Category Archives: Education

Visit us at ISTE in Denver, booth #1515

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The ISTE Conference & Expo has been the premier forum for sharing groundbreaking ideas, unveiling new learning technologies and forming collaborations with the power to impact classrooms worldwide. Visit Ergotron/Anthro booth #1515 to get a glimpse at what Ergotron brings to the education market in 2016. Some highlights:

New! Ergotron LearnFit Sit-Stand Desk

Transform classrooms into active learning environments with on-demand sit-stand desks. With the simple squeeze of a hand lever, kids can change from sitting to standing. The first-generation LearnFit was named a 2016 Bronze Award Winner by the internationally renowned Edison Awards and endorsed by the Global Educator Institute (GEI).

Joyce R., a GEI reviewer and teacher in Florida says:
“I mainly use the LearnFit with a student who has disabilities and has an IEP that allows him to stand and be close to the classroom door. This desk is perfect for him. We can roll it closer to the door and he can stand up and work. Before, when he needed to use his laptop, he would have to sit because the table is too low for him. He always felt uncomfortable and was distracted easily. Using this product allowed him to be more comfortable and much less distracted!”

Top Seller! Ergotron YES Charging Carts and Cabinets, for Mini-Laptops and Tablets.

These flexible charging solutions can adjust to say YES to all your devices, now and in the future. Mix and match laptops, tablets, smartphones, and handhelds. Units offer compact and secure charging while saving valuable floor space in cramped classrooms and offices. Built with Anthro-DNA, they’re also TAA compliant.

Tracey, a reviewer and educator in North Carolina, gave the YES Cart five stars for security:
“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!”

Drop by our booth #1515, see the mock classroom, take all of our products for a spin, or enter one of our contests. We are giving away 3 products at 3 PM every day and have a grand prize that will excite! You’re sure to walk away a winner.

Protect your digital devices from vandalism and theft

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Last year, over winter break, vandals broke into a North Carolina elementary school and attempted to steal digital devices from the instructional technology lab. They took a hammer to the top of the cart, the YES36 Charging Cart for Mini-laptops, because the cart’s doors were securely padlocked. Unfortunately, this event is played out in similar educational institutes around the country. Device security was never a more important topic on IT agendas.

Happily, in the case of this school, the vandals were thwarted. This is one example of why choosing a  cart with a tough exterior finish and the sturdy overall construction should be a line item on the “must have” list for a charging system roll out at your school. The top of the cart was damaged (see below) and showed multiple marks, but the school was able to replace just the top to get the cart back to pristine condition and back in operation.

Law enforcement officials warn that break-ins are common, especially during holiday vacations, and that there’s only so much that a school can do to avoid theft and vandalism. Security measures, such as spiked iron fences, iron-shuttered windows, and motion sensors, may stop young pranksters but not professional operators, who have ways of counteracting those safeguards.

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So what can a school do to protect its investment in digital technology? First of all, make sure to choose the right solution for your environment, whether it is a wall mount, desktop or cart charging system. In addition, the unit must be tough enough to withstand common educational rigors, such as rough handling by unruly students.

Finally, consider these security features when comparing charging systems:

  • Is a standard locking feature enough, or does it need more (keyed door plus padlock, etc.)?
  • Does it need additional security brackets that will lock the locking system to the floor or wall?
  • Can the unit be rolled into another secured area at night, such as a locking closet?

At Ergotron, we’re always looking for new ways to keep your tablets, laptops, and handheld devices safe, charged, and ready for use. That way, as educators, you have peace of mind, knowing your edtech investments are well-secured, and so you can focus on what you do best – teach.

 

The importance of safety certification for charging systems

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No doubt you have already been through at least one or two technology decisions for your school, choosing devices that will meet your student and curriculum needs. Just as you discovered that you weren’t always comparing Apples to eReaders, the same is true with the charging systems that keep your devices powered up and in play throughout the school day. There is a tendency to assume that all charging systems are safe, but this is not always true. In fact, all device charging systems are not created equal.

Therefore, it is equally important to choose a charging products that has been safety certified by a third-party organization and that the system is being evaluated as a complete and integrated system. It is important to require this of your supplier to ensure the safety of your devices, your facilities and your students.

Some manufacturers use individual components that are safety certified, but then combine them into a larger charging system that is not certified. Charging systems that are not evaluated and certified may exceed allowable load limits, thereby causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment. Safety certification also ensures that mechanical hazards such as user “pinch points,” tipping, sharp edges and crush/cut potential are mitigated.

