. 


Meanwhile, Harold Kime's course and Bible OL is now also up and running among students studying at the Fjellhaug International University College Denmark. Greek teacher Nicolai Techow realizes that if students on their own buy this online Greek course material, they will be far better equipped to manage their Greek classes which start in a year. For Danish readers there is a news item HERE. These 10 or 15 distance learners will in the Spring of 2018 start up as online learners using 3BH, the Hebrew course currently developed by Nicolai Winther Nielsen in his class in Copenhagen. The college is therefore doing very important experiments with how students learn better and faster through persuasive corpus-driven learning approaches combining the best of Moodle courses and the force of Bible OL. The vision of GLI is that the college can train volunteers and staff for teaching Biblical languages in the Majority World.


Bible OL is also used in an early experimental stage  in the US. Dr Sigurd Grindheim has recently been installed as the New Testament professor at Lutheran Bretheren Seminary in Minnesota (see HERE). His use of Bible OL is still at a very experimental stage. He writes:

I am using the morphology exercises as optional assignments for my Greek students at Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, MN, including for some students who are taking the class as distance students. I use the exercises as reinforcements in a class that is taught in the conventional way. It is too early yet to evaluate how valuable the exercises have been. One challenge for beginning students is to find samples that are at the appropriate level of difficulty.

GLI is excited about all these new experiments. We hope that many more colleges and institutions will explore the great potential of using Bible OL for Greek. We support the sale of the 3G in the West in order to fund the promotion of free and open learning technolgy in the Majority World. Eventually, we hope and expect that fellow colleagues teaching Greek and developing open and free online resources will join the GLI team in order to develop the next generation of Greek corpus-driven learning for global Biblical education.