A Teacher’s Guide to Guided Access: Special Education Knowledge

Don’t assume that everyone understands how to utilize GUIDED ACCESS.

Guided Access can be extremely helpful in the classroom! I continue to share the guided access tips with education colleagues and parents.

Tiny fingers can easily find their way to open doors of the iPad and iPhone. Did you know that you can lock those doors? You can disable WiFi or even turn cellular data off to prevent unauthorized web browsing; however, that’s tedious and unnecessary, and it doesn’t lock all of the doors. The Guided Access feature is the best way to turn your iPhone and iPad into a one-app device.

💡 DID YOU KNOW: You can limit an iOS device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button. Restrict wandering taps from distract learning.

Quick Start Tip – Guided Access session with Siri*, open the app that you want, then tell Siri “Turn on Guided Access.”

💡 HOW TO LAUNCH (Guided Access on iPhone and iPad):
🔅Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad
🔅Tap on General
🔅Tap on Accessibility
🔅Tap on Guided Access under the Learning section
🔅Tap the switch to turn on Guided Access
🔅Tap on Passcode Settings
🔅Tap Set Guided Access Passcode and set a passcode. (Don’t forget to write it down or save it so that you don’t find yourself in a pickle)

Toggle Accessibility Shortcut to On (allows you to triple-click the Home button and enter Guided Access at any time)

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Launch a Guided Access Session (after initial setup/launch)

  1. Open an app & triple-click the Home button. For iPhone X, triple-click the side button.
  2. If you want parts of your screen to stop responding to touch, use one finger to circle those areas. You can move or resize the circle. or tap the X to remove it.
  3. Tap Start.



Helpful Resources:

Rachel Madel – Teacher’s with Apps Blog & YouTube Video Guide

Jeff Bradbury – Why is Guided Access important in Elementary Grades?

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Other Tips and Tricks 

1) iPad: Make typing more comfortable by switching your keyboard to thumb mode. Simply swipe two fingers across the keyboard. This displays a different keyboard, which allows you to type with your thumbs the same way you type on your iPhone. 

Another Option– When the keyboard is open, press the emoji (smiley face) button and hold it until options appear. Choose Keyboard settings, which will whisk you away to a new window with many keyboard options. You can also head to Settings > General > Keyboard to access these options.

2) iPad: Your iPad supports split screen capabilities for quickly comparing information or multitasking. If you want to split web page views, head to Safari. When you find a link that you want to move to a split screen, touch and hold the link until options come up to open it. One of those options should be Open in Split View. This will create a new side-by-side window for the link.

3) iPad: Apple Pencil? You can hold your Pencil down on any Note to automatically open up space for some quick drawings or sketches. As a cool extra feature, Notes will recognize fairly legible handwriting and include those results if you want to search Notes for sketches that you have made in the past.

4) iPhone: Quickly get to the Camera app without having to unlock your phone. Swipe up on the little camera icon in the bottom right corner of your home screen. The Camera app will open, bypassing the unlock screen. This is especially handy when something incredibly photo-worthy is happening and you need to access your camera ASAP. 

5) If you put your phone on airplane mode, it will charge much faster.

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