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iPads: Entertainment or Education?

iPads are wonderful devices! They are capable of so much, they can be used to take photos and play silly games, but they also have many educational advantages. iPads are also great tools in speech therapy. We have clients using an iPads as their main method of communication! There are so many wonderful apps designed to help develop speech, language and spelling.

How do we encourage our children to use their iPad for educational purposes when Candy Crush is only a few taps away? Should we delete all the distracting applications? Certainly, when the iPad is the main form of communication, there’s good reason to have no other applications installed, but when our goal is 20 minutes of speech or language practice per day, there is a simpler solution.

Guided Access: Guided access allows you to lock the iPad into a certain application. You can set a time limit, allowing you and your child to agree in advance about how much time you will spend working on the activity. You can even make certain parts of the screen inaccessible, if you wish.

It’s super easy to set up!

1. Go to settings 2. Select “accessibility” 3. Select “guided access” 4. Set a passcode (preferably one your child won’t guess and you won’t forget!!) 5. You can set a time limit at this point, but it is not necessary. 6. Go into the application you wish to use. 7. Press the home button three times in rapid succession. 8. This will initiate guided access, at this point you can set a time limit and mark certain parts of the screen off limits. Press start to begin using the application. 9. If you wish to exit guided access before the time is up, triple press the home button again and enter your pass code.

Don’t panic if you get stuck in guided access and can’t get out (happened to me the first time I used it!). Simply force your iPad to restart by pressing both the power and home buttons and guided access will be off when it restarts.

We hope this tip will be helpful in getting your children to spend time in the more educational apps on their device!

Written by Bec Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology

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