Summerland presents products and a facilitating system program for integration of student use computers in classroom and home environments.
Handicapped Accessible
Double-Duty, Convertible Computer Furniture
The Desk that becomes a Workstation

The Magical Desk With The Disappearing Computer

a patented product of The Summerland Group

Rugged, practical, and user-friendly, The Learning Station™ converts instantly from a student desk to a mobile computer workstation. The electrically powered monitor lift provides a desk top that is instantly adjustable to fit a student of literally any size. Models for adults and children.
QuickFind Page Index
Computer Assisted Teaching
The need for a workstation that grows as the child grows
The Learning Station replaces conventional desks
The Learning Station at home
In classroom, computer laboratory and library
Summerland's Learning Station Program
The Master Program Specification 
A five-part phased plan 
Action Steps & Timetable
Design Details & FAQs 
The Learning Station
K-4 Model

    Summerland presents products and a facilitating system program for integration of student use computers in classroom and home environments. Because the successful brand development of Summerland's Learning Station is dependent on both public and private sector support and acceptance, particular attention has been given to our being able to anticipate and accommodate requests and responses from educators, regulatory agencies and public interest groups. Our strategic plan is to provide economically justified computer workstation desks; to aid both school and home decision makers to responsibly acquire and manage education use computers, and to be able to communicate solutions to cost and use concerns.

    Every citizen of the US, and of the world, recognizes the vital impact of maximizing quality of student training to national and individual student development. The ability of schools to develop future leaders is based on every citizen having complete confidence that responsible utilization of technology is a functional part of education's' operational protocols. Each component of Summerland's educational products, and systems for their use, must be structured to earn and honor that trust. Our approach has to accommodate a wide range of resource use planning action alternatives. 


    US and international programs are in place to stimulate expanding use of computers in schools and for students use at home. US Funding (federal) to establish internet links to every school and (state and local) programs for provision of in-class room computers facilitate implementation of new computer teaching protocols. Summerland's approach is to assist decision makers to reach workable decisions - -  making certain that computer use is programmed with broad consideration of economic and educational options.

Summerland's patented, ergonomically responsible, mobile Learning Station   adjusts to meet specialized requirements of growing students from K-12 and beyond. Computer assisted learning melded with the Student Learning Station's functional workspace is a practical system solution for education and training. Top - Page Index

     We believe that interfacing even very young students with computers; giving them access to the Internet and using the computer as a major part of day-to-day educational instruction, is the most efficient method for obtaining exemplary educational results - - at the lowest cost.  
     Every child in every classroom should have access to a computer. We think that homework should routinely involve working with information sources on the Web and, we think it all should be accomplished as rapidly as possibly.

    Test results prove it. Students that utilize computers in school and at home acquire "learning-how-to-learn" skills faster than their non computer aided contemporaries. Computers present traditional text book information in an interactive format that facilitates knowledge absorbing. Students working on a computer feel more free to ask questions and receive/understand answers in a non-competitive, individual atmosphere.  Computer aided students learn faster and retain more information better in the classroom and at home. 

Computer using student learning improvement is affected by two non hardware-software factors:

Horror stories abound. - - for example:one fourth grade class played bumper-cars with their rolling computer carts - - a computer aided middle school health class was enlivened by students' slipping adult CDs into the classroom server - -  three monitors were broken by baseball bat accidents  in a sixth grade classroom - - multiple instances of discoveries of asbestos during hard-wiring installations resulting in school room hard wiring costs in excess of $15,000 per classroom.

    The Student Learning Station space and desk/enclosure layout design center around optimizing placement of the monitor display, its controlling keyboard and mouse. Critical considerations are positioning of the display relative to desk top work surface; providing mechanical protection of the monitor and CPU from damage, and sizing and arrangement of the work station desk top to allow adequate space for regular desk use. During computing, user performance is enhanced and fatigue reduced because monitor height and view angle changes can readily be adjusted at regular intervals. Top - Page Index

Starting at the beginning . . .

