Information Technology Update – August 25, 2016

August 24, 2016

Backing up the iPad

It is very important that the boy’s iPads are being backed up. From time to time the IT Staff have to reset an iPad to its original factory settings in order to solve a problem or update an operating system. It is important that in order to do this the student has backed up their iPad. This will allow the student to download all of their data once the iPad has been repaired and is ready to be used again.

There are two main ways to back up an iPad:

  1. Backing up using iCloud. During the Boot Camp at the start of the year all students were instructed on how to set their iPads to back up to iCloud automatically. They can use their Apple ID to set up an iCloud account and they can set which apps they want to back up. However, iCloud only provides 5 gigabytes (GB) of data to backup for free so it is recommended that photos and videos are not set to back up to iCloud as they can consume the 5 GB quite quickly. (It is recommended photos and videos on the iPad are backed up to their St Patrick’s College Google Drive account.) Backing up to iCloud is the primary form of back up and the advantage is that it can back up automatically while connected to Wi-Fi. The drawback of backing up to iCloud is that the backup can be time consuming and it if is the only form of backup, restoring an iPad can take many hours. That is why it is also recommended to back the iPad up periodically to iTunes using a computer.

  2. Backing up using iTunes on a computer. While automatically backing up to iCloud can be the primary method of backing up, it is also recommended that the iPad is periodically backed up to a computer at home using iTunes. iTunes can be installed on any computer and it does not matter whether it is running Windows or Mac OSX. The big advantage of backing up the iPad to a computer using iTunes is that the backup is quite quick and restoring an iPad from iTunes on a computer is much quicker than restoring one from iCloud. The downside of backing up the iPad to a computer using iTunes is that it is not automatic and relies on user diligence doing it regularly.

Instructions on backing the iPad can be found on the iPad parent support website at

Age Appropriate Film Content for our Children

I often speak to fellow parents and we share common concerns about some of the films that are released in the cinemas and online and their age appropriateness for our children. This is a difficult area to navigate as the only true test of a movie’s appropriateness for our children is if we as parents preview the movie first. That way we can make an accurate judgement on whether the content of the movie is something we are happy for our children to watch. However, this is not always possible so it is important we can access resources that can help us make a decision on a film’s appropriateness. Some good resources parents can use to help decide this include the Australian Government Film Classification guide, the IMDB online film catalogue and the Common Sense Media family film reviews.

The Australian Government Film Classification guide clearly outlines the different classifications which makes for a good start in deciding a film’s appropriateness. You can see these classifications and their descriptions here:

The IMDB online movie catalogue also reviews films and includes a very useful Parents’ Guide that describes and rates the film’s content in categories that includes sex and nudity, violence, profanity, alcohol and drugs and frightening scenes. These reviews are often very useful in helping to decide a film’s appropriateness. The IMDB site link is

The Common Sense Media Family Film reviews are also extremely useful. Here you can type in a search for a film and view the ratings for that film in terms of its appropriateness for your child. It is more comprehensive than the IMDB site and provides reviews and ratings on the film’s content in categories including positive message, positive role models, violence, sex, language, consumerism and drinking, drugs and smoking. The link to the Common Sense Media Essential Movie Guide is You can also type the name of any film in the search facility to look for the ratings of a particular film.

It is important that we as parents monitor the content of the media our children watch and view online and these resources can help inform us on the what content is age appropriate and ultimately support our children in the safe and appropriate viewing of films.

Mark Holland

Director of ICT