We’ve all heard that the iPad is a wonderful tool for teaching and learning in the classroom.  Technology keeps students engaged while the mobile access allows for students to participate in active learning experiences outside the confines of a four-walled classroom.  However, according to an article in eCampus News, only 7% of college students in 2011 owned a tablet computer.  This figure has risen to 25% in the 2012 edition of the survey, but that has still not become wide spread enough to be considered universal in the classroom.

So, what do you do if you are a faculty member with an iPad who would like to use the mobile technology to interact with students in your classroom?  There are many apps that can only function on the iOS platform without a counterpart on an android device.  One option is to allow your students to use your iPad as a mobile whiteboard.  As a teacher, you then have the ability to roam the room without being tied to a teacher station and the student gets to interact with the material with limited chaos and classroom management issues.

“I don’t trust students!  How do I know when I give them access to my iPad that they won’t access my email or those pictures of me on the beach this summer?”

As we all know, the temptation to play with a new toy is overwhelming, especially when it is something we are not supposed to be doing!  Inevitably, students will want to wander from the confines of the application that you would like for them to use and explore other tools that the device has to offer.  This is where guided access comes in to play.  Guided access is an accessibility feature on the newest upgrade to iOS 6.0 for the iPad.  Also referred to as “kid mode”, Guided Access allows you to lock your iPad into a certain application and limit the functionality of that application to certain areas if you would like.

For example, I have a very curious 1 ½ year old son.  He loves to play games on my iPad, but I constantly have to keep getting him back in his game when he hits buttons randomly (his main job as a baby!).  With Guided Access, I enter the game, set the access, and tell the app not to let him click on the Menu button or any ads.  Now, when I hand him the device, he can only hit the buttons on his game.  If he should happen to hit the home button, a dialogue box pops up letting him know that Guided Access in enabled and to triple click the home button to disable.

This is well and good for my son, but your students can read!  What’s to keep them from triple clicking and getting out of the app?  Don’t worry, triple-click is just the first line of defense.  Once you have finished pressing the home key, a password box shows up.  Without entering a correct password in the box, chosen only by the person who enabled guided access, you still cannot disable guided access or the non-functioning areas.  Thus, keeping your information, and beach pictures, securely out of your students’ reach.

For a tutorial on how to use Guided Access on the iPad, please visit the TLT Tutorials Blog: https://tlt.cofc.edututorials/2012/11/20/using-guided-access-on-the-ipad/