    Elementary school-age children grow rapidly - - significant growth occurring during a school year. We addressed the elementary school student's needs for a work station that fits - - and grows as the child grows.  The OFFICE™ Student Learning Stationtm features desk unit mobility plus the capability of use as both a computer work station and conventional writing desk. It is an economical, ergonomic, mobile, combination computer workstation and desk unit for school, classroom, or home use that permits adjustment of monitor and desk top height.

Typical primary classroom with damage susceptible hardware

The Learning Station  replaces traditional student desks.

    The combination desk top and monitor lift permits the unit to work as both a computer workstation and conventional desk.  Key switch controlled monitor raising/lowering is accomplished electrically. Monitor height positioning is to be able to be accomplished by the student (does not require intervention, tools or assistance).

The Learning Station monitor lift system has two functions:  
  • (1) to permit the computer monitor to be automated for its removal from a desk top or task area in order that a user has a clear work surface, and to provide security for computer equipment; and, 
  • (2) during computer use, to facilitate positioning and repositioning a monitor to achieve an ergonomically correct, optimal, viewing height and to be able to vary that height during a work session.

    The monitor lift  is an economical, electrically powered system with controls. It is quiet, reliable and handles a wide range of monitor sizes and weights. Its in use operation requires only pushing control buttons. Key switch and button are in an OSHA safety switch configuration (requires two-hand operation).

    Safety features: Lift design provides that during monitor movement, operator fingers are not able to be inserted into a position where damage might occur. Edge and corner protection has been incorporated so there will be little danger of tripping over any parts of the units or striking against projecting parts during both normal use and general class room activities. Guards, frames and other structural components are robust to prevent the possibility of their giving way and permitting an accident in the event a user should fall or be thrown against them.
    The lifted top provides a smooth writing surface when the computer is in its stowed position. The monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse are contained within the lift unit. They all rise and lower as a unit - - with extraordinary safety features in place. The unit incorporates network cable or wireless antenna. Options include telephone/internet connectors. Only a single power cord input is required. The lift mechanism operates at low voltage (12 v. DC). Top - Page Index

Viewing Angle adjusts 
Height adjusts to fit
Shown above is K-4 model for younger students,
typically from Kindergarten through 4th grade

  • K-4 Desk height is adjustable so that the desk top can be moved over a 5" - 7 " height range. 
  • For the smaller child, the desk top is positioned at the lowered height.
  • Keyboard and mouse are used on a stable work surface platform at varying heights. Left or Right hand use by reversing writing/keyboard platform!
  • Lift raising/lowering provides "fine" up and down height adjustment control so that the monitor can be accurately positioned to within one-half inch without "drifting" when the height adjustment control is released . 


Model LS-512
for 4th and 5th grades through University students & adults.
Laminate finish. Cabinet doors are optional. Accepts up to a 21" monitor and 19" CPU tower.

CONVERTS at the touch of a switch from adjustable desk to adjustable computer workstation.


Desktop slides --forward-- > to provide maximum leg room and work comfort.
Desktop infinitely adjustable: Adjusts UP and down from 28" to 45" table height.

Monitor and keyboard height are adjustable
Adjustable monitor height feature ensures unobstructed line of sight to instructor

  • Maximum ergonomic flexibility.
  • Computer disappears to clear desk for non-computing tasks at the touch of a switch.
  • Rounded corners, safety functions, no places to pinch little fingers

    Dimensions & Travel Range:
    28" wide* x 24" deep x 28" h (desk top lowered position)
    Adjustable inset Desk Top measures 26"w x 24" deep with forward slide travel of 17"
    Desktop infinitely height adjustable from base of 28" to a 45" table height
    *Cabinetry Dimensions add 1 ˝" each side for wheels located at rear of unit.



