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visual of zoom whiteboard

Zoom has built-in features for annotation and whiteboarding. These features can be used within Zoom meetings and also when pre-recording videos or lecture content to share with your students.

The annotation and whiteboarding functionality work with a mouse, touchpad, or touch screen on most devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPad, but NOT iPhone. Many users find these features sufficient for simple drawing or writing. However, some types of illustrations, particularly charts, text, and equations, require more finite control. We recommend three different electronic whiteboarding solutions that offer higher fidelity. The best option for you will depend on your teaching style; the list is not prioritized:

A portable device that connects to a desktop or laptop, and takes images of solid objects. The surface can be a blank paper, a small whiteboard, or any printed material.

image of a desktop document camera


  • Ease of use, short learning curve
  • Works with whiteboard surfaces and printed documents
  • Use standard pens and writing materials


  • Image resolution is not as sharp
  • Takes up desk space
  • Remote viewers can’t participate in the annotation
  • No way to annotate a digital slide deck


Example of usage (Ipevo V4K)

  1. Connect the device to your laptop or desktop computer.
  2. In Zoom, start a meeting. Share a window showing the video from the camera.
  3. Place writing materials beneath the camera, and annotate as usual.

A portable device that connects to a desktop or laptop, which includes a stylus (pen) and flat surface to draw on. It is much more precise than a mouse or trackpad.image of a wacom drawing and graphics tablet


  • It is similar to GSB classroom systems
  • High resolution


  • There is a learning curve; users need  to get comfortable mapping the pen to the screen


Setup (Wacom Intuos Medium)

  1. Connect the tablet to your laptop or desktop computer (USB or wireless).
  2. Download and Install the Wacom Driver; this will require a reboot if you are running a PC.
  3. In the Wacom Desktop Center, open Pen Settings, select Mapping → Mode →  Pen. This will match your screen to the writing area of the tablet.

Sharing Method 1 (Whiteboard)

  1. In Zoom, start a meeting and share the “Whiteboard”
  2. Write on the tablet using the stylus.  Your annotations will show on the Whiteboard.

Sharing Method 2 (Annotation)

  1. Share any document within Zoom as you normally would.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Annotate” to see the pen controls.
  3. Use the stylus to annotate over your document.  Other participants can also contribute to the document simultaneously.

A portable device with a screen, larger than a smartphone with some of the functionality of a laptop. A stylus or pen is highly recommended but usually sold separately.


  • Direct mapping of pen movements to the screen
  • You may own one already
  • PC devices can directly access the M: drive and open files in their native formats


  • It requires a second device to effectively manage your meeting
  • For best results, a stylus is required
  • Most expensive option


Example of Usage (iPad)

Please note: You will want to test these procedures with your own content before running a meeting with live participants. To do this, open a Zoom meeting on your laptop, and have your iPad ready.

  1. Install the Zoom app on your device
  2. Begin a Zoom meeting from your laptop or desktop
  3. Join the same Zoom meeting from your device.
  4. Join the meeting with your iPad. You will need to enter your Zoom Meeting ID. Be sure the “Don’t Connect to Audio” and “Turn Off My Video” options are selected

For using a blank whiteboard:

  1. On your iPad, go to “Share your screen” → “Whiteboard” or select a document to share.
  2. Using your stylus, make your drawing
  3. When finished, click “Stop Share” at the top of your screen
  4. Return to conducting your meeting via your laptop

For annotating over a PowerPoint or Google Slides document:

  1. Before your meeting, upload your PowerPoint to Google Drive
  2. At the start of the meeting, login to Zoom meeting on your iPad. 
  3. When you are ready to annotate, click Share Screen → Google Drive
  4. You may get a message notifying you that “Zoom wants access to your Google Account” Click “Allow.” You will then need to login to Google Drive as usual.
  5. Navigate to the powerpoint or Google Slides doc you want to open. Select it and click “Share”
  6. Navigate to the slide that you want to show.
  7. Click the pen icon at the lower left of the screen. You will see a palette of markup tools at the bottom of the screen. If you want to write on the slide, for example, click the pen tool.
  8. If you want to clear your markup, use the Eraser tool
  9. When finished annotating, click Stop Share at the top of your screen
  10. Return to conducting your meeting via your laptop

Video Examples

Screensharing iPad Applications

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