Okay, I got an iPad. On day one. It wasn’t my plan… I don’t know what happened. I was going to wait and let other people go first – let other people remind us why we shouldn’t buy “generation 1” of any new product. But then the glowing reviews started to hit… then I found myself in the vicinity of a Best Buy… found myself calling just to see if they had any left (they did)… found myself looking for justification (“I’m going to buy one eventually anyway…”).
And then, boom. There I was, walking out of Best Buy with an iPad in my hands. And I really, really like it. My kids and I were all snuggled in bed the night before last, watching “The Muppets Take Manhatten” streamed directly from Netflix to my iPad. Whee! This morning I was thumbing through today’s issue of USA Today on my iPad while eating my cereal. (Honey Nut Cheerios, if you’re interested.) We’ve been taking it out to eat with us, and we’ll all play shuffleboard on the iPad together while we wait for our food to come. Unlike a little iPod Touch or my iPhone, the iPad games just yell out “play together!” It’s family fun. And I think it’s going to catch on.
Why is that relevant to this blog? Well, maybe it isn’t. But technology is always changing, and we need to figure out how to use what’s next to help kids learn about God. So as we adapt What’s in the Bible to be used in Sunday Schools, one of the ideas being kicked around is creating activities to support the teaching that leaders would walk kids through on an iPad. Maybe we’re ahead of the market there, but an iPad is cheaper than a laptop, and much easier to use and more interactive than a tiny little netbook. So we could be on to something here.
By the way, thanks again for all the Big Bang – Genesis 1 comments, and the continued civility of the discourse. I’m not going to jump in to the discussion with more opinions of my own, because fundamentally what I’m trying to do with WITB is teach the essentials of our faith, and recognize when there is an area that is unresolved. Genesis 1 is an unusual genre of Scripture known as “exalted prose” and has been confounding theologians since the time of Augustine. Once the majority of conservative Evangelical scholars come to agreement on how best to interpret this tricky bit, I’ll present their conclusion clearly and with zest! Until then, though, in the words of the leading Intelligent Design proponent Philip Johnson, when there is a controversy, “teach the controversy!” We’ll talk about the major positions and let you decide which you believe is correct. Hope you don’t mind!
On that note… here’s a really nice review of What’s in the Bible we just came across today… (click here to read it).
Phil, I follow your blog pretty regularly, but imagine my shock when you linked to my blog! Seriously, this is one of the best days of my life. And I meant every word I said about the video. Thanks for the link and I can’t wait for the next installments of WITB.
Thanks for teaching the controversy!
A few questions:
1. Why would you want to develop the curriculum for the iPad, instead of in HTML that can be used by any Web browser (I assume the iPad has one)?
2. What is exalted prose, and how do I recognize it in other places?
3. Did you have ice cream with your cheerios?
4. I know Jellyfish don’t normally make long term plans, but after you finish WITB I’d love to see you make other educational videos. Maybe teach history in a way that shows how well Judeo-Christian values work, and how badly societies that don’t follow them fail. OK, so this isn’t a question – I lied.
TRAITOR! EVIL TRAITOR!! BAAAAAAH!
Very cool! I’m resisted buying one today, but will need one soon as the iPad projects are rolling in.
I created a Booples! iPhone app which my kids love.
Let me know if you need a resource for iPhone/iPad dev questions. Also, check out my company website @ brainwashinc.com for info, testimonials, cool logo, etc.
youtube.comI am excited to see what applications you come up with for group activities using the iPad in childrens ministry.
The iPad brings Children’s books to a new, intriguing, and interactive place with the Alice book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw
Now even PHIL likes the iPad.
The one last hurdle to make me buy one.
The title of this post reminds me of the Yugo. You go or I go because we can’t both go . . .
Ohhhh! You have an iPad!! That makes me dangerously close to breaking the “Thou shalt not envy and/or want thy neighbours stuff” commandment!!!
I love the idea of already thinking about how iPads can be integrated into Children’s Ministry. The “church” seems to take its time catching on to how the latest technology can be integrated into the greater workings of the church and then once that technology is finally integrated – it’s already outdated. You, however, are already thinking this way – FANTASTIC.
And since we don’t even have the iPad released in Canada yet, just brainstorming about a WITB app for the iPad is leaps and bounds beyond where we’re at!
Don’t feel bad…If I had the money I would’ve already had one. Look forward to hearing your thoughts about it!
Well, something tells me budget may be part of why the church doesn’t always leap up to embrace the latest technology; let’s not make it sound like the church is filled with Luddites who’d rather study using clay tablets. 🙂 (And no, I have no idea whether or not Luddites used clay tablets. So, if any of you are historians who’d like to take me to task for mixing my epochs, feel free.)
Did you eat your Cheerios with ice cream?
Ya know, I’m pretty sure waiting until “the majority of conservative Evangelical scholars come to agreement on how best to interpret this tricky bit” is a bandwagon fallacy.
BTW, my friend Edward (Indonesian kid with glasses, just in case you remember) said he met you at the Houston Children’s Festival a few weeks ago. I was pretty jealin’. 😛
I love the idea of an iPad & the form factor could open up interesting possibilities for Sunday School teachers… assuming that nobody breaks it or (sorry to mention this) steals it. One frustration I have with it as a platform is that it’s hard to develop for both the iPad AND also all the (possibly cheaper) iPad competitors that are going to be hitting the market later this year based on Android, Windows Mobile, and Linux. (A size of market issue.) And while an iPad is cheaper than a laptop as you say, it can also be used for fewer things due to the specialized software and lack of a physical keyboard. (A cost justification issue for churches.)
But it’s interesting to think of what the future holds!
“I have no idea whether or not Luddites used clay tablets.”
I don’t know what the big deal is over these fancy clay tablets. I’ve always been just fine with stone tablets, thank you very much!
I know there’s a number of Bible software packages for the iPhone, and I can only assume they’re adapting, or have already adapted for the iPad. Any thought to making a kid’s Bible app centered around WITB? Then you can justify that new purchase as a business expense!
Go for it! That’d be so much fun to have and iPad to teach my kids with at home or during small group time at church! We’re all over WITB at home and church. My 11 old LOVES the Bentley Bros. He watches from youtube, shares the links with friends and sings their songs at random times during the day. He doesn’t just know the books for the Bible; he knows whats in each book. He thinks he’s too old for “Bible DVD’s”, but he’ll watch the same stuff on the internet. Keep it coming!
Dude, Phil. You are the king of balance.
I thought you must be a Muppets fan…
I’m very late commenting, but I think this is a great idea. I’m not techno-phobic, but our tight budget just doesn’t allow for too much. I’ve just now bought an iPod touch with birthday gift money and have been surfing around and taking notes of what displays well and what does not. My kids love playing around on it as well. It would be great to see jt for both iPad & iPod. Many parents I know hand their iPhones to their kids to play games and such while they’re driving, too. And you’re right, our next computer may be an iPad.