Ups and Downs in the Classroom
Look around a district’s classrooms and there’s a good chance you’ll see a wide variety of chairs and desks that come from different eras of schooling. The problem is that few are particularly well suited to the efficient use of computers and none can easily be adjusted to accommodate different size kids. How times have changed. Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen four cool and innovative pieces of school furniture that can not only make learning easier and more natural but can be adjusted so that the smallest first grader and the largest high-schools senior can comfortably learn.
Don’t let its beautiful natural bamboo surface fool you, NextDesk’s Terra table is serious about learning. Its sturdy aluminum frame has a chain-driven motor drive inside the legs that move the desktop up and down from 24- to 50.5-inches high. There’re microprocessor-controlled up and down switches with three memory presets for different size students. The 63- by 31.5-inch desk costs $1,500 and you can add an optional power strip.
Being adjustable is what Populas’s family of Equity Bi-Level Workstations is all about. The tables can work with a variety of kids and grown-ups, even students in wheelchairs. The work tables have two surfaces, one for the notebook or computer screen and another lower one for the keyboard and mouse. The good news is that both are adjustable with a simple hand crank that can independently adjust the two surfaces up and down. Available in a variety of plastic laminates and wood veneers, the 48- by 16-inch table costs $962.
Forget everything you know about classroom furniture because Versatables’ Edison Electric Table will astound with its flexibility. The ADA-compliant table can move up and down as much as 26-inches, making it a traditional table or a standing desk, depending on the situation. The key is that the tabletop is on a track that has an electric motor to quickly move it up and down to the desired height. The table starts at $829 for a 36- by 24-inch surface.
Small students count for as much as large ones with CTA’s Kids Adjustable Activity Table for iPad. Able to adjust to three different heights: 4-, 11- or 20-inches, the table holds the slate securely on an easel that can be removed or flipped over to create a large flat work surface. It has a clear plastic screen to protect the pad. It’s available for $50.