iPad Challenge of April 22: Accessibility Tools (Guided Access)

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Do you have a student that simply can’t concentrate when using the iPad? Do you need to help them focus on the task at hand? Guided Access might help. It is a little heavy-handed, but could be very useful. This also could be useful in certain test or exam situations.

What is it?

Guided Access allows you to restrict the use of the iPad to a certain app. For instance, if your students should be writing a document using Pages, you can set the Guided access so that they can only access Pages.

How does it work?

Go to Settings–>General–>Accessibility


Scroll down and tap on Guided Access:


Tap Guided Access on:


Now tap on Passcode settings. This means that you will be the one in control of the Guided access. You will enter a password for Guided access. Once they are in the app and Guided Access is activated, they will need your passcode to disable it:

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Once you’ve set a passcode that you will remember, go to the app you want your student to use. I am using pages. Triple tap the home button to access the Guided access settings. At the bottom of the page you will see some settings. For some reason it won’t let me take a screenshot and my airplay isn’t working so I will use a generic screenshot from closertothekids.com:


At the bottom you can set how long you want them to stay on the app as well as circle areas of the app you would like to disable. To activate Guided access, simply tap Started, located in the top right corner.

Now, this isn’t just for students – we all get distracted and sometimes need a little help concentrating. Why not use Guided Access for yourself? I know I could use some guidance sometimes…

Thanks again to Melanie Leblanc for demonstrating these tools!

iPad Challenge of April 22: Accessibility Tools (Safari Reader & Dictionary)

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A huge thank you to Melanie Leblanc for leading our iPad workshop yesterday. I thought it would be useful to give a quick reference of the built-in tools on the iPad she demonstrated as there was a lot of information and once again, little time to really explore these tools.

Safari Reader

What is it? This feature allows you to get rid of all the ads and other features on a website and focus on the main content.

How is it useful? When you want your students to read a certain text without getting overwhelmed by all the visual bells and whistles of a site. I know that I will personally use this as I like to read long form articles online and I find the ads and sidebars visually exhausting.

How do I use it?

Open Safari and find the article you want to read:

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See the lines beside the URL?


Tap it. This is how it looks like:

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I know, right? Why did I not know about this before? I was looking online to make sure I got the name right while writing this and the articles about it date back to 2010.


NOTE: I used this article from the Atlantic as I had just read it and the ads gave me headaches, but I just realized that they only allow the first paragraph to be read in Reader. I guess they really want you to see those ads.

Double sigh.


What is it? Umm, a dictionary? Duh? Sorry. My ‘tide came out there. The dictionary feature is where you can hold your finger down on a word that you do not know in your article and  it will give you a definition or at least take you to a website with more information:

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Now, the first time I tried this, I highlighted the word “women” and got a “No results” message. that is because I had no dictionaries downloaded. You need to tap the manage button and then download your dictionaries:

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As you can see, you can have dictionaries in many different languages. You can also search the web for more information. Here I highlighted the phrase digital revolution and tapped on define:

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No definition was found for “digital revolution” so I tapped the “Search Web” option and got these results:

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Both of these tools are simple, built-in the iPad and extremely useful for the classroom, not to mention our own online reading!

Tomorrow: Voice Over and Keyboard features!