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When choosing the best digital writing pad for online teaching and digital whiteboards the first thing you’ll need to consider is which apps you’re looking to connect to and what type of device you can connect the writing pad to.
if you’re connecting the digital drawing pad to your laptop for online teaching, then you’ll also want to make sure your device will be compatible with your operating system; mac or windows.
Some digital writing pads will be wireless with no screen, others may have a screen. For online tutors looking for a cheap digital way to write on a whiteboard app, most do well with no screen option (also known as a graphics tablet).
Alternatively, you can also choose between the Best Digital Writing Pads (Electronic Notebooks).
- 1. Wacom Intuos – Best Digital Writing & Drawing pad for online teaching (Math)
- 2. Gaomon S620 – Best budget digital writing pad for PC/Laptop (online teaching tablet)
- 3. HUION Kamvas 13 – Best writing pad tablet & with a screen to write on
- 4. XP PEN – best writing tablet for teachers (distance learning, Math)
- 5. HUION Inspiroy – Best interactive teaching pad (digital writing)
- 6. HUION Kamvas Pro 16 – Best tablet for teaching math
- 7. iPad & Apple Pencil – Best alternative for writing on computer with pen
- Best drawing apps for online teaching
- Using an iPad or Android for drawing online teaching
At a glance – Top picks
- Wacom Intuos – Best Digital Writing & Drawing pad for online teaching (Math)
- Gaomon S620 – Best budget digital writing pad for PC/Laptop (online teaching tablet)
- HUION Kamvas 13 – Best writing pad tablet & with a screen to write on
- XP PEN – best writing tablet for teachers (distance learning, Math)
See the 11 Best Digital NotePads (these differ from digital writing pads a bit)
If you’re a teacher or work professional looking for a digital writing pad, then there’s a few features, spec, and compatibility requirements to understand that I’ll cover more on in this post.
What types of Digital Writing Pads are best for remote learning and online tutors?
If you’re teaching online then you’re likely video conferencing, using zoom, a webcam, and even a document camera to record and digitize lessons. You’ll want the type that will work well on zoom and digital whiteboards.
In most cases a built-in screen can be hundreds of extra dollars and is not worth it for the majority of online tutors we’ve polled. whether or not is a preference and having one can benefit your writing pad by providing a second monitor and a more intuitive writing experience.
If you’d like to write directly on the display (instead of a plastic blank slate), then you can choose from one of the Best Budget Drawing Tablets with Screen Built-in.
The pen tablets in this post will allow you to connect to zoom and perform math, algebra, calculus, physics, and even lessons on anatomy and engineering because you’ll be able to draw and write digitally for your students. Some even work well with iPhones.
Best Digital writing pads for online tutoring & digital whiteboards
Let’s take a look at the top graphics tablets for online teaching based on we’ve tested, and compared side-by-side. We looked at price, palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, shortcut buttons, and compatibility with teaching and whiteboard apps as a deciding factor.
1. Wacom Intuos – Best Digital Writing & Drawing pad for online teaching (Math)
The Wacom Intuos is one of the popular writing pads of Wacom, a Japanese brand specializing in digital writing pads. It is available in two sizes (small and medium) and two connectivity options (USB only or USB + Bluetooth).
Both variants are very light at under a pound. This is perfect for teachers who normally have to carry around test sheets, books, school materials, and other stuff.
Get the medium size if your handwriting tends to be large or you do illustrations and artwork. But for Math lessons involving simple equations or minimal annotations, the small version will already be suitable.
You can also choose between the Best Digital Writing Pads (Electronic Notebooks).
Four buttons on ` the top of the writing pad are customizable keys, a great way to convert frequently accessed features into a one-click one. The setup is so easy and can be made for right- or left-handed use. A strong alternative to the Intuos is the wacom one.
See our post: Can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student?
The stylus pen is an amazing, touch-sensitive writing instrument. Writing with it will feel as natural as writing on paper. With the Wacom Intuos you can highlight certain words by underlining them or making them bold. These are the benefits you gain when grabbing the leading brand of digital writing pads for teachers and remote learning.
