Configuring New Devices

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2015 03:24PM EDT

 Apple devices come out of the package pretty much ready to use. Below you'll find some options to modify a few settings that may help your staff use the technology more cohesively.

Setting up an Apple ID:

An Apple ID is an email & password that identifies you to the folks at Apple. You'll need one in order to utilize the iPads.  To simplify setup & maintenance, we recommend setting up one Apple ID per school. You can setup your ID on the iPad itself, or online. 

​                       For step-by-step directions, click here.

Setting up Find My iPhone:

You should also set up the “Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod” service provided by Apple.  It is configured when you set up the device initially, or it can be turned on by going to Settings>Location Services.  Location services should be set to “On” and Find My iPhone should be set to “On”.  

Setting up Tadpoles:

Once a device has an Apple ID ( it can then download, “Childcare by Tadpoles” from the Apple App Store.  Go into the App Store on the device and search for, "Childcare".


Setting up Restrictions:

You may choose to set up some Restrictions on the device.  This will allow you to easily control how the device will be used in the classroom.  

To get started, tap the settings icon. 

1. In settings, tap General.
2. Tap Restrictions.
3. From this screen, you will want to Enable Restrictions.

4. When you enable restrictions, it will ask you to set a, "Restrictions Passcode" to be used only when allowing/disallowing restrictions. We recommend that you choose one that is memorable to you, the administrator, but one that won't be obvious to your staff. After you enter your new code, it will ask you to repeat it.

5. This brings up a screen with many options to restrict access to apps. All of the options start out toggled to the green side, which means they are currently allowed. To disable a feature, toggle the switch to the left (it will turn grey).

(For this example, we've disabled the ability to use the Safari web browser, the iTunes store, delete apps and purchase things within apps). It is your choice as an administrator which features you choose to disable. 

What does disabling specific apps do?

Below, you'll find a list of each of your options and the repercussions of allowing/disallowing that on your devices. Of course, the choices are entirely yours, but we have provided recommendations that may be helpful in making those decisions. 

  • Safari (off): Disabling Safari will remove the icon for the Safari web browser. Restricting access to Safari, alone, does not keep your staff from using the Internet, as there are other browsers available for download through the App Store (Google Chrome, Firefox). Keep in mind that restricting ALL access to the internet means that your staff will not have access to resources like YouTube or websites that may give them ideas for lesson planning. If you decide to disallow access to the internet entirely, you will need to restrict access to Safari, as well as Installing Apps (to stop a user from downloading a different web browser app).
  • Camera (on): Disabling the camera completely removes the device's ability to take photos and videos. Please note: The share screen in Tadpoles (which allows you to share photos & videos with parents) will not function if you disable the camera, so we recommend leaving the camera capability toggled to the green, "Allowed" side! 
  • Facetime (off): Facetime is a way to videochat with other people who have Apple devices. Restricting Facetime removes the icon and revokes the privilege.
  • Siri & Dictation (on): Siri is essentially a voice-activated automated assistant. Depending on what device, model and operating system you are using, there is a good chance that your device has Siri. To check, hold down the home button on your device for a few seconds. If a circular button pops up with a picture of a microphone, you've got Siri! We recommend leaving Siri turned on, as it allows teachers to use dictation if they're not comfortable typing on the device. 
  • AirDrop (off): AirDrop is a feature which allows Apple devices in close proximity to one another to share files such as photos and documents. Removing this ability will stop users from sharing documents between devices.. 
  • iTunes Store (off): The iTunes store is a place to buy and download music to your device. Turning the iTunes Store off will remove the icon from the device and disallow access.
  • iBooks Store (off): The iBooks store is a place to buy and download books to your device. Turning the iBooks Store off will remove the icon from the device and disallow access.
  • Podcasts (off): Podcasts are akin to recorded radio programs. This app allows users to manage their podcasts. Your staff will likely not be needing this. Turning it off will remove the icon from the device & disallow access. 
  • Installing Apps (on):  We recommend that you leave this on, as it allows the application to update itself automatically when we push out new versions. Teachers do not have the ability to download any apps on their own, as the app store requires the Apple ID password before it allows the user to download any new apps (which only an administrator will have).  All devices come pre-programmed with this security feature - you will not need to set up anything extra. If you choose to turn Installing Apps off, you will need to manually update the devices each time a new version becomes available. 
  • Deleting Apps (on): Turning off the ability to delete apps will stop users from removing any apps that have been downloaded onto the device. We recommend leaving this turned on, unless children will be using the device  (as it would stop them from accidentally deleting any apps).
  • In-App Purchases (off): Disabling In-App Purchases will stop the user from buying anything within an app. For example, a teacher wouldn't be able to purchase the extended paid version of an app. 

How to Delete Unwanted Apps:
    In an effort to supply you with the basics, Apple pre-programs each device with some helpful apps to get you started. You may find that some of these apps are not useful to you. If you wish to delete an app, you should first go to the home screen, then simply tap and hold your finger on an app icon until it begins to wiggle. Tapping the, "X" in the top left corner of an icon will delete that app.

Permanent Apps:
    You may notice that some of the apps that come pre-programmed onto the device cannot be deleted. (Calendar, Passbook, Mail, Reminders, Notes, Weather, etc). Unfortunately, there is really no way to get rid of these apps, even if you have no use for them. You do, however, have the ability to move them out of plain sight. Tap and hold one of the unwanted app icons until it begins to wiggle. From there you can drag the icon to the right side of the screen and hold it there until it brings you to the next (empty) screen. You can move all of the extra apps here to keep them out of the way.

Setting up a PIN code:

A PIN code is an extra layer of protection on your iPads. Enacting this feature would mean that when a user picks up an iPad, they would need to enter a 4 digit code before they could do anything on that device. It does create an extra step for your staff, but it also adds an extra layer of security to your data on the iPads. If you're interested in setting that up, here are the steps you'll need!

Open up the iPad settings & choose Passcode. 

Click, "Turn Passcode On" at the top of the menu.

You'll be asked to create & confirm your 4-digit passcode. Be sure to use the same passcode for all of your devices (just imagine trying to remember 10 different passcodes!) 

Now, click on the, "Require Passcode" button to edit how long the device can sit idle before requiring the passcode again.

Then, select the interval you'd like to set. As an example, we'll say you set it for 15 minutes. The teacher in this room picks up the iPad in the morning and has to enter the code before she can do anything. She sets down the device when she gets to her room & picks it up 10 minutes later when the first child walks in. She does not have to enter the code, as the device was only asleep for 10 minutes. The next child doesn't arrive for another 30 minutes, when she signs them in, she'll need to enter the passcode to access the device. 

With that, you're all set! 

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our support team anytime at

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