Category Archives: Education

Active Schools Recognizes Ergotron As Partner of the Year

Last week at the 2017 Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, DC., Active Schools honored Ergotron, Lakeshore FoundationNational Center for Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) and Marathon Kids with its Partner of the Year Award.

Organizations coming together to support active lifestyles for kids.

Active School Partner of the Year Award

Active Schools, a nationwide movement dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity is the norm for K-12 schools, recognizes organizations that support active lifestyles for kids. 

Said Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Education Manager who attended the event, “Partnering with Active Schools is a natural fit to our underlying mission to activate work and learn spaces.

Attendees to the summit had a full agenda, with keynote speakers like Cindy Crawford, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton also helping champion the cause.

“Ergotron is honored to be partnering with such dedicated organizations. Our mutual objective is to create awareness and understanding of the sedentary problem, while introducing a solution that can make a difference with our youth,” said Hill.

Read more about it.

Speak Out! for Kids’ Health & PE

Courtesy of SHAPE America

Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Education Manager, will join more than 200 fellow health and physical education advocates representing nearly 50 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) 10th annual member lobby day, SPEAK Out! Day, on April 25-26.

Bob is in DC to help champion the importance of physical activity in education, and especially within sedentary middle- and high-school classrooms. Research shows there is a link between movement and learning, so health and physical education can help boost academic performance. He will also share insights and success stories about introducing non-disruptive, low-level activity into the classroom. (In the words of teachers, adjustable standing desks are a “game-changer.”)

Movement matters. Health matters. Performance matters. Ergotron is helping to lead the charge to create better learning environments that give students the best chance for success, now and in the future.

Active learning spaces empower students to lead active, healthy lives, which is SHAPE America’s national commitment called 50 Million Strong by 2029.

Join us on social. Find SPEAK Out! Day updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE_America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.

Standing Desks Webinar: Educators have Q’s, we have A’s!

Thank you to those who joined us for the recent live Standing Desks: How and Why Educators Are Using Them webinar about how standing desks create a healthy, flexible, and personalized learning environment. (If you missed the webinar, access it online at edWeb and earn a CE credit!)

Bob Hill, education manager at Ergotron interviewed Monica Escobar, fifth-grade arts and history teacher, and Jim Girard, a  seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher at Alexandria Day School in Virginia. They shared many insights gained from introducing standing desks to their students and unleashing the power of non-disruptive activity in the classroom.

Webinar listeners had an opportunity to pose questions on how to reduce student sedentary behavior and boost their academic performance. Bob Hill addresses three questions that weren’t answered during the session due to time constraints.

Q: ISN’T IT DISRUPTIVE TO HAVE SOME KIDS STANDING AND SOME SITTING?

A: This is a very common question among teachers and principals. Most are concerned about the impact of students standing and sitting at will during class, that they will lose control of the kids. The reality, as reported by teachers, is that these concerns become a moot point. The greater good of a more engaged student, more effective classroom dynamics and more classroom efficiency outweighs teachers’ initial concern.

Teacher Jim Girard explains: “I configure my classroom multiple ways throughout the day to allow for teacher centered instruction, group work, individual work and simulations. With the LearnFit® Desk, I can easily move set ups from a horseshoe shape, to multiple small groups and even all desks moved aside for an open floor space. Just one week into the first school year with the adjustable standing desks, I was already enjoying the benefits of giving the students the option to stand or sit at their desks.”

Q: WHAT’S THE COST OF A STUDENT STANDING DESK?

A: The basic desk/chair combo that has been used in education for generations ranges in cost from $150 to $250. These seated student desks inhibit student performance and health, and are not conducive to easy collaboration. Standing desks are priced from a low of $250 to $1,000, with fixed-height standing desks at the lower end. It’s useful for teachers and schools exploring sit-stand options to understand the restrictions of the various models available to them. Some standing desks may restrict individualized student adjustment and collaborative movement, and or are not scalable to multiple classrooms or whole schools. An adjustable, mobile option like the LearnFit standing desk ushers in a whole new era of classroom furniture. It allows students to intuitively adjust the height of the worksurface to suit them, and the casters allow for easy and natural movement for ultimate classroom collaboration.

Q: DO STANDING DESKS WORK FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS?

A: Research at the ATTAIN Tech Lab in New Hope, MN, suggests it does. SPED students were encouraged to stand for at least five minutes every half hour. Simple movement may increase focus, concentration, work quality, and overall behavior for students with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum, developmental coordination, emotional and behavioral disorders. Watch a video of an interview with an ATTAIN educator or read the scientific journal article: Sit, Stand, Learn.

While Ergotron desks are not officially ADA-certified, educators find that both the LearnFit and TeachWell® mobile adjustable workstations help level the playing field for many students with physical challenges. For example, students in wheelchairs can wheel right up to the desk and engage more easily with peers while participating in group projects.

