SOURCE: The HON Company
August 19, 2008 08:00 ET
The HON Company Changes the Face of the American Classroom
White Chalk and Blackboards are Being Replaced by PowerPoint, Flat Screens and Innovative Furniture to Accommodate this Evolving Environment
MUSCATINE, IA--(Marketwire - August 19, 2008) - Rest in peace, dear #2 pencil. Same for you,
3-ring binder. For years, you were at the top of back-to-school shopping
lists for students around the country. Instead, you have been replaced by
ink cartridges, laptops and jump drives.
And the face of the American classroom itself is evolving as well --
chalkboards and transparencies are being replaced with flat screens and
digital projectors. Today's classrooms also focus on collaboration and
teamwork, requiring a more flexible work environment. Teachers are more
interactive and mobile than in previous generations, leading to the
crumbling of the traditional, hierarchical "teacher in the front/rows of
To determine the needs of today's classroom, The HON Company, a leading
office furniture designer and manufacturer, interviewed teachers,
principals, administrators, students and designers. The result?
SmartLink™ -- a revolutionary classroom furniture system. This unique
technology-centric furniture solution connects the teacher, the students
and the environment together in a uniquely synergistic manner designed to
foster an interactive learning process.
"SmartLink takes into account the changing needs of schools, such as
technological needs, flexibility, storage and organization," said Jim
Cahill, HON's vice president of systems and education. "The fact that it's
mobile allows teachers to easily reconfigure any classroom to facilitate
interactive learning or to better support their own teaching style."
Cahill noted that a comprehensive solution, such as SmartLink, is new to
the education market. In the past, education professionals had to purchase
classroom furnishings and storage options from multiple suppliers, making
seamless integration difficult. The introduction of SmartLink has
revolutionized the way classrooms can be designed and utilized -- not only
for today's needs but also those of the future.
In creating SmartLink, HON sought to create furnishings that would:
-- Be the best utilization of space while providing the ultimate in
-- Configure for a variety of learning and teaching environments, from
kindergarten to high school classrooms
-- Offer flexible storage and wall systems that can be customized for any
-- Synchronizes teacher and student desks for a complete classroom look
-- Hold up to high traffic and heavy use
SmartLink's four key components include a teacher station, modular storage,
a wall rail system and a student desk. The products visually integrate to
provide a holistic solution that supports space utilization and a variety
of learning styles, as well as a variety of technology requirements.
The innovative design of this durable, adaptable piece of furniture offers
ample work and storage space that can accommodate multiple teaching styles,
classroom layouts and technology needs. As a mobile station, it can be
easily repositioned within the classroom. As a desk, it can organize and
manage teaching materials, equipment and technology, and provides ample
storage for files, books and magazines.
From pencils, paperclips and markers to pipe cleaners, laptops and
backpacks... keeping today's classroom organized is definitely a challenge.
HON's solution? A modular storage system that adapts to the needs of
different classrooms by employing a variety of trays, shelves and cabinets
that can accommodate any classroom configuration. "The reaction to our
modular storage solution has been phenomenal," added Cahill. "It's not
that teachers aren't organized -- it's that they've never had the right
equipment to allow them to get organized."
Wall Rail System
The unique wall rail system delivers better use of wall and floor space,
even in the most space-challenged classroom. Its multifunctional,
multi-track rail allows sliding and reversible presentation boards and
worksurface solutions to be configured in numerous ways. These components,
which literally hang off the rail system, can easily accommodate and
organize different teaching styles and facilitate several learning
activities at one time.
SmartLink student desks provide a multi-functional solution capable of
increasing student productivity and enhancing learning activities,
including individual, group-collaborative and teacher-centered work. The
triangular desktop shape and ergonomic user edge offers comfort and
support, while the wire basket and backpack hook keeps all essential
materials within reach. The adjustable height ranges from 22 to 32 inches
in 1-inch increments, which means the same desk can allow students of all
grade levels to sit comfortably. Tops on student desks are large enough
for notebooks and laptops and are "non-handed," providing greater arm
support to both right- and left-handed users. The desks themselves are
lightweight and can be easily configured into individual rows or
collaborative configurations, which is further facilitated by the shape.
For more information about The HON Company, its facilities and its line of
furnishings for offices and education, visit www.NeoCon2008.HON.com.
About The HON Company
The HON Company is a leader in the design and manufacturing of workplace
furniture including chairs, files, panel systems and desks. Headquartered
in Muscatine, Iowa, The HON Company has numerous manufacturing facilities
strategically located throughout the United States, and markets its
products through a nationwide network of dealers and retailers. For more
information, please visit www.HON.com.