If you’ve ever used iPads in your classroom, be it a Nursery classroom, a Year 6 classroom or anything in between, then you will have experienced the frustration of watching pupils switch to a totally different app from the one for which you spent hours planning tasks! Sometimes this is just the natural curiosity of a Foundation Phase pupil, other times it’s a Key Stage 2 pupils too excited about using technology in the class and trying to access some fun app instead of the prescribed one. Whatever the reason behind it, it spoils your planned activity. Did you know that there’s a simple, quick way to lock pupils into the app you want them to use?
Open the app for the pupils, tap a couple of buttons and that’s it, the pupil cannot leave the app without a password that only you know. They can’t even try to be clever by restarting the device!
It’s called ‘Guided Access’ and is a feature on every iPad, you just have to switch it on. Go to the iPad’s settings, choose ‘General’ and then ‘Accessibility’. Scroll down to find ‘Guided Access’ close to the bottom and switch it on. You can choose to either click ‘Passcode Settings’ to set a passcode now that will be used every time you lock an iPad to an app, or leave it so that you set a new code every time you lock the iPad.
With that simple procedure on each iPad, you’re all set. The next time you give an iPad to a pupil, triple click the home button quickly and Guided Access will open. Click ‘Start’ and it’s locked (if you have not chosen a pin, it will ask you to provide on when you click ‘Start’). It’s now impossible to leave the current app, unless you triple click the home button again and enter the passcode!