Before you begin
Important: Before starting, make sure you turn off all pop up blockers on the Spires website. The new classroom will be in-browser and it will open in a new tab.
You should make sure you close any other program which uses your webcam or mic, e.g. Zoom, Skype, Hangouts etc.
We also recommend that you use Chrome/Firefox.
Safari/iOS users will may have to give access to their webcam and microphone at the system level. Instructions on this are given towards the end of this article.
Testing the Lessonspace classroom
You can test out the classroom by clicking on the Classes tab and clicking "Open Classroom" and then "Test Classroom" in the pop up.
There are a number of YouTube tutorials on how to use Lessonspace that are available here.
A detailed guide written by Lessonspace is available here.
We recommend you use both to learn how Lessonspace works and to troubleshoot issues you may have.
Starting a class using Lessonspace
When it is time for a class, the tutor will click start class:
And then you can see this:
Clicking on "Open Classroom" will open a new tab:
This will again have a unique URL for your classroom, and you will have the chance to set up your audio and video. The first time you load this, your browser may ask you for permission to access your audio and video, you would need to allow this access.
If you opt not to, this will need to be changed later on from your browser settings. You would need to look up how to this by searching the internet for instructions specific to your browser.
Once you click the blue "Join" button, you will be taken to the classroom:
Where you can create a whiteboard, document or code tab to work on.
In the bottom right hand corner, the controls can be found:
In the top right the videos and layout can be adjusted:
Important: Keeping the video visible while you change tabs
With Lessonspace, it is possible to use the pop out function to keep a video visible while you move to a different window or browser tab. This works when sharing screens so you will be able to see the student while sharing a document or PowerPoint slides.
Locate the three dots in the bottom right corner of the other persons video:
On clicking this, you will have the option to pop the video out so it stays on top of other windows:
You will be able to drag it around with your mouse. Simply click back to tab to send it back into Lessonspace.
Double clicking any video/screen share will maximise it and allow it occupy most of the Lessonspace screen.
Class recordings with Lessonspace
Classes will still be recorded and stored in your history tab. These recordings will be available for 6 months but are not downloadable, instead they are played back in your browser.
On clicking download class, you will be taken to a new browser tab that looks like this:
Simply click the play button to begin playing back your class. You can skip to a later part by clicking on the grey navigation bar.
Accessing a space between classes
You can find your Lessonspace between classes in the whiteboard section. This is permanent and non removeable. You add and remove content in between classes and use this to prepare your next class.
Q: The classroom does not open
A: Disable your pop up blocker, cancel the existing class and offer a new one. Also restart your computer, and make sure you are using Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
Q: Audio/Video problems
A: See for here for full details, the most common solution is for MacOS users to do the following:
Go to System Preferences
Click Security and Privacy
Scroll to Camera
Make sure the browser you use is ticked on
Follow the exact same steps for Microphone and Screen Recording
If you're not allowed to make changes to these settings you should click the padlock icon on the bottom-left of this window and enter your administrator password.
Q: How do I see the videos while screen sharing/using another tab
Q: How do I annotate the screen?
A: This is not a feature offered on Lessonspace, you will need to find an alternative method of working.
Q: Can I change the background?
A: Lessonspace only offers the ability to blur the background, you cannot upload or have different backgrounds. Click the gear icon followed by the background blur slider to enable this
Q: I am hearing a lot of background noise during the class
A: Both parties can use the background noise cancellation feature (above). This will help cancel out some noise, but classes should always be conducted in an appropriate space conducive to learning. You should also use a headset or headphones where possible.