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Online Teaching


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Education is a key element of the church. We have sermons in our worship services. We have bible studies. There are apologists who study science and logic then teach what they learn. In this episode we talk about taking teaching virtual, and I don't mean the kind of teaching where you have to wear equipment or have an avatar. Online teaching is not new to technology or the education world. We explore bringing a new form of education to the church.

Before we dive into online education, we respond to a ton of feedback from our listeners. Come join us for another episode of Geeks and God. Maybe you'll learn something.

Using You Tube for Apologetics

Someone just forwarded me a link to the latest You Tube video from Ray Comfort, A Powerful Lesson From ER. Whether or not you agree with Ray and Kirk Cameron's style, I think you'd have to say they "get" the concept of using the Internet for teaching.

They don't just use You Tube to promote their ministry; they use it as a vehicle for their message. I think I recall a comment from the podcast that too often you have to go out and buy a book or video to get this kind of apologetics. By distributing their content over You Tube, they've eliminated nearly every barrier that would keep their message from reaching a large audience.

They've also done a very nice job of tweaking their profile page to make it look like it's part of their own site, while not going overboard and making it look like a cheesy My Space page.

Their production quality is high enough that the video looks good in You Tube's standard quality, but I noticed that the sound for the clip was much better in "higher-quality" mode. If you haven't seen this yet, try appending &f=18 to the end of any You Tube URL. If you have a You Tube account, you can also set the higher-quality version as your default. The improvement tends to be worth it on just about every video I've seen since learning about that.

Lastly, I think they're valid in claiming "Fair Use" in their use of a clip from ER, because Ray does dissect and teach from it.

Personal Connection and Some Questions

One of the things I've learned about apologetics is that a personal connection is important. Me writing an article about some teaching is very different than me talking with a friend about the same subject.

This allows someone to talk to their audience. It allows them to take into account who the people are, where they come from, and the preconceived notions and world views that are out there. I have not looked at their work yet but I wonder who their audience is. Is it Christians so they have material for others? Is it the unchurched?

I've never herd of Ray and I don't know anything about Kirk besides he's a Christian. What gives them credibility to Christians? What gives them credibility to the unchurched?

I'm curious about their ministry here. I'd like to know more about what they are trying to do, how they plan to go about it, and why they think it will work.

A few of the reasons I'm a fan of online teaching with churches are it teaches the people in the congregation so they are prepared to talk to others, it gives churches intelligent credibility in a culture where blind faith is the belief about the church, and it puts material out there for people who are just searching.

In all of this we need to remember to keep to the context of our audience. Stuart McAllister said it well in his podcast episode on RZIM Just Thinking at.. http://htod.cdncon.com/o2/rzimht/MP3/JT/JTSMCD102-...

I do think someone can make a person connection without actually knowing someone. Celebreality has proven that to me.

I won't argue the fair use angle. I will suggest that anyone considering something like that listen to the creative synergy podcast on this. They had lawyers on to talk straight to this issue. People who know better than the common lay person. You can check that out at http://www.creativesynergypodcast.com/media_files/....

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

A Resource and a Question

John Piper has Ask Pastor John which is similar to the Q & A discussed in this podcast.

How does one create a "node form" as describe in this podcast? Is that via CCK or Web Form?


cck vs. webform

I use both cck and the webform module. I decide based on my needs.

CCK + cck add on field types allow you to build forms, galleries, and all kinds of other node types. Then you can use views module to create reports, lists, etc. I think CCK give you a lot of flexibility and you write custom code or use other modules which interact with cck node types to perform other functions.

The webform module allows you to create a nice webforms which will save data to a table where you can review. It also optionally allows email to go out to whoever you want when a webform is submitted. I think webform is qucker to get a basic form up and going and I use it a lot for simple things where I just need to collect data and/or email someone. If you need more than webform gives, you have to go CCK or custom module.

So CCK gives more flexibility and webform is quicker for basic stuff.

Best thing is to try them out and see.

I hope this helps some.


Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator

Thank you / Recipe

Thank you for the reply, Shrop. Very helpful.

Also, I found this simple recipe that might be of help to others: