Category Archives: Technology

Ergotron Telehealth Carts empower patients

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The telemedicine trend is exploding, with virtual consult services being the most well-known and popular among patients. The American Telemedicine Association estimates that half of all health care services will be delivered via telehealth within five years. The World Health Organization predicts the practice has the “potential to transform the face of health service delivery across the globe.” In fact, the global market for telemedicine is expected to top $34 billion by 2020.

So, what is telemedicine (or telehealth)? There are a number of definitions but they all point to the same general idea: Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status.

Surprisingly, telehealth as a phenomenon has been around since the late 1800’s, with the invention of the telegraph and telephone. During the Civil War, the military used the telegraph to order medical supplies and a few decades later, the telephone for medical consultations. The invention of the radio and television ramped up the healthcare applications until digital technology expanded them even further.

Patients have embraced telemedicine enthusiastically and here’s why:

1-They can access care easily from a tablet, smartphone or computer, meeting through a safe, secure, and confidential video connection. Surveys show that patients are just as satisfied with a virtual face-to-face visit as a live one.

2-Patients can connect with a qualified, board-certified health care provider right away, and get a diagnosis and treatment as needed. Some tests can even be conducted during a virtual visit and prescriptions can be ordered afterwards.

3-Patients get convenient care, when and where they need it, without the hassle of driving or waiting to be seen. Virtual consults are usually available 7 days a week, for extended hours, such as 8am to midnight.

4-In addition to being fast, easy, and flexible, virtual consults are more affordable. They can be charged to a patient’s insurance company or a credit card. Rates are less than an office visit; $39 is a common fee, though insurers may negotiate even lower rates for their members.

Ergotron Telemedicine Carts and Telepresence Carts combine the power to support onboard diagnostics and video-conferencing with StyleView® point-of-care carts. (See all our Telehealth Carts.) Healthcare organizations can rely on Ergotron’s more than 30 years of expertise and service to build a solution that matches their needs and budget.

 

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.

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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!

Classrooms of the future need the right furniture

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By Bob Hill, Ergotron Global Education Manager

Have you noticed? While there is little doubt that classrooms have become more sophisticated and digital, the physical classroom setting and furniture don’t seem to have evolved at the same pace.

It’s true.

The tablets and devices that are transforming the learning process still sit on top of the same style desks from the 1950s. The blackboards and chalk may have been replaced by interactive whiteboards connected to a computer or projector, but far too often, students still sit in stagnant rows looking up in the same direction at the teacher for the daily lesson.

While curriculum modernization creates opportunities for teachers and students to use the classroom space more effectively, traditional classroom furniture does not. In order for the classroom to truly evolve, teachers, principals and district administrators need to address the entire classroom environment.

Consider this about classroom furniture:

  • Classroom furniture at the most foundational level should enhance the educational tools and technology it’s supporting. At an aspirational level, it should also support the teachers’ curriculum, the students’ health, comfort and learning styles. This requires a fundamental change in thinking as schools adopt 1:1 technology, requiring analysis of what else is changing in association with the technology.
  • Facilitating the move from traditional lectures to more group-based, collaborative and active environments requires adjustable and highly mobile furniture for both students and teachers. Stationary desks do not lend themselves to an active classroom nor do they facilitate a group-dynamic or mobile learning environment that has become so prevalent in today’s educational system.
  • A desk that is both height-adjustable and mobile will foster an individualized learning environment that addresses these issues and offers a myriad of benefits to teachers, students and the school.

Why adjustable desks?

Access to adjustable furniture has been proven to help reduce fidgeting distractions, give teachers more time to teach, increase student engagement, improve academic performance and enliven curriculum. In addition, the rising concerns about childhood health issues are addressed when students are given an alternative to sitting all day—introducing standing into the classroom is an effective means to break up sedentary behavior. We’ve seen this played out dozens of times in our LearnFit® ambassador schools across the country.

Input from surveys, interviews and case studies have all demonstrated that teachers prefer desks that facilitate movement and that students adapt to them intuitively. These types of desks foster collaborative learning while satisfying a child’s need for motion and allow for the teacher to use every inch of the environment for instruction.

Given today’s intersection of technology and education, the classroom set-up is at a crossroads. Schools like the Alexandria Country Day School in Virginia get the critical role classroom furniture can play in making today’s classrooms healthier, more collaborative and more conducive to learning even as schools prepare for the next wave of digital instruction.

It is time to “stand up” for important and fundamental changes for today’s classroom and the classroom of the future.

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

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.

Make it a happier, healthier, Ergotron new year!

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With the New Year just a few days away, healthy habits may be inspiring you toward an amazing 2016. Set yourself up for success with these highly innovative solutions for healthy computing at work, school, or home. They’re guaranteed to have a positive impact on your life:

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Instantly move to sit or stand as you work with our ultra easy standing desks, such as the WorkFit-T Sit-Stand Workstation. Quickly convert a tabletop into a healthy sit-stand workstation! For all you options, learn more> Or take a peek at our ever-popular LX Arm frees up space and allows easy positioning of your display.

