ICT Device Use at Home

Advice and suggestions for Parents / Carers

All of this advice can apply to any digital device.

iPads provide an environment/tool for learning – that is its main purpose. Students can use their iPad for other purposes but these must be appropriate to the context – school or home – and subject to permission.

We support parent decisions about the setting of boundaries at home as long as school work can be completed. Parents are able to restrict iPad functions with parent controls, (see below). However, these controls need to be removed when at school in order for students to complete set tasks by teachers.

Students do not need games and entertainment apps on their iPads for school.  Whether students are allowed to install games and entertainment apps on their iPad is a family decision. At the College, students who make inappropriate use of iPads at school will be dealt with via the College’s discipline policy. Students may be asked to delete content that is inappropriate for viewing at the College and the iPad may be confiscated in the interim. At school, iPads may also be confiscated for inappropriate behaviour in class.

Tips for Supervision at home

Set Boundaries

Students don’t need to use the iPad all the time at home.

Teenage children need their sleep, so we strongly suggest that the iPad is NOT TAKEN TO BED. It is best that iPads don’t go into their bedrooms.

If you are experiencing problems, we recommend that you specify:

  1. Where in the house the iPad can be used.
  2. Where the iPad is to be stored when not in use (this can be the location for charging). We recommend that this location is in a visible family space.

Removing Distractions

Before starting homework / study time, ask your child to:

  • Close all unnecessary apps
  • Close all unnecessary web pages in Safari
  • Keep an eye on what your child is doing when completing homework.

Using the iPad for long periods of time

We strongly recommend that parents supervise the amount of time students are using their iPad. Suggested homework times are in the College Diary. Students and parents are advised to check these times. Parents will need to make decisions about the length of time students should use ipads after homework tasks are completed.
 It is recommended by Occupational Health and safety Guidelines that after 1 hour on an electronic device, students should take a 10-15 minute break.

Eye Strain: Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the iPad and focus on something in the distance.

Share the Experience

Ask your children to demonstrate the way they use their iPad at school.

Ask your children to teach you how to use the iPad.

Have a play with the iPad and the apps.

View Music, Photos, Videos and Apps

Have a look at what your child is viewing, listening to or playing via:

  • Music – click on the Music app to view the Music library.
  • Photos– click on the Photos app to view the photos & videos your child has stored.
  • Apps – you can scroll with your finger through the iPad desktop pages to view the apps

Parental Controls

If parents choose to use them, parental controls are available on the iPad,.

Go to http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4213 to find out how to restrict internet use and other controls.

Please be careful with this feature – Parental controls may block iPad features that will be needed at school. If you decide not to give access to the internet at home, this must be reinstated when at school.

If you forget the passcode, the device will need to be wiped and reset to factory settings through the Apple phone support team.

Data Back up

Your Son or daughter is responsible to back up all data on their iPads. The school will not take any responsibility for loss of data, photos or videos.

There is a 2 part strategy to backup with iPads;

iTunes software when connecting the iPad to a desktop computer at home.
iCloud Account set up using the students Apple ID account.

Students are advised to set up their iCloud Account as soon as possible.

Backing up of photos & videos

Photos & videos take up the most space on iPads. It is important that when a video project is completed, the video should be removed from the iPad to free up more space.

This can be done by using the white cable to connect the iPad to a desktop or laptop computer. The video file can be saved on the computer and then deleted from the iPad.

The same process can be used for photos which are no longer needed.

Social Media

The college understands that for many young people the internet & mobile devices are part of their social life. However, like communicating in the real world, there are risks involved online. Parents have an important role to play in educating your child about their online experiences. The following provide some helpful points to remember;

  • Young people appear to have good technical knowledge. This does not mean that they understand how to behave appropriately. Teach your child positive online etiquette. Words can hurt whether said to someone’s face or posted online.
  • Tell your child to think before they post any content online. Once posted it is difficult to remove.
  • Make rules about where electronic devices are to be used in your home. A visible family space is strongly advised.
  • Discuss & negotiate the amount of time your child can spend online. A healthy life balance of family discussion, off line time, and sleep (without being wired) is strongly encouraged.
  • Keep the communication channels open so that your child can speak to you about anything that may be upsetting them. If disturbing information or content appears in their social networking space make them feel comfortable to come and speak to you.
  • Advise your child never to share passwords or personal information online eg Phone numbers, addresses etc.
  • Advise your child to always have online profiles on private.
  • Friends online are fun but make your child aware that not everyone online is who they say they are. A rule of thumb; if they don’t know the person, they should not accept their friend request.
  • Advise your child that their digital reputation stays with them forever. Many employers check online profiles and activity before employing staff. Once content is out there, it is almost impossible to delete.

For more information please visit;


(We would like to acknowledge Mackay Christian College Queensland for their permission to reproduce some of their ideas in this section)

Source:  http://www.mccmky.qld.edu.au/ipad/ipads-at-home/