What are the risks of using non-certified products? You may be surprised at how many there are. Here is a list of considerations when choosing the right systems for your campus:

  1. Critical materials are not fire resistant: This is a potential fire hazard if a battery or electrical fault occurs.
  2. Electrical hazards are not physically enclosed: Shock hazards exist if energized circuitry can potentially be touched either directly or if exposed metal is not safely grounded or properly isolated. Another fire hazard can exist if the enclosure can potentially let out flames or molten metal if an electrical fault occurs inside of the enclosure.
  3. Mechanical hazards are not mitigated: If not properly tested and certified, pinch points, tip, crush or cut, sharp edges, and moving parts can injure students and staff.
  4. Equipment ratings must meet National Electrical Code: Non-evaluated systems may exceed allowable load limits causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment.
  5. No manufacturing factory quality surveillance: Product quality and consistency must be managed and ensured.

Whether you are a choosing a small desktop unit for a back office, a wall unit for an AV center, or a full cart for laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, or netbooks in the classroom, safety should be a number one priority for all the stakeholders involved. Technology is meant to open up new worlds to the students, not new headaches for teachers and IT staff. Look for the certified safety labels or documentation and be sure to differentiate the whole system is safe.

Check out the educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, to power up every classroom safely and securely. Also, our charging matrix (PDF) can help you choose the right solution for your environment.

Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Global Education Manager

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

Bob Hill, @LearnFit_Bob

[Video] CNN takes thoughtful look at standing classrooms

CNN’s Kelly Wallace explores standing in the classroom at the Alexandria Country Day School in Virginia. The school added 128 Ergotron LearnFit™ Adustable Standing Desks to its middle school classrooms to improve students’ focus and increase their physical activity. Multiple Ergotron TeachWell® Mobile Digital Workspaces were also deployed to enable teachers to teach from a mobile, sit-stand platform. The products were funded through a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor in 2014, the largest in the school’s 32-year history. Learn more about other schools piloting standing desks at Ergotron.com/spotlight. Stay in the loop socially by sharing hashtag #schoolsthatmove on Twitter.

Teachers + philanthropists = #BestSchoolDay

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We came across something amazing for education recently – a surprise “flash funding” utilizing an online crowdsourcing site, DonorsChoose.org, to support our nation’s school kids. The campaign, #BestSchoolDay, brought together more than 50 celebrities, athletes, and philanthropists (such as Bill Gates) who fully funded 11,000 classrooms in 47 states to the tune of over $14 million.

Since 2000, DonorsChoose.org has been supporting teachers and students by making it easy to help a classroom in need. Their mission is to connect the public to public schools – so that students in every corner of this country have an opportunity to get a great education.

Though the one-day flash funding event took place on March 10th, you can still get involved. There are projects on the DonorsChoose.org site marked with a #BestSchoolDay match offer logo – that means you can double the impact of your donation.

Here’s a great example of a teched project with a match offer, called Chromebooks for Humanities. The request is for Chromebooks and an Ergotron charging cart for Mr. Woolums’s class at the Air Force Academy High School in Chicago.

Are you a public school teacher in need of funding? We recommend DonorsChoose.org as a good way to engage with community philanthropists and major corporations. The more people who know of your need, the better your chance of getting it met.  Start your first project here.

We know teachers are unsung heroes who open up so many doors for their students. That’s why we have educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, so that everyone has their #BestSchoolDay. Together, we can help kids do great things in the classroom, and beyond.

Real teachers ask questions – and get real answers!

Q-A_blueThis is the first in a 10-part series as a follow-up to our recent edWeb “School Moves!” webinar on unleashing the power of non-disruptive activity in your classroom. Access it online — and earn CE credit!

Bob Hill, Education Manager at Ergotron, will be addressing the questions we didn’t have a chance to answer during the session.

Q: Is it difficult for students to stand if they are in a lab typing exercises or in a 4-hour-long lab? 

A: If students are in a dedicated computer or typing lab for an entire class period, there are a different set of ergonomic guidelines that should be followed. Because of prolonged repetitive motion, you will need to be particularly attentive to wrist angles, elbow angles, and monitor height. Perhaps a more appropriate solution for a typing or computer lab would be a height-adjustable sit-stand workstation that is designed specifically for ergonomic computer use. Take a look at Ergotron’s WorkFit-S and WorkFit-A.

Q- Is Bob standing during this webinar? I want PROOF that Bob is standing! 

A: I’m a stander! I stand at my desk at least 75% of the time, and take my sitting breaks when I’m in meetings. If I start feeling a little “unfocused” or drowsy in a meeting, I then just go stand in the back of the room. When we did our webinar the other day, I was most certainly standing – I feel inhibited in expressing myself when seated, and I just have more energy when standing. (See photo below of Bob; he’s quick on his feet!)

Q: What’s the best posture? I heard it’s good to pretend that you’re shooting a laser out of your chest at the face of the person you’re talking to? 

