Language lab platform?


I am wondering if Asterisk could help me solve a problem.

I work at a facility where we train people in radio-communication procedures and phraseology. We currently have a Tandberg Language lab with 8 student positions and one instructor position. Each position has a cassette tape deck (yes, it is a system with a few years on the invoice :wink: ) for playing back various radio transmissions.

The system is able to group students in any given combination of two to eight participants, allowing 2-way communication between all participants. The instructor can select to join any group and listen to the transmissions on this group. And, of course, all nine positions can be grouped to allow the instructor to broadcast to all students at once, including playing back messages from the tape deck for the students to understand and write down.

We would like to use a standard laptop pc with a headset and microphone per position, keeping the need for special hardware to an absolute minimum. There is no need for any connection out of the classroom.

I am aware of several multimedia suites that would meet our requirements, but since it is only the voice com that is of interest to us, the currently known solutions are too complex. No need to invest in stuff that we are not going to use and will only clutter the manual.

Would anybody here have comments to using Asterisk as a platform for such a project?