Well, a somewhat hidden little option under the general settings app might just be helpful to know about. I know Amanda touched on this in her blog “My top ten iPad tips for people starting out” but I thought I would look at the feature in a little more detail.
It is called “restrictions” and once activated gives you the control to “restrict” access to various parts of the device. Sometimes referred to as the parental control section of the iPad, when you enter restrictions for the first time you are asked to enable a password. This is a four digit pin and needs to be entered each time you want to enable or disable these restrictions, so it should not be known by the person you are trying to restrict!
You then have the option of restricting access to the following apps and functions which may be relevant to the people you are supporting:
- Safari – this is great if you want to stop students from accessing the internet in an assessment situation, for example, it will temporarily hide the app so you can’t surf the net for any answers.
- YouTube – you can choose to hide the YouTube app, very handy for those students who use You Tube for searching for just about any video other than the topic you are working on.
- iTunes – you can also restrict the student’s ability to purchase music directly on the device.
- Camera – if you are supporting someone who is constantly distracted by the camera app, or wants to take photos at inappropriate times, you can choose to hide this app temporarily without deleting it completely.
- Installing and Deleting apps – now you can choose to make installing and deleting apps password protected, so it will stop any accidental deletions, and block students from signing into their own iTunes account and installing apps from their account.
- Dictation – this can disable the Siri feature for those people who find this inaccurate for their speech or distracting when the keyboard is visible.
- Location – here you can choose whether each individual app is allowed to see your location or not, sometimes for weather apps and maps it can be useful, other times – it is not really relevant – and so can be turned off.
- Accounts – you can choose to allow changes to the accounts you are signed in to or not, again handy if you are wanting the iPad to have the content only your, or your schools account has access to.
- In-app purchases – when in-app purchases is turned off it will stop the busy fingers from accidentally hitting pop-ups which carry you to the app store which is particularly present in free or LITE versions.
- Game Centre – in some games the app will allow multiple players and the ability to add “friends” from online, for privacy and security reasons you may want to restrict this feature for your students.
- For music & podcasts, movies, TV shows and Apps you can choose to prevent access to specific content types and allow only those with certain ratings or age restrictions.
Hopefully you have found some of the above suggestions useful for avoiding those annoying things that can happen – and make the use of iPads in your classroom or clinic even more practical and exciting!