TCEA 2008 Serves Up Ed-Tech Wisdom

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Educators and ed-tech specialists who attended the 2008 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin got a Texas-size helping of new educational technology ideas, approaches, and solutions to take back to their schools.

Training TableWith more than 8,500 registered attendees from all over the nation, this year’s TCEA conference was the largest ever, said TCEA Executive Director Ron Cravey. “Everyone there had a good time, and the amount of knowledge shared was overwhelming.” Cravey said. “One attendee described this year’s event as ‘awesome’ and told me he ‘would be here every year’ until he died. TCEA will continue to grow bigger and better, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Those in attendance had a chance to tour an exhibit hall featuring 430 ed-tech vendors and sit in on any of the dozens of workshops and concurrent sessions.¬†They also heard keynote speeches from former NASA astronaut Sally Ride, who sounded an alarm about the state of science education in the nation’s schools, and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, who described new technologies that “will change your life” and discussed their implications for today’s educators.

Another feature unique to this year’s conference: eSchool News hosted a two-day “Ed-Tech Best Practices Summit,” during which conference attendees learned how their colleagues in other schools are using technology successfully to enhance education. Among the approaches that were highlighted were solutions from American Education Corp., Atomic Learning, BenQ, ePals, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, LenSec, Lightspeed Systems, Moodlerooms, PBS TeacherLine, Saywire, Troxell Communications, and Voyager Expanded Learning. Continue reading

Table Advice From Kevin Worthington

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Activity TablesNeed folding tables or banquet tables for your worship facility? How about a harder-to-find round folding table? In today’s market, you can choose from plywood core, laminate, or plastic tops in a variety of attractive colors and finishes for your folding tables or banquet tables. Visit www.Worthingtondirect.com today to see all of your table options.

Need help getting started? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions by churches when evaluating and purchasing tables.

What are the various table top materials? Tables are available with a variety of tabletop options. High-Pressure Laminate (HPL), blow molded plastic, ABS plastic, and plywood are the primary materials for the majority of activity and folding tables.

High Pressure Laminate: HPL tops have a particleboard core and are superior to thermofused melamine and to non-thermofused melamine tops. HPL tops will not bubble up when exposed to water and are more resistant upon impact. Tables with HPL tops offer a variety of color choices and have a completely smooth finish. This is an added plus for classrooms, which would include writing and art projects.

Plywood-Core: These reliable tabletops have a plywood core at the center with a sheet of high-pressure laminate on top. They have the same benefits of the HPL tabletops, but they also have a superior core strength and stability. They are lighter weight than the full plywood top, which makes them much easier to set up and break down.

Blow Molded: The newest design to enter the production line is the blow molded tabletops, which are extremely lightweight and can be easily set up and stored. The lighter the weight of the table, the less likely damage can occur in delivery. The tabletop does have a slightly textured surface compared to a smooth HPL top.

What are the various table heights? Tables are offered in a fixed or adjustable height option. If a table has a fixed height, it is most likely to be 29 inches to 30 inches high for a standard adult height. Adjustable height tables usually move in one-inch increments for added flexibility when working with children or youth. Some adjustable tables offer a smaller height range just for smaller children.

What about the table legs? When choosing a table, consider the standard four-leg table, the T-Leg pedestal table, the standard classroom table, and the folding table. The legs and frames of a table are often made of steel. Remember, the lower the gauges of steel, the stronger the table.

How do you determine the seating capacity of a table? Choosing tables can be tricky. Since size is the most important factor, remember that the smaller the chair, the greater the seating capacity around a table. However, knowing how the table will be used can also determine the amount of room that each person around the table will need.

Seating capacity depends on the size of the person and the size of the chair. Full-size student stack chairs are usually 18 inches to 21 inches wide. If you are using a standard folding chair for seating, then plan for 18 inches of width per seat. Allowing for a liberal 26 inches per person gets the “comfortable” designation, while allowing a tight 20 inches per person gets you the “maximum” designation.

Kevin Worthington is president of Worthington Direct, www.worthingtondirect.com . Continue reading

New Greenguard Certified Products by Bretford

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Worthington Direct has added new products to the Greenguard Certified Furniture catagory by Bretford, Inc.  Outfit your entire computer lab with quality products like the Connections Series computer tables and accessories.  Visit www.Worthingtondirect.com today for new healthy, learning environment.