Also Specifications for LS-512



    The Student Learning Station, as replacement for conventional classroom desks and tables, is a critical component in an "ergonomic computerized classroom system" (see below for one way in which  it works). As an integration of computer workstation and conventional desk, it replaces traditional student desks. Selection will be predicated on blending function/cost/size to permit large numbers of units to be employed per classroom.

    Computers in classrooms change how students perform their tasks. Classes may be divided into multiple groups, simultaneously studying different subjects. The groups may change during every school day. Part of each study most likely entails both computing and non computing tasks. Top - Page Index

We have addressed the student’s needs for a work station that fits - - and grows as the child grows. Elementary school-age children grow rapidly - - during the school year. In order for them to have an effective working position that takes into account ergonomic needs, the units are designed to adjust to fit the widest possible student size-range. The OFFICE™ that Grows features integrate mobility of the Student Learning Station desk unit plus its capability for use as both a computer work station and conventional writing desk.

· Desk mobility is provided with lift and roll units that when in the "raised" position, permit the desk to be freely moved. But, when lowered, the unit is securely sited.

· The monitor is able to be lowered from the desk top to an out-of-the-way position by the student. The desk top height can be adjusted over a range to accommodate growth.

· Unit construction is designed to take the wear and tear expected from students.  

The monitor is shielded from damage when in its lowered position. All moving parts are within the "guard" area. Drive limit switches provide maximum upper and lower height limits. Top - Page Index

Power for the monitor lift is provided through an internally mounted, sealed gel-cel battery with installed trickle-charger. All wiring is in accordance with high-duty standards for maximum reliability. Monitor raising and lowering is controlled via a spring-loaded rocker switch requiring holding in its energized position to effect movement. The circuitry provides for required holding of a second normally-off switch in its energized position so that both user hands are required to raise or lower. The monitor lift has an internal electrical lock such that there is no "slip" downwards. The lock feature holds in excess of 100kG.  




To Operate Unit

 DESIGNED TO LAST (normal classroom usage)

Cabinetry Material Design Notes

The cabinetry materials selected represent a major forward step in furniture design. The composite material combines outstanding strength with near-total resistance to warpage and moisture at heretofore not attainable light weight. Far stronger than particle board, the cabinetry is designed to take the bumps and bruises of daily use. The cabinetry material is environmentally beneficial too - - excepting for the high-pressure laminate surface material(s), - - it is fully biodegradable.

Cabinetry incorporates structural components and  wiring and fasteners internally  .
This space-age design provides reliability advantages over other materials. It means that no wiring or mechanical fasteners are exposed to damage. From a manufacturing perspective, assembly of units is more workmanship error-free because component sub-assemblies are quality and reliability control tested for workmanship electrical and mechanical function as individual parts. For speed in delivery and maintenance of the lowest possible costs, units can be rapidly built-up on a just-in-time basis and shipping costs are substantially reduced because of the light weight. Design diagrams. (1) - (2)

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With the Student Learning Station . . .

  • Desk mobility is provided with lift and roll units that when in the "raised" position, permit the desk to be freely moved. But, when lowered, the unit is securely sited.  
  • The monitor is able to be lowered from the desk top to an out-of-the-way position. The desk top height can be adjusted over a range to accommodate growth.  
  • Student Learning Station construction is designed to take  wear and tear, work very well, and last a long time.  

    Tomorrow's classroom will, at nearly any point in time, have students working on computers and others occupied handwriting, reading or other non computer using tasks. Envisioning the future in this way  is only constrained by budget limitations.

    The Summerland Student Learning Station provides computer-age benefits at costs expected for today's outdated student desks.Top - Page Index  

 At Home

    The computer and the Internet provide unmatched learning opportunities. Students who are able to develop computer facility at the earliest possible age are best equipped to learn. Student computer stations in homes are a  necessary appliance. With a computer available at home, students obtain tutorial assistance from software and on line resources without waiting for a parent's availability or having to travel to a distant library.

