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About DiLL

DiLL: The Digital Language Lab is an all-software solution that encapsulates and extends the traditional language lab using only headsets and networked Macintosh computers in a classroom setting.


Learn more about DiLL below

An introduction to DiLL:


How it Works


DiLL's History


Customer Testimonials


Press & Presentations

How DiLL Works


DiLL consists of student, teacher, and server components.

The student and teacher programs facilitate activities in a live classroom environment while the server works behind the scenes to host lessons and student recordings for review outside of class.

The three programs that make up DiLL:

Student Client

(installed on Student's computer)


Students use the Client to:

  • Listen to audio and make recordings
  • Self-practice
  • Interact with the teacher and fellow classmates

Lab Controller

(installed on Teacher's computer)


Teachers use the Controller to:

  • Manage the classroom
  • See and/or hear what students are working on
  • Communicate with students
  • Pair or group students in conversation
  • Assign lessons and administer exams

DiLL Server

(installed on a Mac Mini server)


The DiLL Server:

  • Automatically saves and organizes student work
  • Serves as an organized central repository of lesson material
  • Accessible with a web browser at school or at home

DiLL's History


DiLL began as an academic project at Northwestern University in 2004 in response to the complexity and proprietary hardware requirements of existing digital language lab solutions.

With consultation from faculty and staff, a small team of instructional specialists at the Multimedia Learning Center decided to build their own — a lab that was easy to use, easy to deploy, and flexible enough to accommodate all the languages taught at Northwestern.

Early Success


Since 2006 DiLL has been installed at over 75 high schools and universities across the United States.

A sample list of existing DiLL customers:

Public Secondary

Private Secondary / K12

College / University

  • Township High School District 214 (7 schools, IL)
  • Sharon Public Schools (MA)
  • Natick High School (MA)
  • Lexington High School (MA)
  • York Schools (ME)
  • St Joseph's High School (MI)
  • Kirkwood High School (MO)
  • Bedford High School (NH)
  • Hempfield High School (PA)
  • Ramapo Indian Hills (NJ)
  • Head-Royce School (CA)
  • American School in London
  • Greenwich Academy (CT)
  • Choate Rosemary Hall (CT)
  • The Taft School (CT)
  • Westminster Schools (GA)
  • UChicago Lab Schools (IL)
  • Dana Hall School (MA)
  • Deerfield Academy (MA)
  • St Paul's School (NH)
  • Friends Seminary (NY)
  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Columbia University (NY)
  • Stockholm University
  • University of Minnesota (MN)
  • Grand Valley State (MI)
  • Gonzaga University (WA)
  • Mount Holyoke College (MA)
  • Rider University (NJ)
  • Academy of Art University (CA)


Case Studies

Township High School District 214, Cook County, IL

2005

District 214 took the initiative in beta-testing DiLL at two high schools in a pilot program in 2005. They provided feedback about functionality and helped identify differences in their technology infrastructure. This helped the DiLL development team build a better understanding of potential end users' needs and capabilities, especially those at K-12 levels. Since then, the district has licensed and installed DiLL in all seven of its high schools.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

2007

After introducing one new Macintosh lab with the DiLL software in 2007, UMN has now replaced all of its ASC-Direct PC language labs with Mac labs running DiLL. Since the original installation in 2007, DiLL has surged in popularity among UMN foreign language instructors and staff. To meet user demand, UMN expanded their language center in 2012 with an additional 24 iMac computers running DiLL.

St. Paul's School, Concord, NH

2009

Having used both a conventional Tandberg system and a number of digital tools such as DL-Recorder and Audacity, St. Paul's was ready to further evolve their language laboratory environment to include DiLL. Today DiLL is used with as many as three classes simultaneously in one classroom.

Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT

2009

Greenwich Academy features modern, highly configurable classroom spaces. DiLL is used in several of these classrooms in conjunction with the school's one-to-one notebook program, giving students constant access to the software.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

2010

In 2005, the U of M Language Resource Center had been in search of a language-learning solution for its brand new Mac lab when it learned about DiLL during a presentation at CALICO. After a very long wait and some departmental reorganization, the LRC finally deployed DiLL in 2010.

Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA

2011

Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA

2011

Head-Royce School first heard about DiLL in 2006 but decided to replace their legacy Sanako/Divace system with eLangLab. After experiencing ongoing issues with eLangLab, Head-Royce switched to DiLL for their language lab needs in 2010.

American School in London, London, United Kingdom

2012

The World Languages and Culture department at ASL decided to upgrade to DiLL from a legacy Sanako system for their new Mac lab.

Brooks School, North Andover, MA

2012

For the 2012 school year, Brooks decided to replace their legacy Sanako system with Macs running DiLL.

