The Basics Overview

Click on the image to learn about the iPad Getting Started Guide.

Click on the image to learn about the iPad Getting Started Guide.

The Basic lessons introduce concepts and skills that are essential to using the iPad. Whether you are using the iPad for research or to communicate with family, it's helpful to know the answers to the following questions:

  • How do you turn the iPad off and on?
  • What is the purpose of the buttons, openings and cameras on the exterior of the iPad?
  • How do you open and close the various programs (apps) on your iPad?
  • How do you control apps by touching the screen?
  • How do you type using the onscreen iPad keyboard?
  • What is Wi-Fi and why is it important to have a connection to the Internet?

Waking Your iPad & Activating Sleep Mode

To get started started, you need to know how to activate the screen and unlock your iPad. When you are finished using it, you do not need to completely turn it off. Instead, use sleep mode  —  turn off the screen to conserve battery and turn it on when you’re ready to use it.


iPad Anatomy

The iPad is a simple device — there are a few exterior buttons, two cameras, an opening for headphones and another opening for your charger. It is important that you are familiar with iPad components for specific tasks: adjusting volume, taking pictures, using headphones and charging the iPad.


Lock Screen, Home Screen, Apps & the Home Button

Before using your iPad, it's important to become familiar with foundational concepts:

  • The lock screen appears when you first wake the iPad and displays missed notifications
  • The home screen shows all programs (apps) that are available on your iPad
  • Apps are programs that are designed specifically for the iPad
  • The home button is used to exit an app and return to the home screen

Tap, Slide, Spread & Pinch Gestures

There are four primary ways to control the iPad screen by touching it:

  • Tap - touch the screen with your finger pad to open an app or select a button.
  • Slide - place your finger on the screen and slide it to move left, right, up and down.
  • Spread - Place two fingers on the screen at the same time and slide them apart to zoom in within certain apps.
  • Pinch - Place two fingers on the screen at the same time and slide them together to zoom in within certain apps.

Capitalization & Punctuation

The iPad's onscreen keyboard is different than a traditional keyboard in two primary aspects - typing capital letters and inserting punctuation marks.


Typing Extras: Predictive Typing, Voice-to-text & Emojis

There are some additional differences between typing on the iPad vs. a traditional keyboard:

  • Predictive typing - A thin grey bar displays above the keyboard and suggestions display as you type
  • Voice-to-text - Instead of typing, tap a button, speak and the iPad will convert your voice into text
  • Emojis - Insert smiley faces and other fun images

Repositioning the Cursor

There are three primary ways to reposition the cursor - the flashing bar that indicates text input:

  • Tap in the general vicinity of where you want to move the cursor
  • Hold your finger on top of text until a magnify glass displays, then slide to the exact location you want to move the cursor
  • Place two fingers on the keyboard at the same time and slide them to move the cursor

Connecting to Wi-Fi

The Internet is a global network of connected computers, which allows people to access information and communicate with each other. Wi-Fi is a technology that allows you to connect to the Internet without using wires. Learning how to connect your iPad to Wi-Fi is essential for many of the most important features, including searching and communicating.