    Just like in classrooms, home study computer use requires that the student have proper room lighting, supporting seat and a keyboard and monitor adjusted to the correct positions. Without these adjustments, learning productivity drops, potential injury results and, it is simply uncomfortable.

    Home student use of computers is not a luxury.
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In class room, computer laboratory and library

    Suitable for fixed hard-wired networks, wireless networks or stand-alone applications, Learning Stations position in a variety of configurations to enhance teaching. For wireless and stand-alone applications, mobility permits locating and relocating into study groups with minimal disruption. Teacher desk units are available with special storage and security features including server security, file and record storage.

    Special application configurations include engineering, graphics and GIS workstation layouts to take into account use of digitizers, large monitors (21") and specialized communication equipment. Dual station units are designed for student and trainer to work side by side. Top - Page Index

  Computer Labs and Networking

 Grouping computers into a centralized  "computer lab" initially costs less; but research and experience have shown that because of limitations on student computer-use, is less educationally effective than having individual computers for individual students in their own classroom.

    Costs for interconnecting ("hard-wiring") classrooms on a retrofit basis have proved to be high and require technicians to accomplish the sometimes complex fitting of cables within existing structures. Changes are difficult and most maintenance problems with networks are the result of cabling problems. It all has to do with technological development and willingness of corporate America to support education.Top - Page Index

 The Summerland Student Learning  Program

A few years ago in Japan, the government mandated that Saki be drunk at official functions instead of imported champagne. The objective was to use what is available instead of what is scarce (and expensive), and, to "inspirit" the Saki industry along the way. 

    Approached in this way, we studied needs, technologies and alternatives/options that could maximize effectiveness of educational uses for computers and, for our brand's development. We examined student computer use to determine habits, practices and attitudes of computer-using student, teachers and administrators. We listened to parents, their children and educators.  We learned how critical school cost factors were - - and, discovered  a way to assist school personnel and faculty to rapidly implement an affordable practical program.

    Analysis of student use of computers, interviews and tests of a broad range of potential solutions yielded data from which we developed designs. We prototyped, and tested. We added what we had learned in development of The OFFICEtm monitor concealment and lift and roll units. The result is an important product solution for education. Top - Page Index

The Summerland Plan

     Technology advances have displaced hundreds of thousands of older computers; they have been obsoleted by faster, more powerful models. Many older PCs aren't capable of using Windows 95 and many more are modem less - - not able to cope with the requirements for Internet access. Their principal virtue is that they are readily available as they are replaced in company systems by up-to-date, more powerful models.

    We found a method for schools to obtain and use these computers - - adapting them at low cost to meet needs of tomorrow's school classroom. It involves using donated "old" computers as student terminals connected to an in-classroom central computer (server) that CAN run Windows 95, its myriad software programs, and provide access to the Internet.

    The goal, at minimum (and affordable) cost, is to provide every student with a networked terminal at their desk. To make this possible in the near term, technical support, maintenance and access to continuing upgrades are defined plan components. Protocols to use retrofitted "old" computers  in the teaching environment offer at lower cost, a flexible solution. Top - Page Index


   Here's how it works:

    A school district implemented computer-obtaining program includes establishing working relationships with local industry, business, academia and government to find suitable numbers of usable technology-displaced computers, monitors and cabling.

    The next step of the hardware acquisition protocol is arranging for computer manufacturer and/or computer owners to provide assistance in hardware appraisal, repairs and clean-up. Installation and maintenance assistance from corporate I.S. staffs, volunteers and supporting organizations is negotiated.

    Low cost computers and monitors (286 - 386 - 486) systems are modified to use a specialized system architecture that lets students run Windows applications using any computer over any connectivity at full LAN speeds. It permits the "old" computers to function just as though they had the capabilities of the server to which they are interconnected.

1. Before use, each of the donated "old" computers is "performance-checked" to validate operational components; then, a modest amount of memory (4 MB) installed to create a working area within the computer in which a new system software architecture functions. If not already present, a network capability "card" is added.

