Category Archives: Education

Rhode Island schools take active approach to learning

It’s a new day in Providence, RI, for 360 High School and West Broadway Middle School. Volunteers from the schools, Nortek, Inc., and Ergotron installed LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desks in a unique pilot designed to help the schools test the sit-stand concept in real-time. @BiancaBuono covers the story at ABC6 News.

For more information on other schools around the country visit or hear about Virginia’s Alexandria Country Day School and their decision to adopt sit-stand on a broader scale in this USA Today report.


Innovations in Learning from the EdSpaces Education Show



I just returned from the EDspaces 2015 show for education furniture. The attendees were largely educators, architects and designers, and resellers seeking to use new furniture concepts to improve learning objectives. Among what I expected to see there, there were also a few surprises. Here are my “cliff” notes from the event if you couldn’t attend:

  • Introducing motion into the student’s day. There is significant interest in this topic, most certainly fueled by all the recent research proving the benefit of reducing sedentary time. One of the award winners had a wide range of bicycles, walkers and elliptical mechanisms built into desks—a seemingly good idea, but expensive, complex and space-intensive. Perhaps a good specialty solution. Hat’s off to them for their efforts.
  • Standing desk solutions are starting to emerge. Ergotron’s Bob Hill gave an excellent talk surveying the research supporting the value of standing desks, and discussing how the early adopters have achieved success in their schools. The questions being asked by the audience were not exploratory, rather they had detailed questions about how to successfully implement, such as deciding how many chairs need to be planned in a classroom of standing desks. A key point was the need for student-adjustable desks.  In a recent article in FastCompany, the principal of Vallecito Elementary says, “Our current favorite desk has some of the things we need, but is cumbersome to adjust and requires an army of parent volunteers to adjust the desks in each classroom to fit each child. This is obviously not scalable across the country. …”
  • Collaboration is a top educator priority, but solutions are haphazard. There is clearly a strong desire to provide flexible, re-configurable desk solutions. However, ironically, the most common desks that are touted as collaboration solutions appear to be odd-shaped regular desks. Kidney shaped, trapezoidal, interlocking organic shapes. They look nice, but few are mobile, few allow for height adjustability, and few readily allow the students to reconfigure the classroom quickly.   Also there appears to be more attention to color than to performance. The key to developing the ideal collaboration products will be to provide prototypes to innovative educators, and cooperatively work on developing new solutions.
  • Cheapo tablet/laptop charging carts…yikes! Among the exhibitors there, there were lots of manufacturers with cheap charging carts with power strips. Some even were made of particle board. Please understand that computing devices and their power bricks give off a lot of heat during charging, and they also can draw enough power to blow a circuit breaker or overheat. At a minimum, these carts can reduce lifetime of your computing devices by overheating them, but more seriously, they can be fire hazards. Buy a safe cart with power management and a metal or flame retarded housing please!! The number of fires allowable in a school is ZERO. Look for UL certification labels.
  • Knockoffs. I was surprised to see copies of one of our products and some other top manufacturer’s products. Please don’t buy copies—it takes a lot of research and development to create a ground breaking product.

I am convinced that this is the beginning of a major trend towards standing desks that will improve our student’s health and learning outcomes. Check out emerging research on

By Pete Segar, CEO, Ergotron Inc., President, Nortek Ergonomics and Productivity Solutions


Ergotron Named Winner of Two Tech & Learning Awards


Great ed-tech news! Ergotron was recognized by Tech & Learning Magazine with two Award of Excellence designations for innovative solutions to aid student health and academic performance in our schools.  Products honored were the new-category creating, mobile Ergotron LearnFit™ Standing Desk for students, and the Anthro wall-mountable YES Charging Cabinet that powers up mini-laptops in cramped classrooms and media centers.

Tech & Learning’s prestigious Awards of Excellence program recognizes innovative technologies that break new ground as education tools. Winners are selected by panels of professional users, editors and a panel of more than 30 educator judges who tested hundreds of products for their quality, effectiveness, and ease or creative use of technology.

Best of Show: LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk


Great news! Ergotron’s second-generation LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desk for students earned a coveted Best of Show 2015 by Tech & Learning at ISTE!

When asked how the desk was received at the event, Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Education Industry Manager replied, “How many times have we heard a teacher ask a kid to stay seated in the classroom? Teachers get it.” What they “get” are children’s impulses to move. And how that movement is linked to brain development and ultimately performance. Read the news >

ISTE 2015 Recap: What we learned in Philly


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To those educators who were at ISTE in spirit, but not in body, we salute you!  Because we love to share what we learn, here’s a recap of our inspiring expo experience. We counted: 21,000 registered attendees, 76 countries represented, 1,000 sessions, 550 exhibitors, and 149,000+ tweets with #ISTE2015 during the four-day event!

Anthro and Ergotron joined forces to show attendees their winning combination of charging carts, cabinets, and standing desks. We enjoyed seeing everyone at our booth and had great conversations about ed tech and flow in the classroom. We made many new friends and left with happy memories — and hope you did, too.

