Using iPads in the Classroom: 5 Handy Features That You Never Knew You Had

We recently published a guide to the brilliant range of educational technology available to teachers seeking to unlock the potential of students with SpLD.

But this got us thinking about how to help schools make the most of their existing technology – and, specifically, all the features that can play a part when using iPads in the classroom.

So here’s our quick introduction to 5 of the most useful – but, in some cases, least well known – iPad features that can bring your lessons to life

From smart safety settings to clever tools for displaying student work via social media, they won’t cost your school a penny (beyond your initial investment in the iPads, of course). How many have you heard of?

1) Guided Access

One concern that teachers have with using iPads in the classroom is the challenge of keeping their students focussed on the learning material.

But with the Guided Access feature, you can lock the iPad into one app, so that your students can’t close it down, explore the internet, open up other applications or find other ways to waste time and create mayhem.

Guided Access is just one of the ways in which you can restrict the content that your students can view on the iPad. But for ease of use it jumps to the top of the pile.

Find out more about Guided Access

Note: The Guided Access feature is included on all iPads running iOS 6 or higher.


2) Tweet from Camera Roll

Tweeting from the iOS Camera Roll is a quick way to share photos of everything from your class’s science experiments to school projects and field trips.

Simply open the camera roll, select your photo, press the arrow and share with the Twitter icon.


3) Disable Safari

If you don’t want to use Guided Access to restrict your students to one app, but you do want to stop them getting up to mischief on the internet, the best solution is to disable Safari.

To disable Safari on your classroom iPads:

1.    Click the Settings app on the home screen
2.    Select General
3.    Select Restrictions
4.    You’ll be asked to create a passcode
5.    Set the button next to the Safari option to ‘Off’.


4) Time lapse

Apple added this fun, new feature to the iPad’s Camera app for iOS 8.

It’s tailor-made for the classroom. Your students could use it to show plant growth, scientific reactions, the passage of the sun across the sky or the creation of a piece of artwork. 

To access the time-lapse feature, open the Camera app and slide to the time-lapse option at the far left of the Photo menu.


5) Map

Sure, everyone knows about the iOS Map app. But have you thought about how it could be used to lift lesson material off the page and into the world?

Calculating the time it would take hypothetical trains or marathon runners to traverse the distance between local landmarks or famous attractions. Planning field trips with the aid of photographs and 3D street views. Paying virtual visits to locations of historical, cultural or topographical interest…

Just some of the ways in which your students can learn with the Map app.


Over to you

We hope this article has provided you with some new ideas on how to make the most of your school’s iPads.

Are there any iPad features that bring lessons to life for your students, which you would recommend to other teachers?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

Dec 07

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