Plus, the pen uses no battery and never needs to be charged. The Intuos’ drawing pad & writing area is also scratch-resistant, giving you many years of use.
The Wacom Intuos is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It also comes bundled with a 3-month trial of EdTech software for teachers. More software are available upon registering the device.
2. Gaomon S620 – Best budget digital writing pad for PC/Laptop (online teaching tablet)
The Gaomon S620 is a more affordable digital writing pad that has many of the features of well-known brands like Wacom.
This is an affordable option for teachers with a limited budget as it costs about half the price of more premium digital writing pads
The Gaomon allows you to have a writing pad for your laptop when you are teaching. A premium alternative is the Wacom One.
Most teachers I know screen cast or mirro their screen to a projector or a larger display via an HDMI and this allows them to annotate in real time.
The Gaomon S620 is compact and lightweight at a little over half a pound and will easily fit in most backpacks. Its active writing area spans 6.5 x 4 inches.
That is large enough for most activities teachers engage in, including artwork and sketches, math formulas, annotations, graphics design, 3D art work, and animation. It is great for e-learning and video conferencing as well. It works with most online meeting platforms like Zoom.
Four express keys on top of the writing pad let you customize shortcuts for frequently used functions in different apps. The only possible issue with these buttons being left-justified though is that it can be a bit awkward for left-handed users.
The writing pad itself, while sturdy, has a plastic texture and does not feel as premium as more expensive ones. Some users also noted that the nib of the stylus pen tends to wear out fast. It has no effect though on the writing pad itself which is scratch-resistant. You may need to get yourself some extra nibs with your purchase though.
The Gaomon S620 is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android OS.
3. HUION Kamvas 13 – Best writing pad tablet & with a screen to write on
If writing on a pen tablet while looking at your computer screen is difficult, go with one that has its own screen. The Huion Kamvas 13, a premium digital writing pad at 13 inches with full laminated screen, is your best bet.
The large writing area of the Huion Kamvas will appeal to teachers of art, graphic design, animation, architecture, interior design although most other teachers will also appreciate the benefit of having a screen right where your pen writes.
It comes with an anti-glare screen film which gives another layer of screen protection while making sure the display is clear and without glare even in bright light. An adjustable stand, bundled with the device, makes it easy for teachers to position the device to get the most comfortable position and the best viewing angle.
While cheaper writing pads usually have four customizable buttons, the Huion Kamvas has eight. These can be customized for one-click access to your more frequently used functions in apps like keyboard shortcuts, mouse actions, toggling between two functions, or to run a specific program.
The pen is also much better than those of cheaper writing pads. It has double the pressure-sensitivity points of cheaper models and can easily recognize varying tilt positions as you write. This means your natural writing style can easily be recognized by the writing pad.
Apps like Photoshop, Gimp, SAI, Illustrator, Lightroom, Premiere, Clip Studio, Manga Studio, Blender, Zbrush and many more work well with the Huion Kamvas. The Huion Kamvas is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android OS.
4. XP PEN – best writing tablet for teachers (distance learning, Math)
A solid choice for teachers as well as students and tutors, the XP Pen Deco 01 V2 is it if you are looking for something slim with a large writing area.
Sporting a 10 x 6.25 inch writing area, the XP Pen Deco allows a lot of space for writing notes, annotating, drawing, and writing out complex math formulas.
It is only 8mm thick, making it light enough to carry around, but it is also loaded with the features of some premium models.
One thing we love about XP Pen Deco 01 V2 is its compatibility with Microsoft Office apps that enables simultaneous digital inking. You could open a Word document like a contract and affix your digital signature to the document by signing with the pen on the writing pad.
It also works well for note taking, annotating on pages flashed online on the screen, drawing graphs, or simply writing down the steps to solving a Math problem. Four lighted corners, with adjustable brightness levels, mark the boundaries of the writing area so you can calculate exactly how much space you have for writing.
