The Three Essential Kinds of iPad Parental Restrictions

The software that powers your student’s iPad has a large collection of very powerful parental controls, called restrictions, that each family can use to customize their student’s experience with their iPad. We believe that parents need to make the right decision for their families about which of these restrictions to enable to ensure appropriate use at home and at school.

What all parents need to know about these restrictions is that they are present, they are optional, and they are customizable to allow every family the freedom to make the decisions that make the most sense for them. While there are literally dozens of options, three big categories can help you think about how and when you might want to employ restrictions on your student’s iPads. (Be aware that some of these restrictions might interfere with schoolwork – be sure to be in conversation with your student about how they affect school and be willing to be flexible.)

Allowed Content

This category of restrictions limits what types of content can be on the device using ratings from the iTunes, App, and iBooks stores. It’s important to know that these content restrictions only apply to the Apple content stores and, in the case of Websites, the use of the Safari browser.

In order to stay in line with board policy, all St. Vrain students already have some content restrictions turned on. Specifically, student iPads are set so that students will not be able to download any media that is not rated TV-G or G or from downloading explicit music and books. Here’s a recommended whitelist for those families that choose to enable website filtering on the iPad.


This category of restrictions turns on and off various features of the Apple content stores. Perhaps the most commonly used one is the limit on in-app purchases.


These restrictions allow you to control what types of information the iPad can send, receive, and share. In this category you can control the camera, microphone, and location services as well as other ways of sending and receiving information via the iPad. This collection of restrictions contains lots of options – so take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the menus and be sure to look for explanations and help text sprinkled throughout the choices.


Remember – you can restrict the items that make sense for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to tinker with the options.

What restrictions are most important to you? Let us know in the comments.

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    • Sara Lloyd on February 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    One of my biggest concerns is location services. I certainly want the device to be locatable if lost. However, I don’t want someone trolling the net for youngsters to be able to find my child because the device is locatable. Is there something in place that is activated remotely to locate the device even if location is turned off?

    1. Sara,

      This an excellent question. I will do a post on this when iPads are distributed again at the beginning of the school year. This series of post will include several different ways to make sure your child is able to use the device effectively for instruction while providing the parents the means for keeping them protected.

      Janette Haines

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