Online Learning  /  Tech & Tools  /  iPad

iPad Loaner Program

Caltech's iPad Loaner Program will provide iPads and Apple Pencils to students for online collaboration and course work during the 2020-2021 academic year. The announcement of this program could be found here. Additional information about the program was communicated to students via the following (available with Caltech login): solicitation letter and order notification.

Contact library@caltech.edu with any questions about the program.

Contact amt@caltech.edu to troubleshoot using a loaner iPad for online collaboration.


Getting started

  • The iPad Loaner Program includes iPads (7th generation, 10.2 inch screen, purchased with AppleCare+) and Apple Pencils (1st generation). It does not include cases for the equipment.
  • Please save all packaging! It will be needed if the equipment is sent to AppleCare for repair, or for mailing back to campus. Please follow these instructions from the Caltech Library on how to return the equipment. The deadline is June 11, 2021.
  • You will need an Apple ID to use the iPad (credit card information is not required). You can create one during the set up, or from your computer.
    **Make sure to check the email used in a new Apple ID account to verify and enter the activation code. This must be done to install Apps.
  • Explore with Apple's iPad User Guide and learn how to pair the Apple Pencil.
  • Configure the mail client.
  • Consider the following to assist in finding a misplaced iPad:
    • Test using your Apple ID and Find My as a way to find your iPad.
    • Create a lock screen image, or home screen image if not using a passcode, with the phone number and email of who to contact if the iPad is found and set in Settings > Wallpaper. If you do not want to share your information, consider the Caltech Library: (626) 395-3404, library@caltech.edu. Download a Caltech image with return contact information (available with Caltech login).

Online digital whiteboard applications

The following online applications have been recommended by Caltech instructors, TAs, and students for real-time whiteboard collaboration. Please note that they are not licensed by Caltech. If creating an account, please do not use your access.caltech credentials.

  • AWW, or "A Web Whiteboard"
    AWW gives you a large space that you can zoom in/out of, which you could break into "boards" for working on sections of problems or concepts. The free version allows downloading of pdf versions of your work with a branded watermark. AWW allows for instructor use, or to share a whiteboard with a group for real-time collaboration.
  • Ziteboard, a contraction of "zoomable" and "whiteboard"
    Ziteboard has similar features to AWW and you may want to try both to find out what you prefer. Ziteboard also allows for instructor use, or to share a whiteboard with a group for real-time collaboration.
  • Miro allows various levels of sharing and collaboration. Some Caltech faculty are successfully using Miro as their whiteboard application with Zoom, as well as sharing the full whiteboard with students in real time (view only) so that they can zoom in or scroll back as needed, independent of what is being shown in Zoom. Watch Getting Started with Miro tutorials.

Using an iPad with Zoom for digital whiteboard collaboration

There are two ways to connect an iPad with Zoom: by using the free Zoom app, or by screen sharing using Zoom on a computer. During a Zoom meeting, there are tools to use for digital whiteboard collaboration. Below are ways to connect an iPad with Zoom and suggestions for whiteboard tools.

  • iPads can be used to connect audio, video, and screen directly to Zoom via WiFi with the free Zoom Cloud Meetings App. To share your screen, choose "Share Content" and choose an item to share.
Share content menu Zoom iPad

After choosing, Zoom will ask to "Start Broadcast." Choose "Zoom" and to commence a countdown to start sharing:

Start Broadcast Zoom iPad

A red icon appears in the upper right to indicate your screen is being shared.

Screen Share Zoom iPad

To end screen sharing, click on "Stop Share" in the upper right corner, then click OK.

  • iPads can be used with Zoom meetings without installing the App. While in a meeting on a computer, share your iPad screen via WiFi (tested with Mac and PC) or hardwired with an adapter (only available on a Mac, troubleshoot if the iPad does not mount after connecting).

    While in the Zoom meeting, share your screen, then choose one of the below options.:
connect ipad choice wifi or cable

While in a Zoom session, there are several ways to share digital whiteboard work:

  • Zoom has a built-in whiteboard with basic functionality; possibly best for small amounts of whiteboard work, as the ability to save/share images is limited. A board can be saved to Photos and then shared. Watch a tutorial of the built-in whiteboard and annotation features.
  • There are many Apps for digital whiteboard collaboration that you can use and screen share while in a Zoom session including: Notes (already available on the iPad) and Evernote (free).
  • The online digital whiteboard applications listed above (AWW, Ziteboard, and Miro) can run in Safari while in the Zoom session. You can share the Safari window during the session for those not using the online tool.
  • Consider using the iPad as another Zoom participant in a meeting (highly recommended by instructors):
    • Connect to the Zoom meeting on your computer with audio and video, then connect with the Zoom App on the iPad for digital whiteboard collaboration using the applications above.
    • Make sure to mute the mic (to reduce audio feedback) and turn off the camera on the iPad while in the Zoom session before sharing your screen.
    • This set up allows you to look at your computer camera and Zoom session attendees while writing on your iPad for screen sharing.

Returning the iPad to campus

iPad and Apple Pencils need to be returned to Caltech by June 11, 2021. Here are shipping and in-person instructions from the Caltech Library to follow.