The iPad, the new mobile tablet from Apple, was “revealed” the other day and the reviews say it may change the face of communication. It offers email, internet access, ebooks, and audio-visual features from a 9” screen. The geeks are picking it apart for one thing or another, but one reviewer may have gotten it right. Apple didn’t make this for the geeks but for their mothers.
If I were thinking of producing media content today, which I am, I should think of producing it for the iPad.
If I had an iPad now, what would I be able to carry around with me? For starters, the whole bible, the readings for Mass, video Mass homilies and short bios of the saints, courtesy of the US Bishops. http://www.usccb.org/nab/ The entire Liturgy of the Hours by way of Universalis: http://www.universalis.com/ Documents of Vatican II, The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism from the Vatican site: http://www.vatican.va/
For Catholic news, there are the blogs from CNS: http://cnsblog.wordpress.com/ America Magazine, http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/ Commonweal http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/ Zenit:http://www.zenit.org/0?l=english
I could have with me my homilies, my email, podcasts, slide and video presentations. Resources like Wikipedia, the Library of Congress, the New York Public library would be available by way of the internet.
Not a bad treasure of resources to carry around and work on as you go.
But, as Yeat’s poem says, “What then?”
We need to work on what we’re doing now, our websites, blogs, etc..What will they look like on the iPad?
The iPad could use simple catechetical material, strongly visual. I think it will be the basic tool for providing catechesis in tomorrow’s church, but it will mean rethinking how we catechize and what form our catechesis will take. I like the approach used in the new US Catholic Catechism for Adults, which uses saintly people to say what faith means. Short 10 minutes or 24 minute presentations.I have been using it for retreat and mission talks.
We need good material on the Passion of Christ too. In a quote from yesterday’s blog, St. Thomas Aquinas said we human beings find “relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives.” How can we present the Passion of Jesus on the iPad?
Let’s think about it.
David Carr, in the New York Times for January 31, looks into the future of the iPad. It’s there, he says, now book and magazine publishers and other providers of media content have to think about it and work on prototypes and figure out the financials of it all.