Students are responsible for the use of their iPads in class and at home. It is a vital skill, even as adults, to direct our attention to required tasks forsaking things that may be ‘more fun’ (i.e. iPad gaming). Our approach is to teach students to take responsibility for their learning and manage their time effectively rather than restricting the installation of apps, etc., on the iPads. In the same way, any rules you, as parents, set at home about the use of digital devices or the Internet should equally apply to the use of your child’s iPad.
You can assist your child to be on task when using their iPad for homework or assignments by knowing what they are working on and keeping them accountable. Here’s some ideas:
- Before “homework time” begins, ask your child to shut down all running apps on the iPad (double click the home button or place four fingers on the screen and slide up; a smaller thumbnail of each open app will appear – place your finger on the app & push it towards the top of the screen to shut down that app)
- Once all apps are shut down you can monitor what he/she does throughout the evening homework period. You can double tap home (or four finger slide up on screen) to see any apps that are open and running in the background. If he/she has angry birds, twitter, facebook, etc., open at all during that time, you can view this in the recently used apps area. You, as the parent, can set up and give consequences.
- You can ensure students are not disturbed by notifications (alerts that pop up on the iPad screen from apps such as social media apps, games, iMessage, email, etc.) by turning them off in the Notifications centre in Settings.
At the end of the day, the use of technology is a collaborative experience. I encourage you to have regular conversations with your child about how they use their device and encourage them to teach you more about it too. It is perfectly acceptable for you to limit your child’s use of the iPad or the Internet according to the rules of your household. In clear communication and educating children to take responsibility for their actions, students will learn valuable lessons which will assist them not only in school, but in life beyond school as well.