2. Retrofitted computers are placed in the classroom. They are interconnected to a classroom server holding specialized teaching software and data storage (each student has their own "storage space" for their work).

 Wireless Networking

    One way to make a computer classroom network Project even more  "special" is that it can function without hard-wired network cabling - - Each retrofitted "old" computer becomes a combination transmitter and receiver - - sending signals to a server and receiving data back - - at rates and in numbers that, for example make it possible for every student in every elementary school class to simultaneously be working on their computers - - all at the same time - - each on different projects, using different software programs; even accessing different parts of the Internet.  The "wireless" system uses a wireless server so the only in-class wiring is limited to 110v power for the students' computer/monitor.

     With a Student Learning Station equipped wireless system, the only classroom wiring needed is for electrical power for each Learning Station. With wireless networks, it is easy to move students and their computers within a classroom to fit student and teaching requirements.

 Wireless Network Technologies

    Wireless network systems fall into three main categories, Radio, Direct infra-red and Diffuse infra-red. Each type of system offers advantages and disadvantages over the others. Wireless networks are now considered as a viable, cost effective alternative to running conventional network cabling. The following summarizes the alternatives (options) available.

Radio Technology

Radio technology is by for the most prolific technology in the wireless LAN market. Radio is also the most flexible and most costly of all the wireless technology. Radio networks allow users to freely roam about a building without loss of signal. When compared to infra-red, the trade off for this freedom is lower data rate, The data rate in most wireless radio equipment is in the region of 1.6  Mbps which is lower than infrared but sufficient for most LAN applications.

    In the past, using radio waves for communication in the computer industry was been hindered by the need for costly licenses for radio bandwidth. This problem has been addressed with the introduction of the ISM bands (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) which operates in the vicinity of  2.4 GHz.  This enables radio transmitters to broadcast network data over small areas such as a school district.

Infrared Technology

    Infrared is simply "invisible" light. Infrared has almost all the physical properties of visible light with the most notable exception being that our eyes cannot "see" it. These high-frequency light waves are lower frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum than visible light. Infrared will not go through walls; however, it will pass through open doorways, reflect off walls and bounce around corners just like sunlight and office lighting.

Advantages of Infrared (IR)

 There are two types of infrared network transmission systems.

1. Directed (line-of-sight) or (point-and-shoot)
2. Diffuse (fill service or coverage area like an non-shaded light bulb)

Directed Infra-red characteristics:

1. Coherently focused (infrared laser)
2. Narrow field-of-view (similar to a flashlight)

    Direct infra-red signals need a clear line of sight. The most familiar "point-and-shoot" example is the TV remote control followed closely with the point-to-point link for file transfers from a PC to peripheral devices, such as a printer. Directed infrared transmission offers convenient, inexpensive, and reliable wireless connection.

    Some computers have infrared ports. For them, the only other piece of hardware needed for networking is an infra-red sensor which connects that computer to the network. These commercially available access points can be liberally spread around an area for example: on desks and benches, creating the wireless network.

    Users then are connected directly to a hard-wired network without the need for cables. Direct infrared sensor retail costs are relatively low (about one-half the cost of a radio network computer card) and do not require the RF access-point which costs approximately three times the cost of the RF cards.

 Drawbacks of Directed infra-red are:

1. Lack of speed.  In order to be useful as a replacement to traditional methods of connecting to the network the infra-red link would have to perform at 4Mb/s. All "old" computers and most of the current ones can not support data transfer at this standard. They achieve only 115Kb/s.

2.  Less Flexible than other alternatives. Direct infrared is line-of-site. It is less flexible than RF when it comes to freedom of movement. Despite these difficulties, Direct infra-red technology is a very useful solution to be considered for user-friendly connection of a computer to a network.

