How To: Enable Restrictions on iPad

Another week, another “how to” iPad tutorial. While I don’t expect this one to get as much attention as my video explaining how I record my iPad’s screen complete with audio, the ability for teachers (or anyone using a shared iOS device) to enable restrictions is fairly important. If you have a managed device, here’s how to enable (or disable) restrictions on your iOS device.

Being able to restrict the ability for users to delete apps, or gain access to materials and content that otherwise might be inappropriate to younger eyes, comes up from time to time. Turning off Gamecenter, limiting device bandwidth by turning off changes to back-ground app refresh, and ensuring privacy by restricting location services are just a few examples that I could see school districts, parents, and corporations wanting to control.

While I’m personally not a big fan of crippling what your mobile device is capable of (I’ve known some school districts in Michigan to restrict camera access on student iPads!), I’m also a realist at times. I also want to provide teachers with any tools that they have to help them manage devices and content in their classrooms, rather than shut them out of the process all together. Far too often I see school districts limit the ability of teachers and students to manage their own devices, instead leaving such management decisions up to district administrators. This encourages a false “us vs. them” mentality among users, and even encourages some users to try to circumvent security measures.

By putting the decision making for limitations in the hands of the teachers using the devices, it’s easier for them to have meaningful conversations directly with their students about what’s appropriate and what’s not; this helps foster a more “we’re in this together” environment, in which students may have a better understanding of why a device may have limitations put upon them. Perhaps that’s a bit too idealistic for larger school corporations, but I’m a firm believer in a more “bottom-up” approach to managing technology in the classroom.


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