Enable your Restrictions – enabling you to set some practical boundaries

Are there things about working with the iPad that really bug you? Do you hate it when your client accidentally (or maybe on purpose?) deletes the app that you are working with? Do you have a student in your class who is constantly distracted by the task at hand with taking photos of himself and everyone else? Want to know how to restrict access to these and other features of the device?

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!

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About Katie Lyon

Katie is a speech pathologist and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consultant who has been working with young children and adults with complex communication needs for the past 13 years. She has had worked in various roles including Coordinator of the Non-electronic Communication Aid Scheme and Regional Communication Service in Victoria as part of the state-wide Communication Access Network. She has a keen interest in supporting families, teachers, direct support workers and therapists to access information about AAC and assistive technology through education and training. She currently works part-time with Spectronics and part-time with the Communication Resource Centre at Scope in Victoria.

4 Responses to Enable your Restrictions – enabling you to set some practical boundaries

  1. Rachel Watt says:

    What a fantastic article, you have solved all my niggles in one hit and made it so much easier to use my ipad in therapy. Thank you sooo much Katie and spectronics.
    Rachel Watt
    Speech Pathologist

    • Katie Lyon says:

      Thanks Rachel. It was so good to hear your lovely feedback – I’m really glad you found the information useful.

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