Online Learning  /  Tech & Tools  /  iPad

iPad Loaner Program

Caltech Library, through the Caltech Equipment Loan Program, offers iPads and Apple Pencil check-out services to students to meet their educational and research needs. All Library iPad users must agree to abide by the Library's Lending Code and the Institute's Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources policy.

iPad and Apple Pencil Checkout Policy:

  • Priority will be given to new incoming students. Otherwise, iPads will be lent on a first-come first-served basis from the TechHub on the first floor of the Millikan Building. No prior authorization or permission is necessary.
  • Users may only borrow one iPad and one Apple Pencil at a time.
  • Inactive students (graduates/on term leave) are not eligible to borrow.
  • iPads and Apple Pencils are due at the end of each term.
  • Users assume full responsibility for the equipment while the equipment is checked out to them.
  • Equipment must not be left unattended in a public area.
  • Users are not allowed to alter existing hardware or software or download software on the equipment that interferes with its normal operation.
  • Users who return equipment past the due date may be subject to fines.
  • Users must log off of their AppleID account and reset the iPad before returning.
  • Users are liable for any damage any loaned equipment due to misuse or lack of responsible care.
  • Charges for Lost and Damaged equipment are as follows:
    • iPad: $300
    • Apple Pencil: $130
    • iPad charger: $20
    • Apple Pencil charger & tip: $15

Your respect for the equipment and the rights of all Caltech Library users is appreciated.

Getting started

  • 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. We recommend that you do not use your Caltech Access credentials when creating your AppleID account.
    **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).

Returning the iPad

Important: Remember you must reset your iPad before returning.
Click HERE for instructions on how to reset your iPad.

The iPad and/or Apple Pencil are due back to Caltech Library at the end of the term. You are welcome to return them earlier if you no longer need them for your Caltech classes or research. You may return them either by taking them to the information desk in Sherman Fairchild Library or by shipping them to Caltech Library. To arrange for a prepaid shipping label and instructions to be emailed to you, send your request to circ@library.caltech.edu.

Failure to return your iPad on time or log off may result in fines and/or registration/graduation holds.

Note: Sometimes demands are higher than supply. During this time users can add themselves to the waitlist by filling out this form.


If you have any questions about the iPad/Apple Pencil loan, please contact circ@library.caltech.edu.

If you need to troubleshoot the loaner iPad/Apple Pencil for online collaboration, please contact amt@caltech.edu.

Online digital whiteboard applications

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

  • 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.
  • Jamboard is a tool offered in Caltech's G Suite for collaborative digital white boarding. Only those with access.caltech credentials can collaborate with you on your Caltech Jamboard. This tool is licensed by Caltech.
  • OneNote is Microsoft's digital note taking solution organized in notebooks. You and collaborators logged into Caltech's Office Online can type notes and add drawings, screen grabs, and audio commentaries. Professor Nick Hutzler has kindly shared a tutorial for organizing notes on OneNote. Caltech's ARC recommends this application for instruction, noting that they really appreciate the opportunity to see previous whiteboards and to organize their whiteboard notes.

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.