Using a Touchscreen with Teams

While managing a class meeting in Teams is best done in the desktop application; the addition of a touchscreen device can also enhance the learning experience. Using a touchscreen and the right apps can aid you in writing notes, document annotation, or white-boarding. Here are some options and tips for integrating a touchscreen device into your Teams meetings.

Please note that some of these examples may seem a little complex. Work with technology you are comfortable with. Most of these examples don’t need a touchscreen and could be done on the computer using a mouse and keyboard. If you need additional help, contact an instructional designer.

Option 1: Use the Teams mobile app

This is the simplest of the three options in this post. All you need is an iOS/iPadOS or Android touchscreen device with the Teams app installed. A phone or tablet will work. Having a larger screen or stylus will make it easier to draw on the screen but are not necessary.

You will join the meeting from your computer. You will also join the meeting from your mobile device using the Teams app. Make sure you mute your mic in the mobile app or else everyone will hear feedback/an echo.

From the mobile app you can share the mobile screen and open any app and it will be shared to the meeting attendees. Some examples of apps you could share are note-taking, drawing apps, or annotating apps. Microsoft OneNote is an app that can used for note-taking, drawing and document annotation. Another advantage is you can share mobile exclusive apps that are not available on desktop computers

If you would like to use the Microsoft Whiteboard you first need to start the whiteboard form the share menu on the computer. (It is not available in the mobile app’s share menu.) Once the whiteboard is shared you can draw on it from your mobile device.

More information about Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams

Option 2: Use touch-screen input on your computer

If your PC has a touchscreen you can use that instead of your mouse. Some devices even support styluses. For example, the Microsoft Surface is a touch screen laptop that has a compatible stylus pen.

If you have Mac computer and an iPad you can connect the iPad to your Mac as a touchscreen desktop display using the Sidecar feature. The iPad can be an extension of your desktop or mirror your current desktop. Here is more information on how to use the Sidecar feature.

OneNote is good for note-taking or document annotation. On Mac the Preview app can be used for document annotation. The Microsoft Whiteboard app is good for white-boarding.

Option 3: Use Reflector 3 program to project/cast mobile device screen to Mac/PC window

This option is the most complicated and you need to purchase a third-party app for your computer. With the Reflector 3 program you can mirror your mobile device screen to a window on your desktop computer. The advantage is you can manage the Teams meeting and screen sharing from the desktop computer and do not need to have the Teams app on your mobile device.

From the Teams meeting you will share the Reflector 3 window and anything you do on your mobile device will appear in that window on the computer. Reflector 3 works best when connecting your mobile device via USB cable, instead of wireless connection.

More information on Reflector 3

From your mobile device you can use any app for white-boarding, annotation, or note-taking.

Tips for using a touchscreen device

  • Using a compatible stylus or Apple pencil will make your inputs more accurate on a touchscreen and makes drawing and handwriting easier. Make sure the stylus you choose is compatible with your device.
  • Be mindful of your webcam position when writing on a touchscreen laptop. It may be preferable to have an external USB webcam so you can comfortably write on the touchscreen and be able to switch back to speaking into the webcam.
  • Here are some recommended touchscreen compatible apps:

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