Difuse Infra-red Technology

    Diffuse infra-red technology works by flooding an area with infra-red light, much the same way a conventional light bulb illuminates a room. The infra-red signal bounces of the walls and ceiling so that a receiver can get the signal regardless of orientation.  Diffuse infra-red technology is a compromise between direct infra-red and radio technology. It combines the advantages of high data rates from infra-red and the freedom of movement from radio.

    However, it also inherits some disadvantages. Although it transmits at 4Mbits/s (twice that of current radio systems), this transfer rate must be shared among all users, unlike directed infra-red. And unlike direct infra-red, although a user can roam around freely within a room, the user is still confined to individual rooms unlike radio signals which can pass through walls. Radio unlike diffuse infra-red can use one access point to cover several rooms, possibly even an entire building. Diffused infra-red requires  one, (possibly more), access points per room. The diffused IR system uses globe antennas mounted on walls or in the ceiling to communicate with receivers which connect to student computers.  Top - Page Index

   The Summerland strategic plan is to create an integrated, detailed specification, logistics and contract management program melded in an overall Master Program Specification  - - one which is readily able to be self-implemented by individual school districts.

    Program Specification

    The Master Program Specification is designed to be able to be executed by local vendors/contractors. For maintenance of the highest standards of performance and quality, all phases of tasks are performed in accordance with the Specification under contract from the school district/superintendent.

Program protocols include:

 Fundamental questions to be considered  include:

  1. · How cost effective is locating, testing and modifying otherwise not-useable computer systems to achieve new-equipment reliability levels vs. alternatives ?
  2. · How many of these computer systems can be made available by local, state and regional sources?
  3. · What computer architecture will best provide the functionality desired for the class needs?
  4. · What software (educational) should be on the server?
  5. · How cost effective are wireless networks when compared to traditional wired systems for school needs?
  6. · What problems may be expected in the conversion of "old" computers, use of special computer architectures, installation and maintenance of the wireless system?
  7. · How well will wireless communication stand up to the demands of classroom use?
  8. · How readily expandable is the developed system to meet the balance of School needs?

 Project Direction

    The general direction for each iteration of the project involves analyzing the target school's student, teaching and administrative requirements/ needs in concert with:


    The next step

    Once initial planning is completed and prototype demonstrations have proved satisfactory, (and adequate numbers of suitable, adaptable, computers are obtained), best-fit technology and server-based system selection is performed; a demonstration network design will be implemented  in an initial classroom in the school. Testing of performance and utility will validate functionality of the combination of computers and network. Results will be published and disseminated as part of the 'Program Master Specification" for adoption by other schools. 

    Early program milestone evaluations determine the practicality of system expansion feasibility:

 Five part Phased Plan

For evaluation, the Project has been broken down into the different phases the project will go through as well as defining administrative tasks that need to be performed.






Action steps and 20 week time-table

Tentative Functional Scheduling - - Based on a single school within a District. 

 Weeks 1 - 3

The school will provide basic data e.g. # rooms, measurements (room dimensions), construction data, number students, desired software (teaching software), curriculum planning and related issues including permitting and other authorization requirements.

Weeks 4 - 6

From the preliminary data, server design will be accomplished by Summerland. This will define hard-disk space requirements, performance (speed) and other operational parameters. Following server design, system parameters will be quantified and network parameters established. Cost estimates will be developed for all procurement items and service applications. Costs will be validated after review by the Project Steering Group.

Week 7

A detailed cost summary will be prepared for an initial oral presentation to be made by the Project Steering Group to cognizant representatives of state and federal agencies, school district and parents. From this summary a full-system performance contract for the scope of work agreed-upon between Summerland and the District will be executed.

Week 8

A presentation incorporating input from the initial presentation and feedback will be prepared for both oral and written public informational dissemination presentation to transfer information and to elicit additional requirements.

Weeks 9 - 12

Development of detailed procedures completed, funding quantified and task contracts prepared and negotiated.

Week 13

Project Implementation Start

Week 20

First Phase Completed
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