I remember thinking as an undergraduate that my generation might be the last generation of scholars to really learn biblical languages. It occurred to me in the late 90's that software like Accordance, Logos, and Bibleworks would provide crutches that might stunt the growth of would-be academics. I can now reflect on this notion with a bit of hindsight. Was I hasty to think this?
Grammatical governance has never come easy for me. Paradigms and morphology? No. But etymology, memorization, aspect, connotative value? Yes. (I can also dominate you in Scrabble... in fact, I have a tattoo that says "I will domin8 you in Scrabble®"... I roll with a biker gang that rides from town to town dominating in Scrabble.)
Because I have tended toward the "right-brained" elements of language, I had to work twice as hard at the paradigms and morphology to prove myself. I was also fortunate enough to have attended a undergraduate institution that put as much (or more) emphasis on Northwest Semitic languages. So there were several rites of passage along every level of the climb. I suppose that I wonder if students really have to work this hard anymore. It is just too easy to find a crutch now.
Add to this the pressure put on professors to cow to the consumer mentalities of most students and admissions offices and the result is that students rarely fail in the humanities anymore. I fear that we have turned one of our most important rites of passage into a bridge tollbooth experience.
In my comings and goings among pedagogically-minded Greek professors, I have been impressed by a few teachers who have used language software judiciously. These talented people have been able to wield Logos et al. in a way that doesn't encourage a crutch mentality. And yet, it seems that these talented few are exceptions to the rule. So what is the rule?
Most folks who teach Greek to beginners do not have a clear strategy for how to incorporate language software. Most know that they cannot hold back the tide of the information age. Most have good intentions. And most of their students who would otherwise be forced to consider another line of work are walking away with a 'B' and false hope.
So here is my question to you: has the information age helped or hurt biblical language pedagogy?