Yesterday I talked about some of the strategies I use when teaching with Accordance. I explained that my basic set-up is a single Search window displaying the entire text of the Bible, with parallel panes containing the Greek or Hebrew text, commentaries, and/or my own notes—depending on my needs for that particular class. Even if I don't set all those panes up ahead of time, it is such an easy thing to add a pane when the need arises that I rarely look like I'm scrambling for an answer (even when I am!).
When I need to do a quick word search, I'll do one of two things. If I'm searching for a word in the passage I'm teaching from, I'll simply select it and click the Search button on the Resource palette. That, of course, will open a new tab displaying every occurrence of that word. If the word I want to search for is not in the passage I'm teaching from, I'll simply duplicate my Search window using the keyboard shortcut command-D, switch to searching for Words, and then enter the word I want to find. It's not as slick as amplifying a selection, but even that is quick and easy to do, and sometimes it's faster than looking for a word to select.
If I need to look up a word in a Greek or Hebrew lexicon, I will, of course, simply triple-click it. Since I have BDAG at the top of my list of Greek Tools and HALOT at the top of my list of Hebrew tools, I get my preferred lexicons whenever I triple-click. If I want to switch to another lexicon like NIDNTT or NIDOTTE, I can simply select the lexicon I want from the top left pop-up menu of the tool window containing BDAG or HALOT. Better still, I can use the keyboard shortcut control-plus to cycle to the next lexicon and hit return to perform the search.
The convenience of Accordance's various amplify features and the automatic syncing of parallel panes makes it easy for me to get additional information about a passage of study, a word in that passage, etc. That ready access to information saves me time when I'm researching and preparing ahead of time, but it also gives me the flexibility while teaching to go in a direction I didn't necessarily plan on going. That enables me to encourage class discussion and participation, rather than squelching any such discussion which threatens to lead the class away from the lesson I've already prepared.
Another nice thing about the amplify features of Accordance is that they open a new window, rather than overwriting the material in the window I'm amplifying from. That way, I can branch out to other resources from my main text window, without ever having to worry about losing my place. Once I've engaged the class discussion and am ready to return to my prepared lesson, I just switch back to my main tab and pick up where I left off!
In this post and the previous one, I've talked about how to use Accordance as an aid in teaching. Basically, I'll have my laptop in front of me and be using Accordance to access information which I then relay to the class. In most cases, they're not actually seeing what I'm doing. In the next post in this series, I'll talk about situations where I'll use a projector to show them information directly from within Accordance. In such cases, I'm not just using Accordance as a teaching aid, but as a visual aid.