At the gigantic Pennsylvania Convention Center, visitors were wowed by our new Ergotron LearnFit standing desk. “Teachers liked the idea of supporting kids who need to stand or move,” said Julia Griffiths, product manager at Anthro, “so their favorite feature was height adjustment. As they got into the product, they started to really like the mobility and small size because they could easily reconfigure their classrooms.” Judges of Tech & Learning magazine’s prestigious Best of Show awards program were equally enthusiastic and selected the LearnFit as a 2015 great product.

A close second in popularity was the Ergotron ZIP and Anthro YES Chromebook charging carts. They each offer unique features, and depending on the application, either would be a welcome addition to most classrooms, media rooms, or libraries. The excitement in our booth was also boosted by giveaways and interactive demonstrations.

ISTE Booth

As an ISTE participant-at-large, stay in the know by following these hashtags: #ISTE2015, #ISTEStandards, #CCSS, and #ProjectReimaginED, and of course, #NotAtISTE15 and our own contribution, #FindYourTribe.

Search for keywords used by presenters addressing today’s hottest ed tech topics. Some ideas: Instructional design (356 sessions); Coding (166 sessions); PD & Coaching (142 sessions); Innovative learning environments (107 sessions); Communication and collaboration tools (76 sessions).

Here are three other recaps or reports-from-the-field, on a variety of social media channels:

Maureen Yoder, faculty member at Lesley University, offers a video tour of the Expo Hall (the size of five football fields!) and shares some of her favorite gadgets.

Want updates about new product releases from the big corporate players, such as Google and McGraw-Hill? EdSurge, an independent ed tech community, has an ISTE 2015 Roundup of the latest news.

Looking for inspiration and words of wisdom? Imagine Easy curates the top 14 “nuggets” from Day 1: slideshare and Day 2: slideshare.

Is there anything you missed at ISTE 2015 that can’t be replicated virtually? Yes, walking! The average attendee covered 24 miles over four days. That’s enough exercise to burn about 2,400 calories, or nearly four Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

We’re excited for what’s next in ed tech. Educators, continue using technology to invent the future, and we promise to continue to support your efforts.

See you at ISTE 2016 in Denver!


See What’s New in Tech at ISTE15

Our exciting new technologies are unleashing their power in ed tech!

Anthro and Ergotron are making their presence known at ISTE 2015 with all new charging and standing desk furniture.

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IT folks and other techies especially love gadgets, gizmos, and the latest wiz-bang gear. If you identify as an #ISTEtechie (take our quiz!) you’re sure to enjoy making the rounds across 1 million square feet of expo space.

Visit our ISTE booth #1921 at the ISTE conference in Philly, June 28th to July 1st, and discover a collection of leading-edge products handpicked for you, your educational staff, and your entire school.

As you may know, Ergotron and Anthro recently merged to bring you a winning combination of charging carts, cabinets, and standing desks. Whether charging up students or digital devices, we have you covered!

New! Anthro YES Charging Cabinet

Anthro says YES to all of your devices with two space-saving charging cabinets — the YES Cabinet for Mini-Laptops and the YES Cabinet for Tablets. Both offer compact and secure wall or surface charging, saving valuable floor space in cramped classrooms and offices.

Anthro’s congestion-busting cabinets units are fully adjustable to fit devices, with or without cases, and can be reconfigured when devices change or new technology is adopted.

Tracey, an educator in Chapel Hill, NC, gives 5 stars to Anthro’s popular YES charging family:
“We recently purchased a third YES cart for our newest Chromebook lab. We have always been impressed with the quality and ease of use of the Anthro carts but this past winter one of the carts was really put to the test. We had a break in over the winter holidays but our Chromebooks were safe! The top of the cart had been pummeled by a hammer. The hammer marks were very clear but the cart remained locked and the thieves left the cart with the Chromebooks inside! We will continue to protect our devices with Anthro carts!”

New! Ergotron LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk

Transform static classrooms into active learning environments! The LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk can be rolled around for small group breakouts and quickly returned to the full classroom configuration. They also give students age nine through adult the ability to easily self-adjust the desk up to 20” (50 cm) to their preferred height.

Standing more throughout the day increases blood circulation, burns more calories, and helps maintain muscle tone and insulin effectiveness.

Jason Rhodes, at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School in the Houston-area says:
“Since the introduction of the LearnFit standing desks student engagement has gone up markedly…Oftentimes the afternoon, post-lunch hours pose the greatest challenge for teachers as student attention starts to fade. The afternoon performance with the LearnFit desks is night and day. I’ve had no sleeping issues recorded this year, and any time I sense a potential issue I have the students change their positions, which does a great job of recapturing their attention and focus.”

Drop by our booth #1921 and take one of our new carts or desks for a test-drive!

Get Your Swag on at ISTE15!

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Unleash your inner swagger! Connect, collaborate, and explore in Philly at ISTE 2015, the world’s largest ed tech expo. Swing by and visit Anthro and Ergotron together at ISTE booth #1921. Say “hello,” check out our expanded portfolio of products, and enter one of our contests. You’ll walk away a winner!

In It To Win It! 