Eight customizable express keys are found on the left side. You can define each key to represent a frequently used function for faster workflow. The battery-free pen has thousands of points of pressure sensitivity so you can write naturally, knowing that it will all be readily recognized by the writing pad.
The XP Pen Deco 01 V2 is a close rival to the Wacom Intuos above in terms of features while still coming in at a lower price point. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android OS.
5. HUION Inspiroy – Best interactive teaching pad (digital writing)
The Huion Inspiroy Q11K is a midrange digital writing pad that is a serious alternative to other brands in its category. The brand has long been a popular choice for digital writing pads.
It’s got one of the largest writing surfaces at 11 x 7 inches so for those who prefer a large writing area, the Huion Inspiroy Q11K is for you.
This writing pad is also wireless, which means freedom from cable connection to a computer. Of course, if you wish, there is still the USB wired connection.
If you’re looking to draw and also write (and require wireless), then visit the Best Wireless Drawing Tablets.
Eight customizable express keys allow you to select frequently used functions and assign them to these keys for one-click convenience. The 2500mAh lithium-ion battery gives around 40 hours of continuous use on a single charge, ensuring distraction-less classes..
Whether you write lightly or with more pressure, the pen’s numerous pressure-sensitive points will easily recognize and register your strokes accurately.
The Huion Inspiroy works very well with most popular paint software like PhotoShop, PaintTool SAI, CorelPainter, Illustrator, SketchBook Pro, Manga Studio, and Krita. Teachers of the arts will find this a great choice especially with its fairly large writing area.
The Huion Inspiroy Q11K works with Windows and macOS.
6. HUION Kamvas Pro 16 – Best tablet for teaching math
A top-of-the-line digital writing pad is Huion Kamvas Pro 16 with probably one of the largest screens in the market and a larger version of the Kamvas 13 we tackled earlier.
If you are a Math teacher thinking of making Math videos for your online classes, look no further than the Huion Kamvas Pro 16. Charts, graphs and formulas will easily fit in this pad’s writing area (15.6 inches diagonally, to be exact).
Showing how to solve an equation is so much easier on the Huion Kamvas Pro 16. Try doing this on Microsoft Word or Excel and you will find yourself clicking so many buttons.
With the Kamvas Pro 16, just write out the solution like you would with pen and paper and what you write shows up on the screen. Teaching (or tutoring) becomes so much more convenient.
The Kamvas Pro 16 has six customizable buttons for functions you frequently use. For Math classes, some buttons can be defined to zoom in and zoom out on certain parts of a formula computation when you want to emphasize a particular process. You can also define the keys to move back or forward when illustrating Math calculations.
The Huion Kamvas Pro 16 is compatible with Windows or macOS.
7. iPad & Apple Pencil – Best alternative for writing on computer with pen
If you already own an iPad, check out the Apple Pencil 2 because this pair is all you need to convert your iPad into a digital writing pad!
The Apple Pencil 2 is flat, much like the flat sides of a Mongol pencil. Touch the flat side of the pencil to the top of your iPad and it will magnetically stick and start charging inductively. Talk about Apple cool-ness!
Related: Ways to Write & Draw on a Non Touch Screen Laptop
Working with the Apple Pencil 2 and an iPad makes for great productivity. You can transform the iPad into a whiteboard with an Apple Pencil-compatible app such as Microsoft OneNote or Notability and project it on TV via AirPlay or to a monitor hooked up via an HDMI dongle.
Draw graphs, write notes, make rough diagrams, or jot down ideas. Discussions become more interesting and interactive.
For those debating between the Apple Pencil 2 vs 1, you can determine which works best and what the differences are based on the model of iPad.
Since the iPad has a camera, it also becomes a document camera when in conference platforms such as Zoom. By using the Share Screen function, you can broadcast to all participants whatever is on the iPad, including all the notes and marks you made with the Apple Pencil 2.
Those using as document camera may want to combine the iPad with a stand and use it on zoom. For this, learning How to Use a Document Camera with Zoom will be useful.
Lastly, what you have done on the iPad is easily transferrable to a MacBook using AirDrop. You can do work on the road using just your iPad and the Apple Pencil and AirDrop them to your Mac when you get home. So convenient!
