21st Century Desks for 21st Century Learning

While we know it is not uncommon to hang on to traditional open front student desks due to budgetary constraints, there will come a time where dilapidated desks and evolving curriculum will create learning friction as well as the law of diminishing return which are not conducive for the student learning environment.  A modern classroom desk contributes to critical student development which includes skills such as peer communication, teamwork, and adaptability that will be invaluable to students in their future careers.

When shopping for a modern student desk, here are three elements to help guide you in your search:

Modularity

It’s no secret that modularity is a common theme in today’s 21st century classroom furniture.  Desks that can be reconfigured and easily moved are important for tentative lesson schedules that often change at the last-minute.  In addition, this modularity helps accommodate changing preferences (i.e. some teachers would like the classic individual desk row configuration while others want them grouped together).  The Method Polygon Table by Scholar Craft offers ample student work space with a modular footprint to help students get work done more efficiently.

Method Polygon Table by Scholar Craft

Continue reading

Maximizing Classroom Dry Erase Boards

Dry erase boards have been around for decades, being utilized in academic learning environments as well as being a staple in company conference rooms.  However, modern innovations have improved the concept of “dry erase” to make group learning more efficient and accommodate changing situations for better productivity.  Having dry erase boards that complement each other ensures students can collaborate and visualize their ideas while allowing teachers to customize and adapt lesson plans for both group and individualized learning.

Here are several dry erase solutions to help guide in picking what’s right for your learning environment:

Wall-Mounted Dry Erase 2.0

While traditional dry erase whiteboards have eclipsed old chalkboards (which date back to the 19th century), there have been many recent advancements that make these boards better and better.  Some of these innovations include a frameless design to help utilize extra board space while providing an attractive and elegant appearance.  Materials such as porcelain-coated steel with aluminum help with mounting on a curved wall while minimizing dry erase ghosting after repeated use.  The Elemental Frameless Dry Erase Board by Best-Rite offers a wall-mounted dry erase board that also doubles as a projection screen that contributes to a seamless transition between lesson plans.

Elemental Frameless Dry Erase Board by Best-Rite

Continue reading

How to Choose the Best Desks for Your School

While traditional school furniture can last for many years, they are not optimized for the 21st century changing learning environment.  Technology has quickly revolutionized the way students learn but unfortunately, student desks haven’t been as quick to catch up for several reasons.  This may be due to budgetary reasons since it’s normal for schools to maximize furniture expenditures.  Or it could be that many schools prefer traditional lesson plans and adopt a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.  The good news is that there are many options today that can help you find the right desk solution.  Having the right student desk promotes an optimal student learning experience, accommodates new lesson plan innovations, and contributes to a succinct and practical long-term budgetary expenditure.

Here are several factors to help you choose the best student desk:

Collaboration-Based Learning

Two critical skills that students need to learn for future success are communication and teamwork which are the themes of modern lesson plans.  This means you’ll want a student desk that can be easily configured for both individual and team-based assignments.  The Shapes Desk by Balt allows you to configure your classroom into several configurations including the traditional multiple row desk set up,  a round desk set up (up to 10), or square configuration.

Shapes Desk by Balt

Continue reading

Modernize Your Library’s Learning Infrastructure

For the longest time, libraries were the go-to place for research (whether it was grade school or PhD.-related) or digging deep to learn about a particular subject such as how to start a business or the mystery that is Stonehenge.  However, the advent of technology has redefined the premise of a library.  Technology has provided a means for communication and indirectly encouraged collaboration which means libraries should follow suite by adapting their environments to accommodate these themes and go beyond simply offering books to check out.  Utilizing the right furniture to incorporate emerging technology will allow your students and customers to better tackle the daunting task of research while enabling easier communication and efficient collaboration.

Students have always considered libraries to be an invaluable place to focus, study, and get work done.  Whether it’s studying to prepare for mid-term exams or researching sources for a final semester paper, a spacious and quiet place to set up shop is paramount for student success.  The Maximum Privacy Carrell by Smith Carrel allows you to study in peace with ample space for laptops, textbooks and snacks.

Maximum Privacy Study Carrel by Smith Carrel

Many libraries today also have small rooms that can be booked for small group study sessions and for those individuals who absolutely want zero outside distractions.  Generating ideas can be better illustrated with dry erase boards.  However, chalkboards and dry-erase boards often become neglected due to budgetary constraints which means if you’re looking to overhaul your study room resources for the long-term, a modern glass dry erase board is definitely worth the investment.  The Aria Magnetic Low Profile Glassboard by Ghent not only provides ample space to visualize ideas, the selection of board colors helps students focus while the glass feature helps keep the board from developing ghost marks and streaks from cleaning.

Aria Magnetic Low Profile Glassboard by Ghent

The concept of teleconferencing is critical now more than ever.  Communicating via GoToMeeting, Skype, and WhatsApp are no longer limited to conference calls during business hours.  It’s also not uncommon to find one-on-one or group tutoring sessions conducted via online video conference calls.  Libraries can accommodate students who need real-time group communication by adding multimedia tables to their study rooms.  The Interchange Engage Multimedia Table by Smith System allows group interaction and can support an LCD monitor for tutoring and study conference calls while offering charging stations for laptops and tablets.

Interchange Engage Multimedia Table by Smith System

Because every library is different in its layout and services offered, we invite you to check out our comprehensive section of Library Furniture and we are more than happy to help you pick out the items that will help your students and customers succeed!