Information For IT Staff

The following technical information is for IT staff wishing to have more control over Schoolshape products in their schools. It is not necessary for the set up or use of Schoolshape. To learn more about Schoolshape products, please return to the Home Page.

Installation and Set-Up

Schoolshape requires no installation or set-up as long as the following conditions are met:
1. Port 443 is open for outgoing https connections (see Firewalls and Proxies)
2. A modern browser is installed. We recommend Chrome, but we have also tested Schoolshape with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

For use with multimedia:
4. A microphone is correctly plugged in or installed and is selected as the default sound capture device. We recommend using an external microphone for best sound quality.
5. A web-cam is correctly plugged in or installed and is selected as the default video capture device (for video only).

For the best experience using Schoolshape, we recommend using a computer with at least 1GB of RAM, Intel Core 2 or better processor and a screen size of 1024x800 or larger.   A 512kb DSL or better internet connection is also advised.

Troubleshooting

Login page appears correctly, but logging in fails.

If you find that the login page is loading correctly but that logging in fails, it's probably because https connections are being blocked by your firewall.  Please ensure your firewall allows all connections to *.schoolshape.com.

Logging in appears to work, but 'Offline - connection failed' message appears

This is caused by a failed websocket connection to wss://schoolshape.com/ws. Some firewalls and webfilters attempt to buffer https responses into memory before passing to the client, breaking websocket connections. We have had reports that disabling https support for connections to schoolshape.com can solve this issue.

All features work with the exception of video and sound recording

Please see Firewalls and Proxies.

Schoolshape frequently crashes the browser

If you are using Internet Explorer, please upgrade to a newer browser.   We recommend Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome for best security and performance.

My school's internet connection is very slow, and longer recordings sometimes get cut off saying 'Internet connection is too slow to continue recording'

Some Schoolshape users do have limited connection speeds. We are aware of this and are constantly working to improve their experience.
Schoolshape buffers recordings in memory to cope with network quality variance, but this can be overwhelmed on very slow connections. 'Can I use Schoolshape over ADSL?' below.

 

Can I use Schoolshape over ADSL?

This depends on the Schoolshape product you wish to use and the number of simultaneous users. In the Examination System, speaking tests are conducted one at a time. As the audio stream is highly compressed, it poses no problems for ADSL users. In fact, we have a number of schools successfully submitting exams over ADSL. The Online Language Lab is designed to be used simultaneously by many students. Compressed audio streams are now only 5-10KB/s, and the software is capable of buffering several minutes of sound in memory at times of network congestion. In tests, we found that 30 simultaneous users on an 512Kbps upload ADSL connection caused no problems. (Students do not all upload streams simultaneously). You should not be concerned about conflicts with other users in your school unless they are also uploading big files. Schoolshape needs a roughly equal amount of upload and download bandwidth, and so will be limited by the upload speed of ADSL connections.