History of the Language Media Center
The original lab was a classic audio-lingual facility, installed in Humanities 242 shortly after the Humanities Building was completed. It consisted of rows of booths separated by glass panels with reel-to-reel tapes and headphones. A master console at the front of the room allowed the instructor (or student monitor) to listen in and communicate with any or all of the booths. There was also a recording booth, although it saw little use. Prof. Walter Robinson, Chair, oversaw the installation.
The audio facility was replaced with a computer-based lab consisting of IBM and Apple computers interfaced with VCR or laserdisc video, with dual purpose RGB/VGA monitors for either computer or video display, computer-controlled Tandberg tape decks, and an overhead video/computer projector. A growing video collection was stored in cabinets in the lab, which continued to be located in HU 242.
The facility was opened under the leadership of Prof. Rudi Weiss, assisted by Profs. Jesse Hiroaka and Robert Balas. The new lab was partially modeled after the language facility at Brigham Young University. It was considered state of the art at the time, and served as a model for many institutions in the area, with department faculty serving as consultants. Several faculty members developed software for the new equipment, including exercises written in BASIC or PILOT for German phonetics and Spanish and French grammar.
The department voted to name the new lab in honor of Prof. Eleanor King, who was the first chair of what was then known as the Foreign Language Department when it was founded in the late 1950s.
Additional booths were installed in Humanities 210, with 10 Mac SE machines for running additional programs, and for the teaching of fundamental programming strategies through the use of HyperCard.
With the support of a Grant from the President's Office for innovative instructional applications of technology, Humanities 109 was converted to a departmental multimedia classroom with an instructor console consisting of 1 Mac, 1 PC, 2 laserdisc players (one linked to the Mac, one to the PC), and a multi-standard VCR. All devices were linked to an overhead video/computer projector. It was the first classroom of its type on campus, similar in many respects to today's Level 4 classrooms.
The department was awarded a grant to install an entirely new lab, since renamed the Language Media Center, as part of capital funds secured for rebuilding and refurbishing Haggard Hall. The new facility in Haggard Hall 113 and 114 was equipped with:
- 28 iMacs
- 20 Mac PowerPC G3s (with CD-ROM and DVD players)
- 5 Gateway Windows machines
- one 36" and one 26" monitor, both equipped with VHS/DVD players for small-group viewing
- 15 VCRs with 13" monitors
- a high-resolution projector with surround sound audio for the projection and/or audio playback of a variety of media
- digital and analog cameras and camcorders for use by faculty and students
(The former lab site in Humanities 242 was later converted to a second virtual Level 4 multi-media classroom, with a computer and control console linked to an overhead video/computer projector.) Prof. Balas (French) served as director of the new facility from 1999 to 2001. Prof. John Underwood (Spanish) is currently director.
This website was created primarily using PHP and frames under XHTML 1.0-Frameset. It contained an online searchable database of lab media as well as an online calendar of lab reservations and tutor schedules, which were unsupported by the university and so were subsequently taken offline.
Winter 2003 saw the inauguration of a live satellite television feed from Paris, TV5.
The lab was awarded a $70,000 Student Technology Fund grant which was used to convert the old Mac lab in Haggard Hall 114 to a fully mediated classroom/lab with:
- 27 new Gateway PCs with flatscreen monitors
- An lab assistant station equipped with a new PC and printer
- An instructor's podium with full media controls and a PC
- A ceiling-mounted LCD projector
- A new projection screen
- A new sound system
Haggard Hall 113 was remodeled using Student Foreign Language fees to create a student lounge/tutoring center. This was accomplished by replacing the outdated Mac G3s and double-level desks with:
- 4 wide iMac stations
- 4 VCR viewing stations
- Live satellite television feeds began being received from France (Chaine2) and Spain (TVE)
- A large screen TV was installed in one corner of the lab with TV/DVD/VHS capabilities
- An eight-person leather sofa was added for group viewing
This site was overhauled to a completely XHTML 1.0-Strict/CSS2.0 architecture, and catalogues of all media were added for ease of student and faculty viewing. Additionally, the PHP features of the site were completely removed in the renovation to bring the site fully within university web guidelines.
The language media center moves into a transitional period due to the construction of Miller Hall. The tutoring center, formerly in HH113 is moved to Wilson Library 280B. The computer lab classroom in HH114 is absorbed by ATUS and mostly moved to HH112. Finally the LMC film collection is moved to the care of the library collections staff. All moves are temporary until the completion of Miller Hall.