iPad whiteboarding

Neil Keddie
Tuesday 25 August 2020

An alternative to using the HueHD Pro cameras (or your smartphone as a webcam) is to use your iPad or iPad Pro as a continuous whiteboard for live-sharing content with your students, or for recording screencasts to broadcast later. Various apps are available for this, with Notes and PDF Expert (installed on the department iPads) being two of the easiest to use for whiteboarding.


Notes is included as part of iPadOS and can be used to capture pen input (from Apple pencil) or typed material from the onscreen keyboard. You can set up two different backgrounds (light or dark), to give the appearance of a whiteboard or a blackboard. The latter can be used to great effect to provide a better contrast, which some people may find easier to view.

The light background is set by default. If you want to change to the dark background, you need to set your iPad to run in ‘dark-mode’ – accessed through Settings > Display & Brightness > Appearance and choosing the Dark option. Back in Notes, you may need to tap the action icon and select Use Dark Background option.

Sharing your screen

You can have more than one instance of Teams running at a time, which enables you to join a meeting with both your desktop/laptop version of Teams, as well as your iPad [to use as your whiteboard]. This only works for meetings, and not chats.

Start your meeting in Teams as normal, then open Teams on the iPad, where you should see a purple bar across the top of the screen inviting you to join a meeting already in progress. Tap join, and select the options to have both your camera and your microphone switched off on your iPad – this is to prevent feedback. You can now share your iPad screen using the Share button (box with upward arrow) and selecting Share Screen. Once you have tapped Start Broadcast, the whole meeting can see your iPad screen (you will know you are broadcasting, as there will be a small red oval in the op right hand corner of your screen). Return to the home screen and then open Notes to start using your whiteboard, which you are sharing with the meeting.

Please remember that the meeting can see everything on your iPad screen that you can see, so consider closing unwanted apps and sorting folders in Notes prior to starting a meeting.

If you need any assistance in getting this working, please contact Dr Neil Keddie (nsk).

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