21 Things – Guiding iPad App Use in the Classroom

You may be wondering, “How do I keep my students from using other apps when I let them use one of my class iPads?” or as I often do, “How do I do a better job of limiting my four-year-old’s use of my iPad?” 

Thanks to 21 Things 4 iPads, I am now able to better answer those questions. Yes, I knew I could put a lock code on my iPad to keep others out of it, but I never knew how to limit the use to just one app. I had to figure out how to lock the app delete and purchase, because my daughters had learned how to delete apps and purchase upgrades when the app asked if they wanted to upgrade. However, until Monday, I never knew I could limit their use to a specific app for a specific period of time.

The way to limit use to one app is to go to the settings, select General –> Accessibility –> Guided Access, then turn on Guided Access. You have to set a passcode. If your students or children know your lock code, you will want to choose another code. Then set a time limit and choose a sound to be played when the time limit expires. In addition, you may want to turn on the Accessibility Shortcut,  as this allows you to turn on Guided Access by clicking the home button three times.

General–>Accessibility–>Guided Access

Guided Access can be used to limit students to one app when you have students who like to check out the other apps on the iPad. In fact, you can choose to turn off certain areas of an app, so students cannot use those features. This is done by circling the areas you want to be off limits to students. This feature can be helpful if you want students to watch a specific video, but you don’t  want them to be able to go to other features on the same page. If you are using a free version of an app, with pop-up ads, you can keep students from clicking on the ads to open. 

The main issue or limitation that I saw in using Guided Access was that my keyboard did not work while Guided Access was turned on despite the fact that I had checked to have the keyboard available. Another issue would be that students are limited to using one app, so they could not take pictures in one app then write a blog entry in another app. 

Have you tried using the Guided Access on iPads in your class? How well did it work? What benefits did you see? What limitations did you see? Share your comments or feedback below or email me marc@marcdaly.com.