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LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desk for students keep kids active and engaged in the classroom. Students can instantly and intuitively personalize the desk to their preferred height. Learn more or hear what teachers and students are saying at Ergotron.com/spotlight.

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The nimble SV10 Laptop or Tablet Carts effortlessly moves to the point of need and offers easy height adjustment. It’s one of the innovative new Ergotron products built with Anthro-DNA™! That mark signifies design and engineering experience our new brand Anthro brings to expand your options at Ergotron. Learn more>

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The new ErgotronHome™ Workspace™ Hub27 cabinet brings order and charging power to your home-tech. Better yet, it doubles as a wall-mounted standing desk, for less sitting time after hours. ErgotronHome’s WorkSpace series — the Hub and Lift products — are now shipping. Learn more>

 

We’re betting you’ll find it so easy to put your New Year’s resolutions in play. Until then, have a safe and happy holiday from all of us at Ergotron!

Nortek Acquires Anthro Corporation, Technology Furniture®

Nortek, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTK) today announced the acquisition of Anthro Corporation, the Oregon-based designer and manufacturer of technology furniture to join Nortek’s Ergotron and OmniMount brands (see the release).anthro-logo-notag_Red_2

“We share similar cultures and our employees put customers first in everything they do,” said Pete Segar, Ergotron President and CEO. “This shared passion and energy will drive new innovations that not only support our mission of delivering the kinds of solutions that promote healthier and more productive environments, but also strategically prepare us for future trends.”

By uniting the strengths and resources of Ergotron and Anthro, our combined organization is positioned to better serve the growing global demand for high-quality and affordable digital life and workstyle products. We are excited to welcome Anthro employees aboard today!

One Cart To Rule Them All? We Think So

Ergotron Zip40 Carts and Zip12 Desktop Cabinet

Meet our newest charging systems family! Ergotron’s Zip40 Charging Cart, Zip40 Charging and Management Cart, and Zip12 Charging Desktop Cabinet all share a universal desire to keep your tablet, Chromebook™, Ultrabook™, MacBook® and laptop devices−individually or in any combination−secure, protected and charged.

Adjustable dividers gives you flexibility in which devices you charge together. You can move or remove dividers as needed to create your own custom-size spaces:

  • For Carts: 40-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 30-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases
  • For Desktop: 12-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 8-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases of these needed

Central to both carts is Ergotron’s reliable and patented PowerShuttle® power management system which charges up to 30% faster than a standard round-robin charging system so devices are ready you need them, and the system never waste time charging empty slots.

From the classroom to your backroom retail management of devices, this cart has something for everyone. But hey, that’s us. Take a look for yourself!


To choose the right charging system for you visit Charging.ergotron.com.

Keeping an eye on health with the new Apple Watch

Copyright 2014

Copyright 2014

“They’re playing our song,” someone on the team said at the launch of Apple’s newest innovation, the Apple Watch (overview).

The “song” they’re singing? It has a catchy little ring to it. We tried to capture it once five years ago in our release of the Cubicle Blues, back when people were still arguing “why would I want to stand when I can sit?” Back when we lit the flame under our JustStand® Wellness Uprising in 2009.

Fast forward to 2014. It’s fabulous to see corporations like Apple designing products with features to address the very human need to move. Getting you to stand more, or move more as John-Michael Bond indicates in his recent TÚAW post (“The Apple Watch health app is an incredible tool for all levels of fitness”) is one of the goals of the Apple Watch health app.

If you are planning to invest in this latest bit of Apple deliciousness, be sure to explore this feature. It is something that all of the pioneer JustStanders out there will appreciate.

Picture the scene. You are knee-deep in editing video and you hear a beep. Stand up for at least 1 minute in every hour is the alert you could receive with the Apple Watch on your wrist, spurring you to action, because, “Oh yeah, it’s time to move around.”

Researchers like Dr. Genevieve Healy, from the University of Queensland in Australia (and others like her), have even been suggesting changing postures every 30 minutes.

Whichever time frame you choose to follow, the edict is this: If you are sitting? Stand. If standing, move around, or even sit for a while. Simple.

The watch will help keep you honest about your body absent mindedness. Especially after you identify those oh-so-sedentary times during your day with our free Sitting-Time Calculator.

Like at your computer where you may want to consider pairing your monitor or laptop with an Ergotron WorkFit sit-stand workstation designed for PC or for Apple. (Hint: This makes the sit/stand part easier AND keeps you productive.)

Either way, with the Apple Watch, you have another means to avoid the “low-down not enough moving around blues!”

2.1, 2.4, Lightning, 4, Air, Mini…what does it all mean?

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It means that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square.

