With the most recent update to iOS, users now have the ability to lock any iOS to use only one app. This feature is called Guided Access, and the video below explains how it works.
When Apple releases a new version of their operating systems, they never come with a user’s manual. We (the users) are expected to figure this stuff out as we go. In the case of iOS 6, they boast of over 200 new features, most of which are not specifically spelled out.
One exciting new feature for teachers is something called “Guided Access.” This feature allows you to lock an iPad so that it is “stuck” in one app only. You can do this on-the-fly, and can lock the iPad into any app of your choosing. Once the feature is turned on, it is a simple thing to engage and then turn off when you’re done. For a complete explanation of this feature and how to employ it, check out this post from the OS X Daily blog.
All BLS-issued iPads have what’s called a “configuration profile” installed on them. This file locks certain features of the device that we as a school have deemed unnecessary or inappropriate for our students. In addition to these blocked features, there may be certain apps or functions that you as a parent would like to block for your child. This is where Restrictions come into play.
The Restrictions section in the Settings app allows you as a parent to create a second layer of controls on the iPad that has its own separate passcode that only you know. This gives you the ability to turn off iMessages, app installations or deletions, and a variety of other items. it is important to note that some of the things we will discuss in this article require the iPad to be running iOS version 6.0 or higher. To check which version of iOS you have, go to Settings > General > About and look for the line that says “Version.” If the number there is lower than 6.0, go to Settings > General > Software Update to get the latest version of iOS.
The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to turn off or block on the iPad. If there are games or other apps you don’t want your child to have, go ahead and delete those. (To delete an app, tap and hold until it shakes and an “x” appears in the corner. Then tap the “x”. Press the home button when you’re finished.)
Finally, if you want to remove any non-Ben Lippen email accounts, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Under “Accounts,” tap the name of the account you’d like to remove, and then tap the big red “Delete Account” button. Repeat this for any other accounts you want to remove. Note – please do not remove the benlippen.me account (which may be labeled as “GMail”) or the iCloud account.
Setting the Restrictions
Now that you’ve got the iPad in the state you want, go to Settings > General and tap “Restrictions.” Next, tap the button at the top that says “Enable Restrictions.” The iPad will then prompt you to create a 4-digit Restrictions Passcode. This is a new passcode that will be known only to you. DO NOT TELL YOUR CHILD THIS PASSCODE. If you do, it defeats the whole purpose of setting up the restrictions. The iPad will ask you to enter that code twice.
Once you’ve created the passcode, you can then make changes in the restrictions as needed. You will see that some options are not available because they have been locked by our configuration profile.
The items you will want to take particular note of include turning off Installing Apps and Deleting Apps. By doing this you can prevent your child from adding any new apps without your approval.
- iOS 6 has Twitter and Facebook integrated into the iPad. You have the option to turn both off in the restrictions.
- Under the section that says Allow Changes, tap “Accounts” and then select “Don’t Allow Changes.” If you have previously turned off iMessage or deleted an email account, this will prevent the child from turning those back on.
- Under “Game Center,” if your child is not able to moderate his or her gameplaying on the iPad, you may want to turn off “Multiplayer Games” and “Adding Friends.”
By enabling the restrictions on your son or daughter’s iPad, you have a tool to help your child use this device as a tool, and also to help him or her learn to exercise self-control and good judgement in the use of technology. Depending on the age of your child or your particular circumstances, you may or may not want to turn on some of these features. Whatever your situation, know that Ben Lippen desires to partner with you to give you the tools you need as you parent your children.
Questions? Comments? Join the discussion in the comments section below!