EDUCAUSE 2010: I Think TRON Designed My Next Desk

The Buzz Blog drools over the 21st century classroom-friendly Ergotron.

Over the last two years, I've gone from having just a couple high-tech tools available to me in my classroom – to a classroom overflowing with high-end equipment. From document cameras to student responders, I almost have it all, but it's become a double-edge sword. Here's why: my tools have been upgraded, but my environment has remained the same. Specifically, I'm referring to my desk! It's perfect for paper and pencil tasks because, after all, that's what it was made for! Today, I need a workstation that is designed for a 21st century work environment; not one that you'd see on Little House on the Prairie in their one-room school house. Enter: Ergotron. Just the name makes you think of the future, doesn't it? Pssssssssssssst! It's got TRON in the name, get it?

How often do you misplace your remote control to your TV at your home? Once a month? Once a week? Brother International recently conducted a survey to determine how disorganization affects office productivity and how workers viewed themselves as well as others regarding disorganization. They found that an estimated 38 working hours (or one work week) per person each year are lost as a result of looking for misplaced items in the office. I used to have just one remote control in my classroom to control my TV, and I misplaced that one device at least every couple days. Now, I have a remote for my doc cam, one for my LCD projector, one for my second LCD projector, TV, DVD player, presenter remote, wireless pad, responders, and several styli. It's too much!

It's becoming a serious point of frustration for me, both personally and professionally, so you can imagine my drool factor when I saw one of Ergotron's platforms on the Educause show floor called the TeachWell Mobile Digital Platform. At first glance, I thought it was kind of small; it appeared to just be big enough to display a laptop and doc cam, but upon closer inspection, I was surprised at how much equipment you could fit on this platform. It accommodates LCDs, standard PCs, laptops, portable doc cams, DVD players and wireless extenders, projectors, remote displays, projection devices and interactive whiteboards. It's lectern meets media center. It's a futuristic platform for today's digital tool set. One of my favorite features is the technology hub right below the surface, as well as the optional locking drawer which makes a secure stash spot for teaching tools and personal effects. Take control of your technology before it takes control of you.

Follow Buzz on Twitter: @buzzgarwood

Oct 15 2010

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