Yesterday Apple surprised the technology community by unveiling both the iPad Air, a sleeker, lighter weight tablet, and an upgraded iPad Mini that now features a retina display. With both of these brand new iPad models set for a November 1st release, this means many children will be inheriting older models of iPads at home very soon.
As an app developer, I am excited about the new retina display for the iPad Mini and these ultra-lightweight Air devices; however, as an early childhood educator this also seems like one of those “safety first” moments, regarding young children.
Before you pass along your older iPad to your children you may want to take this opportunity to safeguard your devices. Here are a few steps that may suit your family needs:
1. Check the iPad’s General Settings for “Restrictions”, where you can set a 4 digit code and make decisions about blocking functions such as app purchasing, app deletion, online browsing, FaceTime, camera access, and Siri.
2. Also found in the iPad’s General Settings is an option titled “Accessibility.” Here iPad users find many helpful features. For example, underneath the “Learning” header, you will find the “Guided Access” function; this allows you to lock your child’s touch-screen experience on a single app or even lock off a portion of an app.
After toggling your “Guided Access” to “On” you can visit any app you wish to target. Just triple click your home button to design your specific limits.
3. Other examples of safeguards to consider include your older iPad’s cloud, calendar, contacts, etc. These convenient features may not be best in the hands of your first grader.
Finding and changing these settings may sound a bit complicated but, speaking as non-techie, even I manage to use some of these limitations whenever I hand over my iPad to preschool, kindergarten, and young elementary students who test out my apps in the process of our app development.
I hope you love your future iPad Air or iPad Mini with retina display. I know your children will love their future touchscreen experiences!