We strongly recommend that all users of the lesson space should use a headset with an integrated microphone, this will give you the best lesson experience!
Without a headset the sound that comes through your speakers will feed back into the microphone and the user at the other end will get an echo, which can get really confusing! Not using a headset might also make the quality of your recording of the tutorial worse.
If you are unable to find a headset with a microphone the lesson space will still work just fine, so long as you're wearing headphones to stop any feedback to the other user. Lots of laptops have microphones built in to the top of the screen. However, you'll need a separate microphone if you're using a desktop.
Connection issues are some of the most frequent technical issues that both tutors and parents/students experience on TutorNinjas.
We recommend where possible to use a wired connection using an Ethernet cable plugged directly into your router for the best connection possible.
First, let’s start by checking your internet speed
If your download or upload speeds are less than 2Mbps you may not be able to use the lesson space effectively and may experience lagging or delays. Sometimes the test may show high speed but also high latency, (meaning there's a delay in the connection). This is measured by the so called ping. If ping is higher than 50, you may experience some issues with the online lesson space. A value of 100 and above would certainly cause issues!
Please note that if you are outside the United Kingdom, your connection to our servers may be slower than that listed on the linked speed test.
To reduce any internet issues, here's a list of quick tips:
Please make sure you are as close to your wireless router as possible - ideally in the same room! Big obstructions in the way between your router and computer such as thick concrete walls can seriously weaken the signal. Some large home appliances such as fridges and microwave ovens can also disrupt the WiFi signal as they emit electromagnetic frequencies close to those of the wireless signal from your router. Please make sure that your router is not located near any such appliances.
If possible, please use an Ethernet cable between your computer and router. This will eliminate most connectivity issues and will minimise the risk of disruptions to your online session.
Ensure that other internet users are not streaming or downloading large files, like catching up on their favourite shows on Netflix or YouTube!
Purchase some 'powerline adapters' - these use the electricity cables in your house to move your internet to rooms that have bad WiFi signal. This is a great option if you're in a shared house or are otherwise unable to move closer to your router.
Consider upgrading your wireless router. If it is older than 3-4 years, it may be a good idea to replace it. You can contact your internet service provider to ask them if they can send you a new one. Alternatively, you can buy one yourself.
Consider upgrading your broadband plan with your internet service provider.
As a last resort you can turn off the video stream
The best format for documents is PDF, but office files are also accepted (Word, Powerpoint etc.)
Remember that you can copy and paste images directly onto the lesson space using Ctrl+V.
When uploading multiple page documents, you will need to click on the + sign in the lower left corner to make the other pages appear.
do I add a document?
You can drag and drop a file directly onto the lesson space. Alternatively, click 'Add File' on the top left of the lesson space menu. Select the file you need, and it should appear on the lesson space.
If the file does not load immediately, click on the 'Load' button and select the file you need from the drop down.
do I navigate my document?
Each page of your document will save as a separate page on the lesson space. Use the 'Page' navigation at the bottom of the screen to jump from page to page.
How do I save my work?
You can save your work using the 'Save' button and select either the page you're on or the entire document. We recommend doing this to make sure you don't lose any notes or mark-ups.
you’re a Mac user, Safari is absolutely the best choice! However,
if you’re running a slightly older computer, Google Chrome is a
good option too.
However, things do go wrong sometimes, and it can be worth trying a different browser. If your normal choice of Chrome or Safari aren't working, we suggest using Firefox to access the lesson space, which you can download here.
Ping, also called delay or latency, is the time it takes for a bit of data to be moved from the source to the destination. Therefore, it measures the time it takes for information to travel from our servers to your computer. It indicates the responsiveness of the connection and is independent from the download and upload speeds.
Jitter, on the other hand is the variation in ping and can be visually represented as the distance between the data packets. They are both measured in ms (milliseconds) and the higher the value, the more unstable the network will be!
Why does this matter?
When a static website (like Amazon, for example) is loaded in your web browser, data does not have to arrive in a specific order. Think of it like a puzzle - it doesn't matter which piece you put first and which one goes last. As long as you have all the pieces you get the whole picture. Also, if any pieces are lost one the way, you can always ask for them again to complete your puzzle. In this case ping and jitter are not so relevant. They can slow down the web page loading but you'll eventually have it on your screen. Any data that is missing can be recovered by the server sending it again.
When live video and audio communication happen however, ping and jitter are crucial. Data has to arrive in precise order and if anything arrives late, it is thrown away as it is no longer needed. In practice, this will cause audio and video to stutter and break up.
If your sound cannot be heard by the other side, make sure that:
You are using headphones with an integrated microphone and they are properly plugged in.
You are not using wireless headphones, as unfortunately we do not support these.
You are using Chrome on Windows as it offers the best performance for the lesson space or Safari if you are on a Mac. Check that your computer is up to date.
Restart your computer.
If you are on a Windows computer, make sure to check your microphone levels and that it is not being muted. See how to do this in the video below.
No! Most home firewalls won’t cause any issues at all with TutorNinjas. Chances are, if you're having problems, it will be something else.
However, if you think it might be a cause check whether the port TutorNinjas uses is open. If you're unsure how to do this, your firewall provider will have guides on the process! You'll need to open the TCP/IP connection to port 9175.