About the ILRC
Daniel E. Meyers, M.A.
The lab had its beginnings with state-of-the-art technology of the era, vinyl stereophonic records and reel-to-reel tape. In the 1970s, the Language Lab received a major renovation and a Tanderg Language Learning system was purchased. This system allowed students and instructors to use audio cassette tapes for their listening materials and allowed for two-way conversation and peer listening and collaboration.
The 1990s brought about the first computers into the language lab. When Irvin Hall was undergoing a major renovation, the College of Arts and Sciences decided to bring the Language Laboratory up to snuff to compete with the rapidly changing world of technology. The Language Laboratory was briefly relocated to Hoyt Hall during renovations to Irvin Hall. During this time, the College decided to change the center's name to the Interactive Language Resource Center and inaugurate the new facility at the completion of renovations to the building in 1993-1994. Along with the traditional Tandberg audiocassette system, the ILRC would have a dedicated computer classroom as part of its new configuration.
In the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Tandberg eventually gave way to computers for the whole facility. Audio recordings were converted from audio cassette to MP3 files, Videos were converted from film, television, VHS tape, and Laserdiscs to digital formats. Today, the Interactive Language Resource Center is the technical hub of the four foreign language departments at Miami University. Students enrolled in language courses use the facility to supplement and enhance their foreign language courses with language specific Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) software, access Internet and network applications, and use various language learning specific software.
A huge amount of funding for new computers and equipment used by students in the ILRC is the direct result of successful applications from the Student Technology Fee program. Since the student technology fee was implemented, we have had an average success rate of 2-3 proposals every year to procure new equipment for students! We are constantly thankful and grateful to the student community for being willing to support our facility with the Student Technology Fee program!
The Interactive Language Resource Center is also funded directly through the College of Arts and Science and is supported through an endowment given to the ILRC by Mr. Phelps and Mrs. Beverly Wood. Without their gift, the ILRC would not be able to accomplish the language-related tasks that language students, faculty, and staff rely upon.
The ILRC Online
In 2001, Henry Montgomery (Class of 1960) provided a generous contribution to help the Classics Department in their efforts towards computerization and integrating computer technology into Classics courses. The Classics Department received a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help purchase a file server. Henry Montgomery and the Classics Department at Miami decided that it would be best for all the languages to share in this unique advance of technology and charged the Interactive Language Resource Center with finding the most cost effective solution to meet the needs of both the Classics Department as well as the needs of efficiently distributing information resources among all the foreign language departments.
The result was the first generation of the ILRC Online which was once located at <http://montgomery.cas.muohio.edu/>. With additional funds provided by the Interactive Language Resource Center and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Montgomery File Server was born. The original server consisted of a 450MHz processor Macintosh G4 computer, a Macintosh X-Serve RAID which contains 1.26TB of data and ran Macintosh OS X 10.3 Server software.
In 2009, the second generation of the ILRC Online came to life through a $22,500 grant from Miami University’s Technical Fee Grant program. A new Macintosh X-Serve was purchased along with an 8TB Promise V-Track RAID storage array and Macintosh OS X 10.6 Server software.
In 2014, the physical server was shut down, decommissioned, and all data was migrated to the university's virtual linux server clusters, using Amazon Web Services for its backend and Puppet software for maintenance, updates, and software pushes.
Since the inception of Miami's language laboratory and it's successor, the ILRC, there have been six of known directors of the facilities:
- 1956-1973: Robert Phillips
- 1973-1974: Michael Daniel
- 1974-1976: Peter Carels
- 1976-1994: Edward Plater
- 1994-1998: Charlotte Wharton
- 1998-present: Daniel E. Meyers