DiLL: The Digital Language Lab for Macs
Originally developed at Northwestern University and now licensed to Swift Education Systems, DiLL is a software-based, Mac-friendly Digital Language Lab system with 3 core components:
Student Client (installed at all of the Language Lab's Mac workstations) used by students to listen to catalogued or live broadcast audio lessons, make voice recordings, communicate with instructor and classmates during in-lab conversation activities and/or oral exams, complete out-of-class, oral practice assignments;
Lab Controller used by instructors to create and assign listening and recording tasks, distribute task-related online resources (e.g. websites, Google docs, videos) to student workstations, create variously-sized student discussion groups or initiate random pairings, monitor & converse with individuals, groups or entire class;
DiLL Server, a BC-hosted, central server where recordings are securely and automatically saved, organized and accessible to instructors for review and evaluation purposes anytime/anywhere, upon log-in from any Web browser.
The Tandberg Prisma analog audio system consists of a teacher console plus 14 interfaced audiocassette listening/recording workstations. From the Prisma console, the instructor may conduct oral exams, discreetly monitor and converse with students, activate random pairing or group conferencing among students, and simultaneously distribute to student groups 3 different audio sources: 1 in audiocassette format, 1 in CD audio, & the audio track of VHS video projected from a monitor at the front of the lab.
Prisma student position cassette recorders provide the following features and functions:
- visual read-out of real-time counter and volume settings
- electronic bookmarks
- two-speed fast forward and rewind
- adjustable tape-speed control in playback
- recap of previous sentence of the program track
- student track record capability while master program is played back
Faculty may borrow digital voice recorders, portable CD or cassette recorders for use in the classroom. A 24-hour advance reservation is required. Students needing portable audio equipment for use in conjunction with an in-class oral presentation must make their needs well known in advance to the faculty member in charge of the class session. The Language Laboratory staff will distribute equipment only to faculty.
Language learning and cultural material presented in DVD format may be accessed via multi-region DVD players (including one Blu-ray/DVD combo unit) located in the facility’s two viewing rooms and two media carrels. Multi-standard VCR units are located at the front of the audio lab and in one of the lab’s viewing rooms for the playback of VHS videocassettes recorded in the NTSC, PAL and SECAM color systems. Additionally, one media carrel (for individual use) houses an NTSC-only VCR unit as well as a multi-region DVD player.
[NOTE: Seating capacity of viewing rooms limited to 1–4 people.]
The Language Laboratory’s computer workstation area includes 23 Macs and 6 PCs. Internet/printing access is available.
Priority for the use of the workstations is given to students/faculty using world language programming from the Language Lab’s collection and to students/faculty required to complete word processing and/or Internet-related assignments for language/literature courses.
Access to the Boston College Cable Televison Network is provided in Media Carrel 2. BC Cable TV features 67 TV channels (7 reserved for BC programming), some of which regularly provide Spanish-language news and/or entertainment programming:
- Channel 20.1 WUNI - Worcester Univisión
- Channel 22.1 WNEU - New England Telemundo
- Channel 24.1 WUTF - Univisión Telefutura