Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, you have probably had to use iTunes at some point. Whether it’s for your personal iPhone or iPad or perhaps your student or child’s device … you have had to muddle through the iTunes maze more than a few times. In an effort to make things a bit easier for you, we’ve pulled together a slew of resources and iTunes tips in an effort to make your iTunes experience a bit less awful.
First, let’s walk through WHY you would use iTunes. Basically, iTunes is the all-encompassing word for the Apple App Store, the movies and tv shows sold by Apple, and the music also available right from your iTunes program.
You need to use iTunes to put just about all of the content you’d ever want onto your Apple device. From installing apps to downloading a movie to watch during a flight, you have to go through iTunes. So it’s time to get a little more familiar with some of the key options and features that you should know about.
The most important thing you do with iTunes is create an account. It’s free and you’ll need a credit card. Apple does it this way to allow for frictionless purchasing in the future. In other words, it’s easier to just punch in your password for a purchase rather than typing in your entire credit card information. You’re more likely to make a purchase and Apple is therefore more likely to make some money. I hear they’ve been running short lately so any spare change is, I’m sure, quite welcome.
When you set up your Apple ID and password, make sure you do not share it. Seriously. Do not share it. If someone wants to have their own account, they can set up their own. They don’t have a credit card? That means they are probably not the person in their household who should be buying things on iTunes anyway. While there is, of course, some grey area here … it’s a good rule to just simply never share your password.
If your child or student wants an Apple ID of their own but doesn’t have a credit card, you can set up their account using an Apple Gift Card or Gift Certificate. This allows them to have their own account but incorporates a declining balance where they only get a certain amount of money in their account to use. Spend wisely. This could be a great way to pay an allowance or get children to do things they would otherwise not want. *cough* take out the trash and I’ll add a dollar to your iTunes *cough*
When your friend or family member signs in to the iTunes Store with his or her Apple ID, the iTunes Store will show the allowance balance. If you want to control spending on this account, you’ll want to remove any credit card information from this account so that anything they buy is limited to the allowance balance.
Want to choose which apps your children can use? What about when they use them or for how long? Want to limit the number of times your child can do just about anything on the iPad? Parental Controls are for you. They are available on the iPad and iPhone as well as on the iTunes Store. They’re time-saving tools that will likely save you quite a lot of headaches and time.
To set parental controls on your computer, follow these steps:
If you want to make changes to your restrictions, open iTunes preferences, click the Parental tab, click the lock icon, and enter your administrator password in the resulting dialog to unlock the parental controls. You can then make any desired changes.
iTunes 11 Parental Controls
iTunes 10 Parental Controls
These tips are useful for both teachers and parents alike. There is, of course, quite a bit of overlap there considering many teachers have children of their own. So don’t be shy in exploring all the useful parental controls and other features of iTunes that may save you a few arguments and headaches down the road. You’ll be glad you did!