Just spent two weesk in the Northwest. First observation: this is a beautiful part of the country. I was told to expect constant rain. I got one day of mist for a few hours and nothing but blue sky otherwise. The hills and volcanoes that dot the region are green and gorgeous.
My second week was spent filming a class on issues tied to the Gospels and Acts, as well as two shorter pieces on dispensationalism and on the Use of the OT in the NT. These involved a series of 3-10 minute discussions of issues. It is much in the style I teach anyway except I could not move while filming (pretty tough for me but we managed) and there were no students to interact with about what I was saying (a dynamic I did miss). Still the idea of bringing the classroom to people who cannot move to sharpen their biblical study skills and background was quite attractive.
As a lifelong educator, I know the value of personal presence in the classroom and the relationships you build with students that last over decades. I now hardly travel anywhere without meeting with someone I had in class who tells me how their education has panned out, what we gave them and what they had to learn in the midst of ministry. Still so many have no real chance to pick up and leave to get that experience, so creating an opportunity for many to be able to catch a glimpse of what serious study can and could be is an opportunity not to be missed. It will be interesting to see how all of this develops as the years move on. Technology is so in the blood of the younger generations and they know how to make it function in fresh ways. The presence of visual media over the NET gives potential for distance learning that also has a dimension of personal contact. So I see encouraging things for this means of training. It has its strengths and weaknesses, but for so many it is far better than nothing.