We’ve got multiple ways for you to collect cool swag:

1. Enter our 3@3 Daily Giveaway Raffle. Get your badge scanned and get a red ticket. Put one side of the ticket in the box near the product of your choice, keep the other part. Drop by our booth at 3pm and see if your ticket is drawn and your name is announced as one of our three daily winners! (Must be present to win.)

Prizes: Tablet Management Station 16; LearnFit; YES Charging Cabinet for Tablets or Mini-Laptops — subject to change.

2. Crack the code in our Winning Combination Contest. Grab a “coded” candy bar (Hershey’s Cookies & Creme or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup) from within a YES Charging Cart – if the combination code unlocks the padlock on the back of the Cart, you’re a winner!

Prizes: Select from either a $50 Michael’s or Amazon gift card. Six total winners possible.

Remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter! See you soon.

[Video] Get students standing? It’s time to LearnFit

Students and teachers around the country are discovering the ups and downs of the sit-stand classroom. They are earning an A+ from us for inherently understanding the benefits of moving more during the day with our LearnFit Desk. Watch on.

Quiz: Find Your Tribe at ISTE15!

Take the quiz and discover your ed tech tribe of like-minded folks! Most educators share a love of learning and a commitment to kids, of course, but vary in terms of personal style and professional interests. After glancing at these four types, scroll to the end of this page to identify your tribe and see how your answer compares to the total results. Easy, right?

Type 1: The First-Time Attendee


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Will you make rookie mistakes – getting overwhelmed by action-packed days or being too shy to approach others, say? Sure! But you’ll also learn from them and grow into a better educator.

Type 2: The Gadget and Gizmo Lover


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Your love gadgets, gizmos, and the latest wiz bang technology means you’re sure to enjoy prowling through one million square feet of expo space crammed with tech exhibits and demonstrations.

Type 3: The Swag Collector


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Who doesn’t love a deal, and what’s better than FREE? We have your number – so swing by our Anthro and Ergotron Booth #1921 and unleash your inner swagger! Enter one of our many raffles and contests for some sweet giveaways.

Type 4: The Participant-at-Large


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Maybe you couldn’t make it to Philly this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate! Access low-cost, live streaming content at ISTE Live or follow these hashtags: #ISTE2015, #ISTEStandards, #CCSS, and #ProjectReimaginED, and of course, #NotAtISTE15 and #FindYourTribe.


ISTE15 for Newbies: What to expect in Philly

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Less than two weeks from today marks the start of the 2015 ISTE Conference & Exhibition in Philadelphia, Penn. From June 28 to July 1, the annual event will bring together more than 15,000 educators from around the globe – all ready to discover new ways to connect and engage with students. Here are a few things you should know before you land in Philly:

Don’t bring a lot of stuff. It sounds commonsensical, but it’s easy to forget and overpack. You won’t want to lug heavy luggage, or a briefcase, bag, or backpack while trying to maneuver in crowded areas at the conference. (Newbie mistake: grabbing too much swag and then having to cart it around all day!) Stick with the essentials and lean on your mobile device and portable power charger.

Fingers crossed, the weather will be sunny! The historic average high is 86 degrees with cloudiness and thunderstorms a possibility. Be sure to pack a light rain jacket, comfy shoes and a swimsuit. (Your hotel will have a pool, and taking a dip or soak in a whirlpool will be exactly what you need after a long day.) Also bring a refillable water bottle and your favorite granola bars so you can stay hydrated and fueled up during your sessions.

Wear a pedometer and track your steps, mileage, and calories burned. The conference takes place in the heart of downtown, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, an architectural gem which spans a whopping 1 million square feet. A Philly cheesesteak packs 1,200 calories a pop, but you’d be surprised how quickly you can burn that off just cruising around. There are more than 900 sessions and over 500 exhibitors, so plan out where you want to go (and where it is) beforehand. If you’re attending with several colleagues, agree on a meeting point in case anyone gets lost, because there might be spotty cell service.

Get out and explore the city! Philadelphia is one of our great American cities, with some of the most genuine people you could hope to meet. Don’t miss the historic landmarks nearby the convention center at Independence National Historical Park, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and National Constitution Center. Want more ideas for sightseeing? Visit Philadelphia has you covered with a jam-packed travel website. Make every hour happy hour! You’ll find many must-try dishes and drinks within walking distance of the center. Check out this map.

Participate in the conversation surrounding ISTE via social media. Tweet your thoughts about keynotes and program highlights with #ISTE2015, and follow @isteconnects for tradeshow updates and happenings. But also make plans to meet people face to face and engage in real world, real time conversations. Find your tribe of like-minded colleagues at birds-of-a-feather, 1-in-3, or ISTE Ignite sessions. Or better yet, register now for social events, such as ISTEball – Brewers at Phillies Game or Edtech Karaoke! Or simply chat up folks as you stand in those long, long Starbucks lines.

Last but not least: this year at ISTE, you won’t want to miss seeing how two trusted brands are better together. With Ergotron’s acquisition of Anthro in January 2015, you can now get just the right charging solution or standing desk for your classroom, media center, or office. Visit Ergotron and Anthro at booth #1921!

We hope to see you soon.