The downside to the Apple Pencil is that, like all Apple products, it works only with iOS. As of this writing, it works with all iPad Pro models from 2018 up as well as with the 2020 iPad Air (4th gen) although it is expected to eventually roll out to the rest of the iPad line.
How to use a Digital writing pad for online teaching and digital whiteboards
Connecting a digital drawing pad for online teaching will allow you to draw math, calculus, algebra, shapes, geometry, and anything you need for your lesson plan.
For work or business, this tool can let you outline mind maps, team strategy, flowcharts, and other strategy.
- First, ensure the digital writing pad is compatible with your teaching or whiteboard app
- Next, connect it to your Mac or Windows laptop/PC through wireless connection or USB-C.
- After, install the software drivers from your devices website as prompted.
- Finally, adjust pressure sensitivity and settings within your drawing pad’s settings software.
- Open the digital writing or drawing app, video conference tool, or teaching/tutoring app; make sure your writing pad is connected.
- You can now use a digital writing pad for online teaching, zoom, or digital whiteboard.
Best drawing apps for online teaching
Some digital writing pad apps for teaching and work meetings are collaborative and allow your students or co-workers to also write on the same board.
Here are the best drawing apps for online teaching:
- Explain everything
- Google Drawings
- Google slides
These apps allow a shared whiteboard, collaborative learning and drawing, writing, and more. Some also allow you draw and record lessons for your students in the classroom.
Alternatives to a digital writing pad for remote learning
Some alternatives to digital drawing pad & digital writing pads include a drawing tablet with a screen for online learning. You can also just use a tablet to draw on.
The best tablets to draw on for online learning are the iPad & Apple Pencil, Surface Pro 7 & surface pen, Lenovo Yoga & Lenovo Active Pen 2. These will all minimize delay, stuttering, lag and are standalone drawing devices that don’t require a laptop or computer.
You can use the Best Stylus Pens for Lenovo Yoga, ThinkPad, and IdeaPad by utilizing the Lenovo Active Pen 2 or an alternative stylus instead of a digital writing pad.
See our post on the best standalone drawing pads that don’t need a computer for more on this.
Using an iPad or Android for drawing online teaching
Alternatively, you can also use an iPad & Apple Pencil with an iOS app to teach online (source). Some tutors do this on a Samsung Galaxy or android tablet, but I’ve found the app options are not as widely available.
If you do choose android, the Samsung Galaxy has been tested and works on many teaching apps & collaborative whiteboard apps for business.
However, if you’re using a lesser known name brand tablet, then you’ll want to use the right stylus for your android. This is because the more well known tablets have a dedicated stylus that the manufacturer either provides or recommends as an optional purchase.
Is Wacom Good for Online teaching?
Using a Wacom tablet for online teaching works well and is the most compatible out of all the tablets we’ve tested. In fact, Wacom had the most support for drawing, teaching, writing, and note-taking apps available.
We found the pen pressure levels and tilt recognition features were on par with the Apple Pencil 2 and surface pen, providing a smooth and intuitive experience for users.
While, Wacom tablets may be more expensive, you can tutor your students online by connecting to the right applications or softwares. The Wacom tablets have palm rejection, pressure sensitivity over 2,096 and have a strong name-brand and reputation in the electronics community.
Overall, we highly recommend Wacom drawing tablets for anyone looking to use a tablet for online teaching or similar purposes.
When choosing the best writing pad, drawing pad or graphics tablet for online teaching, good latency, drawing lag and no delay when you draw or write on the digital writing pad.
Any lagging or stuttering is distracting and makes it hard to see what you are writing. This is important for activities like teaching a class, where people will be paying close attention to every word you write.
Preferably a stylus pen that is pressure sensitive, so your handwriting looks better. This isn’t essential but it’s one thing that separates a professional whiteboard app from something basic & cheap.
Features like palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, and whether your digital writing pad is compatible with a digital whiteboard, zoom, and other apps like ‘educreations’ is important and should be considered.