This is a common complaint---your child needs to be using either an educational app, or a communication app---the minute your back is turned, the child has closed the non-preferred app and is playing Angry Birds.
It's now time for all of us to celebrate! If you upgrade your device to iOS 6, it's extremely easy to disable the home key. I learned all about this from Eric Sailers, a renowned techie SLP, at ASHA, and feel the need to pass it forward! This is a major iPad breakthrough for me and my students!
Here's a quick tutorial:
2. Once you have selected Settings, scroll down on the left to 'general', and then select 'Accessibility' on the right.
3. Once you open 'accessibility', then select 'guided access'.
4. Once you select 'guided access', slide this to 'on'.
5. Once you have set Guided Access to 'on', you need to set a passcode. Make sure you remember the passcode. In my case, I set it to my birth year.
(I'm sure that number is lower than your birth year!)
6. Now it's time for you to touch the 'home key' and get out of settings. Then open up the app you would like a child to use for a bit. In this case, I've opened Proloquo2Go. I don't want the child to leave this to play a game, so the next step is to push the 'home button' three times.
7. After you push the home button three times, this popup will come up---touch the top button "Guided Access".
8. After you touch 'guided access', the app screen will contract a bit, and a new button will show up in the top right corner. It says 'start'. Push that!
9. Your ipad will then read 'guided access started' and your app will show up normally. The home button will not work! Yeah!
11. After you have typed in your passcode, your ipad app screen will shrink a bit, and the word 'end' will appear in the upper left corner. Touch that, and your iPad is back to what it was.
I'm so grateful to Eric Sailers for taking the time to teach this at ASHA! This feaure, however, will only work with iOS 6, and will never work with the 1st generation of iPads. You need an iPad 2 or iPad 3--and this should be a motivation for you to upgrade to iOS 6 if you haven't already done so.
Look for more tutorials on iPad accessibility! ASHA was great---it rejuvenates me every time!