First, let me point out we are talking about charging speeds, and in particular, charging Apple products. The question comes up often when reviewing charging systems for a fleet of iPads, “What is the best charging speed for my solution?”

Here are the charging speeds of the various iPad generations at the two amperage rates that today’s iPad charging carts and wall stations support:

iPad Model (connection type) 2.1A 2.4A
iPad 4 (Lightning) 7.0 hrs 5.0 hrs
iPad Air (Lightning) 6.0 hrs 4.0 hrs
iPad Mini (Lightning) 5.5 hrs 3.25 hrs.

If you want to take full advantage of the 2.4A charging speeds of iPad 4, iPad Air or iPad Mini, then go with a charging cart or wall mount that is MFi (Made for iPad) and able to charge at that full rate.

DM10-1001-rem-ipad_smIf the nominal difference in charge times is not as pressing as budget limitations, or if you are using a mixture of older and newer Apple devices, then consider a charging cart or wall station that charges at the 2.1A rate.  The charging time difference could be a moot point based on your usage model and charging patterns.  For instance, are the iPads going to charge overnight anyway?

Ergotron offers both 2.4A and 2.1A iPad charging systems:

  • Ergotron’s MFi (Made for iPad) 2.4A charging carts and wall stations come pre-cabled for Lightning devices, but are also backwards compatible to swap in 30-pin cables for charging older-generation iPads. Lightning-cabled devices will charge at the full 2.4A rate, while iPads connected via a 30-pin cable will still charge at their 2.1A rate.
  • Ergotron also has 2.1A versions of its charging carts and wall stations as well. Whether using 30-pin or Lightning cables, and whether using iPad 2, iPad Air or iPad Mini, all Apple devices connected will charge at the 2.1A rate. This is an economical way to go for mix-and-match iPad generations, and if the devices will be charging all night any way.

One final note, it is also very important to make sure that the charging cart or wall station that you choose is fully safety-certified.  If not, your devices, students and staff are at risk. For more information about this, we’ve put together a brief white paper for you to share with your IT group or other stakeholders in the decision process.

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager @ Ergotron

Bob Hill

Choosing the right device charging station…a few considerations

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More than 90 percent of Americans own a cellphone, 32 percent own an e-reader and 42 percent own a tablet computer. Schools are facing a burgeoning amount of tablet usage in their classrooms, whether that be BYOD, 1:1 or 1: to many. And it is falling on IT/Media to figure out how to best charge, sync, store and secure this investment.

There are a lot of questions to answer, and creating side-by-side comparisons of solutions will help. Use this information to help prioritize your needs so that when you start evaluating solutions, you know where to draw the line. Whether to leverage assets or to meet space challenges, here are a few things to consider:

1.  Choose mobility for larger quantities of devices

With wide casters for easy moving across multiple surfaces, and storage to house multiple devices at a time, a charging cart is your best bet. Plus, it can easily be rolled into a closet to be locked up for the night. Here are some questions to think through cart options:

  • Will the devices be used exclusively in one class or will they be shared across the building?
  • Will they be stored by the teacher in the classroom or should they be housed in the Media Center or IT manager’s office?
  • Is it important to be able to visually check whether a device is plugged in properly and charging?
  • Is it secure? Will the locking mechanisms deter theft?


2.  
Choose fixed or desktop options for small quantities 

If you need to only manage a small number of devices, look for charging stations that can either be mounted on the wall or will sit on a desk or countertop. Take into consideration the following:

  • Does it offer a low profile to help avoid interfering with flow of students or staff around the room?
  • Consider the size of charging slots if the devices have cases; not all charging systems are created equal
  • Can the unit scale if class or device requirements grow?
  • Is security an issue? Do you need to lock up the device or is it safe to leave them in an open environment?
  • Ease of access to device is important, look for units that make device insertion and retrieval a snap

3.  Also important, choose safety!

Whether rolling out 20 devices or 1000, don’t forget the electrical requirements. Look for products that are UL labeled for the whole unit, not just the components. Charging station that have been designed to be a safe product requires redundant safety features, special abuse tests; both component and full system level certifications to all government standards is ideal when used in public places such as schools. Whether adults are the only ones interacting with the unit, or if students engage with it too, look for products that are rugged and suit the environment where they are being placed. Learn more about safe product design.

IMAG0455It’s fascinating to watch where the future of classroom technology is going. 360° classrooms, sit-stand learning environments, no barriers cyber-education…each new adoption faces its challenges. Being prepared means doing your homework ahead of making a purchasing decision. When you do integrate that new solution and it’s a winner for staff and students give yourself a gold star or take an Instagram selfie—some IT geekery is allowed!

Or you can do what most people do, visit Charging.ergotron.com to see side-by-side comparisons of our device charging carts, wall mounts, and desktop units. We have a very broad selection all in one place for you to review.

And of course, I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

By Sheila Veschusio, Ergotron Education Industry Manager

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[1] Pew Internet Mobile Technology Fact Sheet- http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/