Stay tuned for more Q & A from the webinar, as well as other FAQ’s about active classroom furniture.

In the meantime, check out Ergotron’s educator resources for research on “sitting disease,” grants and funding sources, and other tools to support building the case for standing desks at your school.

You can also access last year’s School Moves! webinar on-demand – it focuses mainly on the metabolic health and engagement aspects of an active classroom. (CE credit is available.)

Bob Hill,
Education Manager at Ergotron
@LearnFit_Bob#schoolsthatmove

Say “YES” to the Basics: Flexible and Affordable!

Perhaps your school district — like many — is in the throes of a race to the top with an aim toward educational innovation. At the same time, it may be hampered by severe budget constrictions. If so, you’ll be relieved to learn you don’t have to scrimp and penny-pinch to purchase a safe, sturdy, secure charging cart to go with your new technology.

Get Ergotron quality with the new YES Basic Charging Cart: a smaller, simpler version of our popular YES 36 Charging Cart for under $1,000! It shares family traits with Ergotron’s YES and Zip charging systems at an extremely budget-friendly price. All Ergotron charging products are designed to keep your mobile devices secure, protected and charged. In addition, we rigorously test our carts to ensure they can handle the stresses a modern classroom can demand of technology.

A Simpler Cart: This rugged, space-saving cart will charge, store and transport up to 36 devices. Move or remove adjustable dividers as needed to create your own custom-size spaces — ideal for tablet, Chromebook™, Ultrabook™, MacBook® and laptop devices. This YES Basic cart truly is the last cart you’ll ever buy.

At recent tradeshows, educators liked these YES Basic features best:

  1. Small footprint – 23” x 23” (59 x 59 cm).
  2. Works with all devices, including mixed devices now and new ones in the future.
  3. Lifetime Warranty on mechanical; 3 years on electrical; 1 year on cables.

What’s the main trade-off for a lower price? Charging time. The YES 36 and Zip40 Charging Carts use Ergotron’s patented PowerShuttle® charging system and charge up to 30% faster than standard round-robin charging systems.

Ergotron has the broadest and best selection of charging systems in the industry. Find the right one for your devices – download our Comparison Matrix or visit Charging.ergotron.com.

 

On-demand: Educator Webinar on Standing Desks

Available on-demand! Access this free webinar to learn about the essential role of classroom furniture in keeping pace with technology and learning styles. CE certificate is available, offered in conjunction with edWeb.net and Big Deal Media.

The webinar panel includes Bob Hill, education manager at Ergotron who interviews Monica Escobar, fifth-grade arts and history teacher, and Jim Girard, seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher, both at Alexandria Day School, in Virginia.

All three presenters are passionate about reducing sedentary behavior and boosting academic performance in students. The teachers share their insights and experiences with introducing standing desks into the classroom. They address the pros and cons, the challenges and successes. You’ll have an opportunity to listen in as they answer questions from educators on how to create a collaborative, flexible, and personalized learning environment.

We offer educator resources  where you can learn about the research regarding “sitting disease,” grants and funding sources, and other information to support building the case for standing desks at your school.

You can also access last year’s School Moves! webinar on-demand; it focuses mainly on the metabolic health benefits and classroom engagement aspects of standing desks. (CE credit is available.)

Register Now

We have a LearnFit Essay Contest winner!

Thank you to everyone who supported the contest by sharing the word or submitting an entry. (We received more than 400 entries!) Congratulations to Pottstown High School as the winner of the Let’s Move! Active Schools LearnFit Essay Contest. Just as Pottstown High School takes a “whole body learning” approach, so too does the LearnFit adjustable standing desk, providing benefits to students’ physical health, mental health, social wellbeing and academic achievement.

Of particular interest in the Pottstown High School essay submission was the attention to the role of mental health in learning, citing a 2016 Pennsylvania Youth Survey of students in grades 6,8,10 & 12. Not only does mental health impact the current and future wellbeing of our youth, it also impacts classroom performance and attendance.  Research shows links between physical activity and mental health, so our aim is to provide students and educators with practical means to break up sedentary behavior that can contribute to debilitating metabolic and mental health issues.

Research also shows the link between low-level physical activity (LLPA) and metabolic health. By introducing standing into the classroom, students’ heart rates are kept higher, they burn more calories and they maintain muscle tone and insulin effectiveness. This translates to healthier, more engaged students with greater on-task behavior.

The amount of physical activity and physical education time is greatly reduced when students advance into secondary education. High schools are grossly underserved with physical activity outlets and external interventions. By supplying practical learning solutions to educators, our partnership provides students with the best opportunity to succeed. We believe that introducing low-level physical activity – in the form of LearnFit adjustable standing desks – into otherwise sedentary classrooms can make a difference.

