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.
INTRODUCING THE LEARNING STATIONTM
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.
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.
COMPUTER ASSISTED TEACHING
YIELDS STARTLING RATES
OF STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
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
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.
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:
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
Shown above is K-4 model for younger students,
typically from Kindergarten through 4th grade
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.
Cabinetry incorporates structural components and wiring and fasteners
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 . . .
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
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.
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.
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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
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|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
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
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).
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 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 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 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)
1. Directed (line-of-sight) or (point-and-shoot)
2. Diffuse (fill service or coverage area like an non-shaded light bulb)
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.
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.
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.
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.
The general direction for each iteration of the project involves analyzing the target school's student, teaching and administrative requirements/ needs in concert with:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Development of detailed procedures completed, funding quantified and task contracts prepared and negotiated.
Project Implementation Start
First Phase Completed
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