Getting started with the iPad

Many WISE members use their iPads to attend classes and join club meetings. The iPad is more portable than your laptop or desktop computer, letting you find a comfortable chair where you can settle in and learn.

New members might wonder how this works. We’ve collected a few suggested starting places.

iPad setup basics

Apple has provided a handy resource for setting up your iPad

In addition, there are some very good You Tube videos. Go to YouTube and search for “How to” Basics for iPad:

This YouTube video, for example, shows you how to download Zoom onto your mobile device.

Your local Apple Store offers limited in-person help and instructor during the pandemic, but they’ll be back. Another resource, Mac at Work in Shrewsbury MA, offers One on One Remote Support. Check them out at


WISE members can also attend the Monday morning Zoom Coffee Break to pick more tips on how to use Zoom, no matter what type of device you have.

Spring 2020 Course Listing Now Available

Even though we’re just heading into winter, it’s time to think about spring, specifically, about the WISE courses for Spring 2021. 

Go to our WISE Courses page and see the outstanding courses in art, history, music, science, literature, drama, and nature. All courses are offered on Zoom, so you can join us wherever you are, wearing whatever you’re wearing. 

You can learn how best to use Zoom in our Zoom Coffee Break every Monday at 9 AM. (You’ll need to log in to see the coffee break page.) If you’ve attended the coffee breaks before, please note that we’ve changed the Zoom link for the months of June and July. Go to the Zoom Coffee Break page to get the new link. 

If you have additional questions, send a note to

Etiquette in these days of modern times

During the summer, I went to dinner with some friends, members of a tech-oriented email group that met in person every year or two. We told stories about tropospheric refraction, Thoreau’s walk to Wachusett Mountain, and Maxwell’s equations and light. Each of us used our cellphones to check facts and show pictures.

After about 15 minutes of this, the organizer of the meal said, “Alright, everyone’s cellphone on the table, face down.” A bit surprised, we cooperated. He stacked the phones in the center of the table. “The first person to reach for his cellphone has to pay for everyone’s dinner.”

This wasn’t a group of distracted teenagers. The youngest was about 50 and several had 70 in their sights.


According to the latest Pew research on mobile etiquette, 92 percent of Americans have a cellphone of some kind. Of that number, 89 percent said that they used their phones during a recent social gathering.

People don’t (intentionally) use their phones to be rude. Typically, they take photos of the gathering and post the photos to a social network such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. (Before the cellphone ban at dinner that night, I took a photo of my dinner companions.)

It’s like driving. Every one of us has driven too fast or too slow and has grumbled about other drivers who are too slow or fast. What we do makes sense for us at the time and can also be quite annoying to others.

So, let us be mindful of when and where we use our smartphones and tablets and be patient with others who do the same.

By the way, none of us reached for our phones during dinner that night and so each paid for his own meal. After coffee was served and the bill paid, we were reunited, phone and owner, like a puppy coming home to his boy.