Audio

An interactive workshop for training listening group leaders and promoters
Author: Richard Margetts (2016)

Available in both English and French.

The training workshop described in this guide was developed in West Africa and includes input received from around the world. It is for listening group leaders (those who lead/facilitate the groups) and for group promoters (those who visit groups to encourage them and mentor the facilitators).

A listening group is an opportunity for people to get together to listen to a passage from the Bible and talk about it together. In this guide, you’ll find elements which focus on the ‘why’ of listening groups as well as the practical details of ‘how’ to lead a group.

WHY?
Group leaders need to know why they are doing what they are doing. What is the aim of a listening group? What kinds of group can we have? How will we know if a group is working well or not? Why are they gathering together to listen? The aim should be transformational Scripture engagement: that people encounter God’s Word in life-changing ways.

HOW?
The workshop guide includes sections on how to lead the listening time, how to manipulate the audio player and how to ask good discussion questions. It can be taught in an interactive way and participants should have plenty of opportunity during the workshop to practice participating in and leading listening groups.

An ideal time for such a workshop could be when new audio Scriptures in the local language have been recorded for a community and when audio players are available. It would work well at the launch of a listening group programme in a region, after some initial promotion work has been done to get churches involved and committed to running groups.

The guide is downloadable here in both PDF and Word formats and is published under a Creative Commons License, meaning that you can adapt it for use in your context.  [more...]

Author: Margaret Hill

Today we are in a very different position from when Bible agencies and churches first started running literacy classes. There are alternatives! We now have many methods of producing, distributing and copying oral Scriptures of many different types. In almost every case where a literacy programme is going nowhere, people will accept oral Scriptures and listen to them.

Several years ago, Margaret Hill wrote an article provocatively titled "How Literacy can Harm Scripture Use". Her thesis was that too many literacy programmes were starting with classes for beginners rather than focusing on transition literacy for the leaders and change agents in society. Such an approach, she argued, is harmful to Scripture engagement.

This article is a follow-up, emphasising the same message and going further to take into account the observation that "increasingly here in Africa we are seeing that many language groups are very interested in using their languages orally, but very uninterested in reading or writing in them".

Rather than "hitting your head against a wall" with struggling literacy programmes, the author calls for a refocusing of strategies and reminds us that audio Scriptures often work very well in such contexts.

Download the article as a PDF document.  [more...]

Listening to the translated Scriptures: a review of today’s digital audio players
Author: Richard Margetts

Third Edition - Revised for 2014

This in-depth review (46 pages) compares a range of today's digital audio players including the Proclaimer and Mini-Proclaimer (from Faith Comes By Hearing), the Envoy S and Story Teller (from MegaVoice), the Saber (from Global Recordings Network), the Papyrus (from Renew World Outreach) and the Audibible (from Davar Partners International).

The review is presented in several sections, illustrated with photos and giving a summary of the key features, prices, pros and cons of each player. Also mentioned are feature phones, smartphones and locally available MP3 players.

The first edition of the document was published in 2008 and compared the Proclaimer, MegaVoice Ambassador and Saber. In the past six years we have seen:

  1. New entrants to the digital audio player world: the Papyrus, the Audibible, the Story Teller, Mini Proclaimer, the Herald and the Shofar.
  2. Significant development of existing players: The MegaVoice Ambassadors were retired and replaced by the Envoy. A solar-powered version of the Talking Bible is available, as is a new version of the Proclaimer. More internal memory was added to the Papyrus.
  3. New battery technology: Most players now use newer Lithium Ion Polymer or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries rather than the NiMH type.
  4. Digital file sharing: Almost gone are the days of cassette tape. In most countries of the world, people are interacting with digital media and are increasingly familiar with memory cards and MP3 files.
  5. Mobile phones: The incredible growth in mobile phone ownership and use over the past six years means that most of the world’s population now have their own personal audio player.
  6. Download the full report as a PDF document.

  [more...]
Un manuel d’utilisation pour l’éditeur audio numérique Audacity
Authors: Fina Linan, Richard Margetts

This is the updated and expanded 2014 French version of How to do recording on your computer, an in-depth beginner's manual for recording with Audacity.

Scripture engagement practitioners across the Francophone world are using Audacity to record Scripture portions, Bible stories, radio programmes and Scripture songs. This 140-page manual can be used as a self-teaching aid or as part of a training workshop.

It covers subjects such as the choice of recording equipment, recording and editing audio, mixing multiple tracks and reducing background noise. The French version has an extended appendix on troubleshooting sound recording and playback problems with different Windows operating systems.  [more...]

Author: Richard Margetts

Which media do we use for providing access to audio Scriptures?

In the past the answer was easy: it was the audio cassette tape, and perhaps the radio. Today there are so many more choices. This document illustrates the wide range of options:

  • Removable media (cassettes, CDs, memory cards)
  • Broadcast media (radio)
  • Digital audio players (MegaVoice Envoy, Proclaimer, Saber, Talking Bible, Audibible, etc.)
  • New media (smartphone apps, MP3 downloads, social media, etc.)

The choice we make will depend very much on the local situation and will often include more than one of these options.  [more...]

Published by: Davar Partners International (2013)

This video from Zambia shows how a digital audio player, the solar-powered Audibible from Davar Partners International, can be used to facilitate Scripture engagement in group settings.

Here are some of the points made by the group leader:

  • Hearing God's Word is more important that just being told about it.
  • The audio player gives access to the Bible to those who cannot read.
  • In the local language, listeners get the message straight and it doesn't need interpretation.
  • Listeners have the opportunity to ask questions, as the group hears from each individual about what they found in the Bible story. It's an open forum, with a 'chairman' to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to share.
  [more...]
Pump Up Your Mobile Media Ministry
Author: Keith Williams
Published by: Mobile Advance (2013)

What’s the weak link when it comes to mobile media ministry? When it comes to actually showing mobile media, the weak link is your mobile device’s speaker. Unfortunately, most phone speakers are very weak and far too many tablets have underpowered speakers that, even worse, are positioned facing away from the viewer.

For audio and video on mobile phones or tablets to be heard by groups of people, it can help to connect your mobile device to external speakers. This can be via a cable from the phone's 3.5mm headphone socket, or wireless using a Bluetooth connection.

This review on the Mobile Advance website compares 13 speakers available for under $100, and makes recommendations on which might be the best to choose. Even if these specific models are unavailable where you are, there might be something similar available locally. The article will get you thinking on how a mobile device connected to an external speaker can help to make audiovisual Scripture engagement products accessible in group contexts.  [more...]