Danvers High School, Danvers, MA

2012

As part of a $60+ million dollar school renovation, Danvers High School decided to go with DiLL for their new 30 seat Mac language lab.

District 125 Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

2012

This Department of Education designated Blue Ribbon School, decided to upgrade to DiLL from a legacy Sony Sans system for its new Mac language lab.

Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

2012

Looking to expand their language lab, Lexington High School decided to upgrade to DiLL from a legacy Sony Sans system. At Lexington, DiLL facilitates language learning in two 25+ seat labs, supporting 20+ world language teachers and four AP language courses.

Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

2012

The Foreign Languages and Literatures department at Rider University was introduced to DiLL by Professor Maria Villalobos-Buehner, who previously taught at Grand Valley State University.

Newton South High School, Newton, MA

2012

DiLL replaces a legacy Sony Sans Virtuoso system at Newton South. In addition to a primary 30+ seat lab, DiLL is also used in four additional Mac labs supporting 23 world language teachers and four AP language courses.

Kent Denver School, Denver, CO

2012

This independent day school serving grades 6 to 12 runs DiLL on their MacBook carts.

Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

2013

After touring a DiLL lab in London, the Department of Language Education (Institutionen för språkdidaktik) at Stockholm University decided to upgrade their language lab facilities by replacing their Sanako PC language lab with Macs running DiLL. In addition to a primary 42 seat iMac lab, Stockholm University also makes DiLL available through a portable 10 seat MacBook lab.

Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA

2013

Spurred by a successful pilot of DiLL, Hopkinton High School was awarded a five figure grant from the Hopkinton Education Foundation to fund a site license to DiLL.

Hempfield High School, Landisville, PA

2013

After a year long assessment of language lab solutions, Hempfield High decided to upgrade to DiLL from their legacy Sony Sans Virtuoso system.

Episcopal Academy, Newton Square, PA

2013

Prompted to see DiLL from a new teacher, the World Languages department at Episcopal Academy decided to upgrade to DiLL from their legacy Sony Sans Virtuoso system.

Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT

2013

Upon the recommendations from fellow New England boarding schools, Choate Rosemary Hall decided to upgrade to DiLL from their legacy Sony Sans Virtuoso system.

Dana Hall School, Wellesley, MA

2013

DiLL replaces a legacy Sanako lab at this Boston-area all girls independent school and is used extensively across both the middle and upper schools.

The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, GA

2013

After a successful year long pilot, The Westminster Schools has deployed DiLL in the 1-to-1 MacBook program in the Upper and Middle schools and on mobile MacBook carts at the lower school.

Westford Academy, Westford, MA

2013

DiLL replaces a legacy Sony Sans Virtuoso system at this Blue Ribbon Massachusetts high school.


Transition to Swift Education Systems.


In 2012, due to growing interest, DiLL was spun-off from Northwestern and exclusively licensed to Swift Education Systems, an education technology startup founded by a team of Northwestern alums, led by Zасhаrу Sсhnеirоv, DiLL's co-creator and lead developer while at Northwestern.

Learn more about Swift Education Systems

Customer Testimonials



Press & Presentations


Conferences & Workshops

Title:

DiLL: The All-Digital Audio Lab Solution for the Macintosh-equipped Computer

Event:

Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Annual Conferenc

Year:

2005, East Lansing, MA

Presented by:

Janine Spencer, Matthew Taylor, and Zасhаrу Sсhnеirоv (Northwestern University)

Title:

DiLL (Digital Language Learning Lab)

Event:

Midwest Association of Language Learning Technology (MWALLT) Annual Conference

Year:

2008, Cleveland, OH

Presented by:

Allison Weiss (UChicago Lab Schools)

Resource:

View Website

Title:

Save Paper, Save Time: 25 Innovative Ways to Use a Digital Language Lab

Event:

National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference

Year:

2009, Chicago, IL

Presented by:

Allison Weiss & Diane Jackson (UChicago Lab Schools)

Resource:

View Website

Title:

Charting a course toward the interactive language lab using DiLL (Digital Language Lab)

Event:

International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) Annual Conference

Year:

2009, Atlanta, GA

Presented by:

David Shultz & Johnathon Beals (Grand Valley State University) and Allison Weiss (UChicago Lab Schools)

PDF Link:

View Presentation

Title:

DiLL: The Digital Language

Event:

Apple Sponsored DiLL Hands-on Seminar

Year:

2009, Natick High School, Natick, MA

Presented by:

Dan DelVecchio (Apple Inc.), Matthew Taylor and Zасhаrу Sсhnеirоv (Northwestern University)