Tag Archives: active classrooms

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.

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

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

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.

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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.

Active classroom benefits gain global spotlight

Spanish TV Vid

Video courtesy of www.ccma.cat.

Good news! Reports about how standing desks are helping students to learn have crossed the Atlantic. Recently a number of European television stations have covered this educational phenomenon.

Spain’s Televisio de Catalunya sent reporter Raquel Sans to Virginia’s Alexandria Country Day School to see how Ergotron’s LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desks help create an active learning environment. According to teachers and administrators, middle-school students are more productive now, and can stay focused and attentive for longer periods.

For more information on this and other Spotlight Classrooms around the world using our sit-stand student desks, visit Ergotron.com/spotlight.

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

[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.

Best of Show: LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk

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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 >

What advice would you give your 15 year-old self?

431LogoSleep more? Eat less Cheetos? Get more involved? This is what an impressive lineup of speakers at the 431Project Summit in Vermont is sharing. But not only that…they are exploring ideas for reimagining the future–with a mission to make healthy “normal” for the next generation.

The event this week hopes to inspire attendees, speakers and sponsors to walk away with a commitment to bring change back to their communities, supporting today’s youth to lead healthier, more active lives.

One of the these speakers is Ergotron’s ergonomics and wellness research manager Carrie Schmitz (@giveafig). She shared insights and experience working with leading researchers and pioneer schools introducing students and teachers to adjustable standing desks.

“Whether you are five or fifteen, living a healthy life encompasses more than just the food in your lunch box or exercise on the playground,” said Carrie. “It isn’t so much about teaching kids how to move as it is allowing them to keep moving without stifling that natural energy outlet.”

Physical activity − exercise − stimulates neuron development in the brain. It is the only way to create new neurons in the brain according to Dr. Fred Gage. Throughout childhood the brain is mapping the body through movement. Keeping kids moving is key to learning.

The 431 Project has a vigorous journey ahead. Contact them at info@the431project.org to learn more or visit the 431project.org. You can also follow the event via #431action on Twitter.