Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guided Access for iPad

Are you lucky enough to have iPads or iPod Touches in your classroom? If so, you might be familiar with the frustration of asking students to go into one particular app...and then walking by later and seeing that they are not, in fact, doing what you'd asked them to do.

Feel free to reassure me that your little darlings sometimes do this, too. :)

Apple released a feature called "Guided Access" for their iOS devices with the release of iOS 6, so this has been out for awhile. However, I realize that not everyone knows about these "tricks," so I thought I'd share this little gem with you all.

Of course, all the newest devices have it automatically, but if yours doesn't, you might try updating your software to see if it makes a difference!

What is Guided Access?

Guided Access is a brilliant feature, IMHO! It allows you, the adult, to restrict access to only one particular app. On top of that, it allows you to disable any part of the screen you feel is irrelevant to the app's functionality.

So, for instance, lets say you wanted your students to look through and respond to e-mails {maybe they have a pen pal as part of their writing assignment or something}. You could enable the Guided Access to ensure that students only stay inside the e-mail app.

Furthermore, let's say you didn't want those students to be able to delete any e-mails. You could disable the trash can icon inside the mail app so that students would never be able to click it or delete anything.

Didn't I tell you this was brilliant?!

How to Enable Guided Access

First, go into your Settings app. Click on "General."

I had to scribble out our WiFi name, since our family's last name. ;)
Inside the "General" section, scroll down until you see the word "Accessibility." I think all iOS devices -- regardless of age or updates -- have this portion. {I could be wrong, though. It's happened before. ;) }

Now is the test: do you have it or do you not? Inside the "Accessibility" portion, scroll down until you find a section labeled "Learning." If you can't find the learning section, that means you either need to update your iOS version or upgrade your device {sorry!}. Check with an Apple Genius to figure out your options.

If you do see it, though, go ahead and click on the "Learning" tab.

You can see that mine is already enabled because it says "On."
Once inside, make sure that your Guided Access toggle is switched to "On." You can set a passcode that will be used every time from right here, or you can save that part for later. Toggle the "enable screen sleep" switch if you wish.

You're ready to rock 'n roll! Get started:
  1. Go into any app of your choice and triple-click the home button. {I was unable to take any screenshots of this because Guided Access does not allow screenshots.} 
  2. Use your finger to circle any parts of the app you don't want the student to have access to. 
  3. Click "Start" in the top right corner. It may prompt you to enter a 4-digit passcode if you haven't already set one. Pick something challenging enough that the student won't guess it, but not so challenging that you'll forget! ;)
  4. If the student clicks the home button in an attempt to exit, a pop-up will flash at the top of the screen that says, "Guided Acces is enabled. Triple-click the home button to exit." Your student will, of course, see it, but can only take guesses to the code. 
  5. When you're ready to exit, triple-click the home button again and enter your passcode. Click "End" in the top left corner.

This is a fantastic feature to use in classrooms with your little friends who are just toooo tempted by other apps to stay on task. ;)

Hope it helps!

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