Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Most Dangerous App on Your Students iPads: The iTunes Store!

Saaay What??? For Real? I don't think so. That's what you may be thinking and until this week, I too would have scoffed at that one. Be patient and I will explain.

This is the first year my students have each had their own iPad. On those iPads, they only have learning apps and the Apple apps installed at the factory. I felt secure letting my student's work independently on the iPad without wondering what they were getting into. That is, until this past Monday.

A little girl asked if she could listen to music. I assumed she meant within the reading app she was working on so I said, sure. A few minutes later, I heard her say, "They just said a potty word in that song." I assured her that wasn't possible. I mean, after all, ABC Mouse wouldn't allow that. Right? Well, guess what? She wasn't on ABC mouse. She was on the iTunes store. Seems harmless enough except...NOT! I made her get off the iTunes store but curious, I went scrolling through the artists featured on the opening page and the first one I clicked on had explicit lyrics.

All my kinders have to do to get a big dose of "potty words" is to click on a song that is labeled "E" for explicit. Imagine any song you can buy on iTunes. When your student clicks on it, they get to hear the thirty-second snippet of that song.

This was the opening page on iTunes. See all those little red "E" boxes all over the page. All those indicate that a song has explicit language. I clicked on one and got to hear the "F" word and women referred to as "bitches". How would you like your son or daughter coming home saying those words?

What to do? You can't delete the iTunes store off your student's iPads. There are a couple of options. One that I used back in the days when I let my student's use my personal iPad and didn't want them Facebooking on my behalf was GUIDED ACCESS. With this setting, you put your student on the game you want them on and then the only way they can get out of it is with a passcode. Click here if you want to know the specifics of how to do this. This, however, can be time-consuming when you have a classroom full of kids. Another option is to "hide" the iTunes store app. After researching it on Google, I found there is a simple way to hide apps you don't want your student to have access to. For that little gem of information, click here.

Now don't get me wrong and Apple please don't sue me for slander. I've got nothing but love for Apple and I am a total iPad devotee but I don't want my babies getting into stuff they shouldn't so Apple hang up the phone with your lawyers. Ha! As if. Well, I hope this was helpful and I want to shout out to my little Lindey Joy who first discovered the potty words. Thanks, girl. 

Have a great evening everyone and show me some love and post in the comments.