A: As ergonomists commonly say, the best posture is the next posture. Translation – don’t be static. With both our youth and us adults, it’s important to keep moving, even if it’s just considered NEAT [non-exercise activity thermogenesis].  As for how to have proper standing posture, here’s a link for more information about the ergonomics of comfortable sitting or standing.

 

Bob Hill,
Education Manager at Ergotron
@LearnFit_Bob, #schoolsthatmove

 

Governor Raimondo tours our Rhode Island LearnFit classroom!

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Students engage Nortek CEO Michael Clarke and Governor Gina Raimondo in a women’s suffrage small group breakout.

Last week, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo stopped by 360 High School in Providence to tour her state’s first active classroom – equipped with 30 of our LearnFit® adjustable standing desks! Also joining her was Michael Clarke, CEO of Nortek (our Providence-based parent company), who, earlier this year, donated 58 LearnFit desks between 360 High School and West Broadway Middle School in an effort to locally transform classrooms into active learning environments where students stay more engaged.

During the classroom session, Michael and Governor Raimondo discussed the importance of building a healthier generation of students – which begins in the classroom and can be further championed with the use of adjustable standing desks – as well as the key role they will play in fueling the future Rhode Island economy. The Governor also impressed upon the students how collaboration plays a major role in both government and business.

In his own words, Michael relayed, “Our LearnFit desks allow students and teachers to create an atmosphere of collaboration and engagement that you can’t do with traditional desks. We donated the desks because we want to invest in the next generation of Rhode Island’s future. The kids in high school today are the employees we will need tomorrow – and we want them to be smart, healthy and productive. LearnFit desks help on all those fronts.”

Are you interested in bringing standing desks to your school? Learn how your school or district can turn its standing-desk wishes into reality for more active classrooms by accessing grants for K-12 programs. Visit Ergotron’s Resources for Educators to find information to get you started, along with details about the LearnFit desk. You can also hear directly from teachers, administrators and students about their experience at other Ergotron spotlight schools or by following #schoolsthatmove on Twitter.

Join us for “School Moves!” webinar for educators

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On Monday, Feb. 8th, join our live webinar for educators, discover how to unleash the power of non-distruptive physical activity in your classroom – and earn CE credit at the same time!

Ergotron’s Education Manager, Bob Hill, will share ways to improve your students’ health, behavior, and achievement through daily movement. Highlights of what you’ll learn:

  • Health and social dangers of childhood sedentary behaviors and associated obesity.
  • Role of low-level, in-class physical activity in boosting health and achievement.
  • Movement links to musculoskeletal, psychosocial, cardiovascular, and metabolic health.
  • Introducing movement and “enheightenment” into your learning environment.
  • Realizing the promise of personalized learning tools and 1:1 devices.
  • Finding funding and grants to add height-adjustable and mobile desks for your students.

Best of all, you’ll have a chance to get an personal answer to your questions during this live, interactive session on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT.

Register today and join the Amazing Resources for Educators professional learning community while you’re at it. Can’t make this scheduled webinar?  You can access it at edWeb.net later, at your convenience. And be sure to check out the educator resources on the Ergotron website.

Stay tuned to this blog for news of the release of our companion ebook, Sit, Stand, Move!

Educators, here’s where to find us in 2016!

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Ergotron is on the road again with a busy schedule of educational conferences and tradeshows around the globe. These events are an opportunity for us to meet up with partners, teachers, and the educational community at large. We’d love to connect with you!

We’re bringing some of our most innovative products with us. The LearnFit® standing desk made quite a splash at ISTE 2015, even winning a Best of Show Award by Tech & Learning magazine.

Come see how the LearnFit helps to create a more dynamic and interactive classroom for students by introducing low-level activity into the school day. Our award-winning Zip and YES charging systems are extremely flexible, so they can accommodate most mobile devices.

Will you be in any of these cities or at any of these events this winter? If yes, come and see what the excitement is all about!

FETC 2016
12-15 Jan 2016
Orlando, FL
Booth # 623

BETT 2016
20-23 Jan 2016
London, UK
Excel Stand F105

TCEA 2016
1-5 Feb 2016
Austin, TX
Booth # 1333

DIDACTA 2016
16-20 Feb 2016
Cologne, DE
Halle 9.1 Stand F037

Educatec Educatice
9-11 Mar 2016
Paris, France
Hall 2.1 Stand F6

Can’t make it to these shows? Ergotron has rich online resources for educators at the K-12 to university level. Learn how to turn your wishes into reality for healthier, more active classrooms. Check out our wellness research and grant tools to find funding for bringing standing desks to your school.

Follow us on Twitter (@Ergotron and @ErgoEdTech) for up the minute event updates!

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 Ergotron.com/spotlight 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.