Switch Control

What is it and how can it be used within the classroom?

Switch control is a new option that can be found under the accessibility portion under General Settings on an iPad or iPhone. This setting allows for individuals who cannot physically manipulate the screen to still interact with the technology through shortcuts or even head movement tracking.
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What are some of the things that these "switches" allow for students to do?

"Basic techniques


These techniques work whether you're scanning by item or by point.

Select an item: While the item is highlighted, trigger the switch you've set up as your Select Item switch. If you are using a single switch, it is your Select Item switch by default.

Display available actions: Select an item using the Select Item switch. Available actions appear in the control menu that appears.

Tap an item: Use your selection method to choose Tap from the control menu that appears when you select the item. Or turn on Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control > Auto Tap, then just select an item and do nothing for the Auto Tap interval (which is 0.75 seconds if you haven't adjusted it). Or set up a switch specifically to perform the tap gesture at Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control > Switches.

Perform other gestures or actions: Select the gesture or action from the control menu that appears when you select the item. If you have Auto Tap turned on, trigger your switch within the Auto Tap interval, then select the gesture. If more than one page of actions is available, tap the dots at the bottom of the menu to go to another page.

Dismiss the control menu. Tap while all the icons in the menu are dimmed.

Scroll the screen to see more items: Select any item on the screen, then choose Scroll from the control menu.

Perform a hardware action: Select any item, then select Device from the menu that appears. You can use the menu to mimic these actions:

  • Click the Home button
  • Double-click the Home button for multitasking
  • Open Notification Center or Control Center
  • Press the Sleep/Wake button to lock the device
  • Rotate the device
  • Flip the Mute switch
  • Press the volume buttons
  • Hold down the Home button to open Siri
  • Triple-click the Home button
  • Shake the device
  • Press Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously to take a screenshot"


IOS: Switch Control helps you navigate your iOS device. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2014, from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5886

How can I set up switch control? Watch this video for a basic introduction!

iOS 7 Hidden Feature: Head-Gesture Controls! (Hands-On)

How could this be useful within a classroom?

This tool is extremely important within classrooms that are either providing technology for their students or allowing BYOD. This tools allows for all students to have equal access to the technology. Using these "switches", students who struggle with navigating through an iPad or iPhone will be able to move quickly and efficiently through the various applications with great success. This tool could also be used for students who do not have complete control over their hand movements and would allow for the device to track their head movements to allow them to begin to use technology independently!