–  Bob Hill, Ergotron Global Education Manager
@LearnFit_Bob

A back-to-school charging cart story

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The other day I picked up my husband from work. He’s a fourth-grade teacher at a St. Paul school in Minnesota. Since we’ve been talking to a lot of educators and administrators about our new LearnFit® Adjustable Standing Desk, I took this opportunity to check out his classroom and chat with him to research the flow of his day.

BeforeChargingCart

I also wanted to see this charging cart he’d been complaining about. He couldn’t remember the brand name but he said it was a big mess. He said only about half of his students were plugging in their devices because the cables were so tangled; he often couldn’t even get the door closed because of the cords! He was right, it was chaos. ErgotronYesChargingCart

He told me I should see another fourth-grade teacher’s cart. “It’s awesome,” he said, glowing. “The devices almost plug themselves in.” I had to check out this paragon of virtue, a little daunted that it might be a competitor’s cart.

Happy to say, it was one of our YES® Charging Carts. I think these pictures pretty much tell the whole story.

What’s your cart story?

Angela Swenson, Director, Global Channel Marketing

TIPS FOR TAMING TECH CHAOS IN THE CLASSROOM

Are you an educator looking for new strategies for organizing your classroom routines and trouble zones? Consider these tech tips for a fall refresh:

Choose a cart, locker, or other charging system that’s compatible with a wide range of devices. One size does not fit all, so make sure your system matches your laptops, tablets, or handhelds. That way, you can mix and match devices today, and your charging solution won’t become obsolete tomorrow.

Locate your system logistically in the classroom, office or media center. It should be out of the way in crowded spaces, but within easy reach for convenient distribution of devices before, after or during class. Sometimes closets or other nooks can serve as charging stations.

Quality, well-made products are durable enough to withstand abuse, the kind that only kids can dish out, but even then… Avoid broken shelves, dismantled cords and jammed locks which require IT to track down replacement parts or call in vendors, such as locksmiths.

Train students to use a gentle touch and act responsibly around technology. Talk to them seriously about the value of the equipment they’re using and what an honor it is to be “tech pioneers.” Not every classroom has the advantage of these devices.

Have a conversation with fellow educators to learn successful strategies for integrating technology into education. You may find that your young, inexperienced peers are comfortable with tech and can give you digital tips and tutorials. Older, seasoned peers may be able to offer good advice on classroom management and how to inspire students. Or the opposite.

Make use of online resources, too. For example, check out the back-to-school posts on the Ask a Tech Teacher blog. In addition to advice, you’ll find over 100 free EdTech lesson plans from a group of savvy contributors. Read away!

Personalized, flexible classrooms

We think the future of classroom furniture is personalized flexibility. What do we mean by that? To adapt to the fluid environment of their classrooms, teachers need equipment that allows them to change their teaching style at a moment’s notice. And kids deserve desks that enable full engagement with the teacher and classmates, as the subject and assignment dictate.

Ideally, classroom furniture should help keep the entire class focused on the learning process, the teacher’s attention on the subject at hand, and both adaptable to the best possible presentation of the knowledge at any given moment.

“To achieve our visions, classroom furniture must be intuitively flexible, for teachers to teach in a very flexible, personalized way, and in a way that’s personalized to the students as well.” ­– Bob Hill, Ergotron Education Manager

What are the results for classes that share our vision? Some teachers shared their experiences with Ergotron’s LearnFit desks.

“Not only does it engage kids, but it sort of frees you to do whatever it is that you need to do in your room, when you can easily move everything around.” – Monica Escobar, 5th Grade Teacher, Arts and History, Alexandria Country Day School

“I’ve noticed that my higher level kids are performing even higher than normal, and my lower level kids are also performing higher.” – Keri King, Biology Lead Teacher, Lamar High School

Watch the video to learn more about the benefits of personalized flexibility in the classroom.

Ergotron’s FitForward™ program gives back

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For decades, Ergotron has been helping computer users like you have a healthier, more active workday. And now our joint passion for wellness can impact future generations. When you purchase WorkFit® or ErgotronHome™ Lift 35 products, Ergotron donates LearnFit® Adjustable Standing Desks to schools across the country. Together, we can give our children the life-changing benefits of active learning, decrease sedentary time in the classroom and set our youth on a course of lifetime wellness.

Betsey_Banker_180x180

Betsey Banker, Ergotron’s Vertical Marketing Manager for Wellness, explains how you can be a part of paying “fit” forward:

It’s inspiring to see so many organizations taking a stand for employee wellness with products like WorkFit. Most have read the research about the many benefits of standing up while working and now they’re seeing the difference in their employees. It makes sense that other sedentary places, like classrooms, could benefit from these same discoveries. That’s what makes FitForward so great. Doing something good for yourself, your coworkers or your employees is helping deliver the same benefits to students.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll feature profiles of some of the students, teachers and schools this new program is influencing towards a healthier learning environment.

To learn more about this initiative, visit the FitForward page of our website.