LENA Start Tech Components
This article describes the various pieces of technology that contribute to the LENA Start system, and how each part is used.
The non-technical but equally important pieces like books, guides, notes, charts, stickers, and totes are not included here.
LENA Online is the secure web-based portal at https://o.lena.org where logged-in users carry out most of their LENA tasks. Users log in to:
- manage participants and groups
- enter recorder assignments
- see and print reports and data summaries
- enter session information and attendance
- check dashboards for participation and data alerts
- access LENA Start Resources
- export data
LENA Online runs on the Google Chrome web browser and is best accessed via a computer. Some features may not work optimally on a tablet.
LENA Hub is the device transfer software. Its job is to remove LENA Day data from the devices and then send the data to the cloud to be converted into reports for LENA Online. LENA Hub can also be used to erase junk data off of the devices and to reset their clocks.
LENA Hub does not:
- allow data to be played back
- display LENA Day data
- have a data management/data entry portal
LENA Hub must be installed on at least one Windows computer that is connected to the Internet for device transfers. The computer must meet or exceed the specifications described in the LENA Start System Components and Requirements document. Typically this will be a laptop situated in the back of the session room.
The LENA Hub installer can be downloaded from the Resources section of LENA Online (login required). After installation, it is accessed in the same way as other Windows programs - by a desktop shortcut icon, via the Windows start menu, or through a pinned taskbar icon.
The LENA Device Service is a helper program that automatically installs with the LENA Hub and runs in the background to facilitate communication between the LENA Hub program and connected LENA devices.
The Multi Dock is an accessory used to connect your LENA devices to your LENA Hub computer for transfer and to charge them for the next use. It makes data transfers fast and efficient!
The Multi Dock has:
- 10 USB ports that provide the correct amperage to charge your devices (some models have 7 ports)
- USB cords to connect the devices
- a USB cord to connect to the LENA Hub computer, allowing the program to communicate with all connected devices
- a power cord to plug into an electrical outlet
The Multi Dock must be connected to a power source and to the LENA Hub computer for data transfers.
When not being used for data transfer, it can be disconnected from the computer but left plugged in to power to charge the connected devices.
The LENA device is a lightweight but sophisticated data collection tool. Placed inside the chest pocket of specially designed LENA clothing worn by a LENA Start participant, it can capture up to 16 hours of the child's language environment.
The device does not:
- play back audio
- contain a listenable file
- recognize words
- transmit a signal
- like to be put in water
A LENA user connects the device to the LENA Hub computer via the Multi Dock (or directly via USB cord) to transfer the data for processing and deletion.
While not exactly a piece of tech, the LENA clothing is specially designed and tested to work with the LENA device.
Worn over the child's regular clothing, it securely positions the device at an appropriate distance from the child's mouth. This placement ensures that LENA's processing algorithms can identify vocalizations produced by that child and differentiate these from other children's speech. This is key to detecting those conversational turns!
Soft fabric and light padding ensure that the clothing does not interfere with data collection, while strong snaps help prevent the device from "escaping." The clothing is comfortable and machine washable.
LENA Start Presentations
The LENA Start Presentations are the slide shows with embedded videos displayed at the front of the room during each session to teach the class content. Each session has a special topic with its own set of slides.
Typically the presentation files are installed on a laptop that is separate from the LENA Hub laptop.
The installer containing all of the sessions is located in the Resources section. While the installer runs only on Windows, the installed files can be copied over to a Mac. The minimum computer specs required to use the presentation files are described in the LENA Start System Components and Requirements document.
A projector, speakers, and an Internet connection round out the technical setup for delivering the presentation content.