I took a road trip this weekend to Ft Worth to a taster event offered by Logos this weekend at SWBTS. The best part of the event is always the road trip with friends–I got to share a ride with David Capes, Peter Davids, and Phillip Marshall, who are my collegues at HBU. It’s great having some established scholars in the department like Peter, who knows everybody it seems and has some great stories.
But to the larger topic, I’ve never been a big Logos user partially because of the price and partially because of the speed, but I do have several key texts that I use in Logos (TDNT, IVP Dictionaries, BDAG, LSJ, ABD). This overnight event was very eye-opening for me, and I was very impressed with the Logos platform and where it is heading. I am still convinced that BibleWorks is still the best bang for your buck if you are doing core biblical studies and want direct access to key ancient texts, but the importance of Logos is their commitment to emerging forms of media like tablets and smart phones as well as what appears to be a little more savy with regard to ease of use.
Recognizing that this was a sales pitch, I doesn’t seem that they are misguided when they talk of world of paperless books in the near future, particularly to the growing popularity of tablets. I’m not sure how I would fully integrate Logos into my teaching at this point (though their rt-click, add to Powerpoint option for all their stuff definitely and audibly won the crowd and me over), but Bob Pritchett definitely started my gears turning when he started to help us envision a classroom in that world of no print books. We have recently had a speaker on HBU’s campus that mentioned how the internet was going to radically shift the value proposition of traditional institutions. Students will have to be convinced that the gen ed portion of the education needs to be as expensively offered through these institutions rather than through the cheaper online options. One way (that I’m sold on and use already some because it’s much more like the British model) to increase that value proposition was to include more discussion in the classroom since they can’t get that online, and then to offer some lecture portion online for the class that the student can watch when it’s most convenient to them (an aspect I don’t do, though think it would have benefits). This fits well with the Active Learning method that I am hoping to integrate more and more.
At any rate, the Logos proposition would facilitate some of that, but it’s a wider issue beyond their software. However, they (Logos) seem to see how that environment will shape things in the not-to-distant future, and it’s that vision for the way technology will shape society that strikes me as a fundamental value proposition for Logos. That is, not only do they offer a very good (but wildly expensive, imho, vis-a-vis BW) product, they also clearly have a vision for the future that will enable the longevity of the product. I’m sure BW will remain competitive, but with their lack of integration into tablets and phones (which to my basic knowledge is not anything that will change soon, though feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) will create difficulties for them and therefore for us.
Now that I’ll have the scholars edition of Logos with the biblical texts to integrate with the dictionaries that I already owned, I’ll have to see how user friendly it all is in practice, but I’m definitely interested to try it out, not least since so much of my time is currently devoted to teaching preparation and therefore Powerpoint.