Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Searching Modernized

In this school library, we have only one computer solely dedicated to searching the catalog.  That is absolutely all you can do with it. It's always on and ready to search.

But one is not enough.  Space limitations prevent us from adding more dedicated computers.

We also have 26 other brand new iMacs.  They are most frequently used by classes doing research, but they are also available for independent use.  Students who want to search a book are required to login to their individual user accounts, access the internet, find Destiny (if they haven't bookmarked it) and then conduct their search for books.  

Too many steps.

A cart of iPads is available for teacher check-out (which includes me).  Students have learned to use the Destiny Quest app, but they cannot checkout iPads individually.

Students won't search if it is too difficult, so we needed to find a simple solution. 

This is what we came up with:

The mount was purchased from Smart Things.  

Locking the iPad to one app is called Guided Access.  To set it up, go to:
  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Guided Access (near the bottom)
  • Turn it on & set 4-digit passcode
    • Go to the app you want to use and triple-click the home button
    • At this point you can circle any areas you want to restrict and there are additional options for disabling the sleep/wake button, volume buttons, touch control, and motion control.  We did not need to change anything here.
  • To change anything or disable restrictions, just triple-click the home button, enter your code, and make your changes.

This has been such a success that we are looking for other locations to mount them... and the funds to do it with.


  1. Fabulous idea! Did you find them somewhere for sale in the US? I noticed you cannot buy them directly from SmartThings...

  2. We bought ours from, but you can also find them at

  3. Crazy question, but did you have the electrical outlet installed on your wall, or do you take the iPad down and charge it as needed? I have a few bookshelves that would be great to install the docking station on, but obviously there would be no power supply.

  4. Great question!

    The mount is made so that a power cord could be plugged in and the iPad could charge right there.

    We have no power outlet near the place we chose to mount it, so every night it comes down and goes into the charging cabinet. In the morning, it is locked back into the mount, which takes just a minute.