Bretford, Inc., supplier of technology and media furniture that improves how people work and learn, today announced that a large number of its laminate tables, carts and accessories now comply with the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s (GEI) GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) standards for low-emitting products and materials. Through this designation, Bretford is giving specifiers of furniture products for education and business facilities the ability to create healthier environments – particularly for children. It also brings these institutions closer to achieving valuable Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) points, the nationally accepted benchmark towards the design, construction and operation of green buildings.


Bretford’s Quattro, Connections and CR Series tables and accessories, as well as Presentation Environments™ and HERE™ meeting and training tables, carts and accessories now hold GREENGUARD Certification. For a complete listing of certified Bretford models, view the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide. Each product is linked to a printable certificate that verifies GREENGUARD Certification, which is approved by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED project submission.


According to GEI, people spend over 90 percent of their time indoors where they are exposed to thousands of airborne pollutants. Inadequate ventilation, high temperatures and high humidity levels increase concentrations of some contaminants, leading to indoor air pollution levels on average two to five times greater than those outdoors and in some cases up to 100 times greater. Children are at the greatest risk because they are more susceptible to certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides and allergens, which may trigger allergic reactions, asthma symptoms and other health problems.


“Bretford’s tables, carts and accessories are primarily used in education and business environments – and because they are among our highest volume products, we chose to have them tested and certified first,” explained John Jaqua, manager, design and engineering for Bretford, Inc. “Certification is becoming critical in commercial environments and our GREENGUARD designation now allows architects, designers and facility managers to confidently and immediately specify Bretford tables into their ‘green-friendly’ school, library, conference room or workspace projects.”


According to GEI CEO Carl E. Smith, LEED AP, “Building managers and specifiers are leading the demand for healthier indoor air by seeking products that meet recognized standards and carry third-party certification.” He continued, “The Bretford products underwent comprehensive testing and verification to attain the GREENGUARD Certification. When certified Bretford products are integrated into a facility design, the building owner can be confident that they will not contribute to indoor air pollution.”  

About GREENGUARD Certification
The GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM is an industry-independent, third-party testing program for low-emitting products and materials. The first GREENGUARD Certification was awarded in the fall of 2002. In 2005, GEI announced the GREENGUARD Children & Schools standard, which evaluates the sensitive nature of school populations combined with the unique building characteristics found in schools, and presents the most rigorous product emissions criteria to date. GREENGUARD Certification is a valuable tool for architects, designers, product specifiers, and purchasing organizations that want to locate, specify, and purchase off-the-shelf, low-emitting products for indoor environments. More information about the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and GREENGUARD Certification can be found at http://www.greenguard.org/.

Classroom Gets Answers on the Presidental Campaign

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More and more students are working with computers to aid in their studies and keep up with current events.  Worthington Direct offers a great selection of computer tables and computer workstations at resonable prices. Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today and find sturdy computer furniture and convenient audio-visual furniture that’s right for any classroom.

Bretford Model EC15

NBC News is making its top political reporters and experts available to answer questions about the 2008 presidential election from the nation’s students and teachers. "Ask NBC News" is an exclusive feature of NBC News Archives on Demand, a compilation of thousands of primary-source video resources created specifically for classroom instruction.

The Archives on Demand are available on HotChalk, a free web-based learning management system for K-12 teachers and their students. Students and teachers can submit questions about the presidential campaign via eMail to [email protected] or via text message to ASKNBC (275622) by texting ASK and then their question.

Each Thursday, the NBC News political team–including Meet the Press host and Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Tim Russert, Washington Correspondent Pete Williams, and Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory–will answer one question and make the video available at the HotChalk web site.

In addition to Ask NBC News, the NBC News Archives on Demand features a "Decision ’08" curricular resource offering up-to-the-minute presidential election news. Features include full profiles on the candidates, information about their positions on major issues, video clips of speeches and debates, campaign trail news, historical footage from past presidential campaigns, and political analysis from the award-winning NBC News team.

The video-on-demand user interface allows teachers to customize their lesson plans with relevant content to bring the election process and political issues to life in their classrooms, NBC News said. Continue reading

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