On-Screen Annotation using iPad and Apple Pencil

Using an iPad to draw or annotate.

Zoom includes a built-in collaborative digital whiteboard that an instructor and students can draw on together in real-time. It works with a mouse, touchpad, or touch screen on most devices (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPad, but NOT iPhone). This is sufficient for simple drawing or writing.

However, instructors who desire a more high-fidelity solution, for more intricate drawing and handwriting, may benefit from using an iPad and Apple Pencil with Zoom or other presentation software such as PowerPoint. This solution can replicate drawing complex figures on a classroom whiteboard or annotating over a slide presentation.

How does it work?

Join a Zoom meeting from an iPad and screen share the iPad to the Zoom meeting. Zoom for iPad has a built-in whiteboarding feature that works seamlessly with the Apple Pencil. You can start drawing on the shared whiteboard and everyone in the Zoom meeting can see it.

Alternatively, you can open your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation on the iPad, then screen-share that to Zoom. Both PowerPoint and Keynote on the iPad have drawing and annotation tools built-in so you can draw over your slides and save those annotations if desired. Google Slides does not support drawing or annotation on the iPad.

QUICK TIP – You’ll want to make sure your Apple Pencil is fully charged and also correctly paired via Bluetooth to the iPad you will use to annotate ahead of time. Older 1st Generation iPads will require manual pairing. Newer models will automatically pair the Apple pencil to the iPad.

QUICK TIP – These On-Screen Annotation instructions apply to both live meetings AND pre-recording video content. The drawing and annotation can increase student engagement when viewing videos.

How to use Zoom Whiteboard with iPad while hosting a meeting

Many instructors want to share the iPad as a whiteboard while also being able to simultaneously speak and see the students in a Zoom session.  This requires the iPad PLUS another computer

Using iPad and an additional computer:

  • Join the Zoom session using your host login/ Onyen credentials from a laptop or computer
  • Use that computer for audio and video
  • Then join the Zoom session from the iPad as a separate device and select “SCREEN SHARE”
  • Then you will be prompted for the “MEETING ID” – enter correct Meeting ID
  • Then screen share the iPad with Zoom’s whiteboard as needed
  • Use your computer and laptop for Audio and Video and iPad as a separate white board
  • Use the Apple Pencil to annotate and draw on iPad whiteboard


Using Zoom directly from iPad

  • Log into the Zoom App with your Onyen Credentials and start your desired meeting

Whiteboard sharing

  • While in a meeting, touch “Share Content”
  • Select “Whiteboard”
  • Draw with Apple Pencil

The annotation tools should appear automatically, but you can tap the pen tool to show and hide them.

Enable Multiple Participants to share Whiteboard:

  • Start your Zoom meeting as the host.
  • Click the upward arrow to the right of Share Screen , then select Multiple participants can share simultaneously.

If you have simultaneous screen sharing on, multiple participants will be able to share a whiteboard at once.

How to use PowerPoint and Zoom with iPad

Open Your PowerPoint Presentation

  • In PowerPoint, touch “Open” on the left-hand menu
  • Select your desired PPT
  • “Save a copy” locally to the iPad if loading from an online source

Log in to Zoom

  • Open the Zoom app on the iPad with your Onyen credentials

Start your pre-scheduled Zoom meeting

  • In Zoom, touch “Meetings” on the left
  • Meetings that you have created will appear here.
  • Touch “Start” on the right of your desired meeting

Share the PowerPoint to Zoom

  • While in a Zoom meeting, touch “Share Content”
  • Select “Screen”
  • Switch to PowerPoint on the iPad to present and draw from within PowerPoint

Additional Tips

Pairing Apple Pencil manually for 1st Generation iPads

  • Remove the small white cap on the Pencil.
  • Plug in the Pencil to the charging port on the bottom of the iPad.
  • Follow the prompt to pair the Pencil to the iPad.
  • Charge the Pencil by plugging it in the iPad’s charging port

Stop Sharing and End Meeting

  • In Zoom, touch the arrow at the top to reveal the menu
  • Touch “Stop Share” on the menu
  • Touch “End meeting” in the bottom right

(Some content adapted from Standford Center for Teaching and Learning)