Making Bible Study Relevant in the Digital Age
provided by Joshua Caleb Johnson
New interactive learning platform incorporates technology and multimedia
As Central New York families have settled into the new school year, thousands of residents focus on a different kind of education.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are featuring a new interactive educational platform to help make Bible study more engaging and easier to understand: Enjoy Life Forever! — An Interactive Bible Course. This free publication, available in more than 700 languages on the Witnesses’ official website, jw.org, includes multimedia elements that encourage critical thinking and discussion between the student and instructor.
“I think one of the best parts is the videos,” said Kristine Malone, a volunteer minister in Oswego, New York. “They are such a powerful teaching tool.” She also noticed that the short paragraphs and the repetition of the material make it easier for those with shorter attention spans to retain the information. “No matter what your learning level is, it can be adapted to your style of learning,” Malone said.
The digital version of Enjoy Life Forever! — An Interactive Bible Course contains quick-access links to scriptures and more than 200 videos. Printed copies are designed to be used with the app JW Library or jw.org to access the videos that make Bible study more approachable for everyone.
“Our approach is all about reaching people’s hearts by engaging their minds. This is how people learn,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have been publishing Bible study aids for more than a century. “Although we’ve always been about the printed page, we’ve adapted our methods to meet the needs of learners.”
One of Malone’s students, who is in her 80s, uses both a printed book and the digital format so she can write in the printed copy, Malone said. Her other students use mainly the digital format. “They love that they can just tap on a link and they’re right in their Bible — they can read the scripture right away,” said Malone.
Carnegie Mellon University highlighted recent research findings on dynamic learning methods: “Engaging students through interactive activities, discussions, feedback and … enhanced technologies resulted in improved academic performance compared to traditional lectures, lessons or readings.”
Also available on jw.org are self-paced online Bible study lessons that cover the subjects: the Bible and its Author, the Bible’s main characters and the Bible’s message of hope. All content on the website is free, without requiring registration or subscription.
For more information about how to get the most out of Bible reading and study, visit jw.org.
Kristine Malone (right), of Oswego, N.Y., uses the Enjoy Life Forever! Interactive Bible course to discuss the Bible with her student — photo courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses come from hundreds of ethnic and language backgrounds, yet we are united by common goals. Above all, we want to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible. We do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. Each of us regularly spends time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, we are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. To read the Bible online and learn more about us and our beliefs visit jw.org.
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