Thursday, December 31, 2015

Spectrum Wants to Thank You!

With 2016 right around the corner, Spectrum Industries has started to reflect on all the accomplishments and successes of 2015. But none of these accomplishments would have been made possible if it weren't for our customers and our partners. With that being said, everyone at Spectrum Industries would like to say thank you!

Thank you to all of our loyal customers that continue to make Spectrum their innovative furniture of choice.At Spectrum, our mission is to be able to give our customers the products they want with the quality and service that they need.

We also want to say thank you to all of our resellers out there. Your partnership plays a huge role in the growth and success of Spectrum Industries, and we look forward to many more years of working with everyone.

2016 is going to be a big year for us, and we are very excited to share all of this with you!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Benefits of Learning Spaces

In recent posts we've gone over the importance of technology and collaboration in the classroom and the impact they are having on the future of learning. Now we are going to look at how the layout and design of the classroom also plays a key role.

Many of the learning spaces that you will see have a very open concept and a variety of "stations" that students can do their work at, individually or with others. Many learning spaces use a variety of colors and shapes in the architectural design and furniture to help spark creativity and imagination. The whole concept of learning spaces is to make the students feel more comfortable and have fun with learning.

An article called 20 Things Educators Need to know about Learning Spaces that was released earlier in the year and has some very good ideas to optimize the effectiveness of your learning space. One of the key points that we took from the article was that it is important to make these spaces as comfortable as you can. Make the students feel like they are at home instead of school, this especially helps with students who suffer from anxiety. Another good idea is to allow different seating patterns and configurations. By having a variety of seating options to choose from, students can work in different areas depending on the project or activity they're doing. Finally, make your learning space technology accessible. Technology keeps integrating itself into the classroom through various channels. Know the technology that you are going to want in the classroom ahead of time to you can plan accordingly.

Learning spaces aren't just restricted to the classroom; many companies have started to use them for their employees to help generate creativity and productivity. Google is a very good example of a well-designed work space. Throughout the buildings, Google has a variety of different employee spaces that are meant to be playful and can act as a leading motivator in productivity.
Learning spaces, technology, and collaboration are all playing a huge role in the future of education and business. Spectrum Industries understands this and that is why we are committed to bringing our customers the most innovative designs with our technology and communication furniture. We have already assisted many schools and businesses with their furniture needs and look forward to continue to do this in the future. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Rise of the Standing Desk

Research was conducted back in 2011 about the dangers that sitting can have on the human body, and the results are still true to this day. Dr. Levine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester found that male adults who sit for more than six hours a day have an overall death rate twenty percent than men who sit for three hours or less, and women have a forty percent higher rate. If sitting really takes this much of a  toll on the human body, then isn't it time to do something about it? Spectrum believes so!

In a recent post we shared some great tips on how to incorporate ergonomics into your workplace and even showed some of the ergonomic friendly products that Spectrum offers, one including the Evolution Stand-up Desk. This desk gives our customers the option to stand while they work helping to eliminate some of the reoccurring problems that sitting can cause on the body.

Stand up desks have started to integrate more and more into the office and workplace settings. It is important to know not only the benefits of the stand up desks, but how to properly use them, so they don't do more harm then good.

First let's look at some of the benefits that you can receive from using a stand-up desk.

Increases Energy
In various studies, users said that one of the biggest benefits reported was having
more energy throughout the day, even when they got home from work. This is because people who use stand up desks receive more oxygen, blood flow, and have an average increase in heart rate by eight beats per minute.

Improves Overall Mood
Preventing Chronic Disease ran a seven week study to figure out some of the health benefits of standing desks. They found that the participants who were using stand up desks felt less fatigued, depressed, and tense. The participants actually felt more energized, focused, and happy.

Improves Posture
In the same study, the researchers also found that the participants started to experience less neck and upper back pain. This is because it's taking the strain off their neck and eyes when they are looking at their monitors.
For tips on better posture check out our Ergonomics board on Pinterest

Aids in Weight Loss
Sitting for long periods of time can slow down your metabolism and digestive track because you are keeping everything compressed. Once you stand, your internal organs are allowed to move, eliminating sitting cramps. As mentioned earlier, standing desks increase heart rate which plays a key role in metabolism. As you can see, one good thing leads to another.

Reduces the Risk for Major Diseases
Studies have found that by sitting down your body automatically shuts off the circulation of lipase, a fat burning enzyme. When this is shut off your body doesn't process fat and cholesterol normally, leading to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Now that we have talked about some of the key benefits of the standing desk, here are some tips to make sure you are using your stand-up desk properly.

Use a Gel Mat
By using a gel mat, you get more support for your feet and pressure is taken off your joints. As a result you will feel better and be able to stand for longer periods of time. Another good item to use is a foot stool. They allow you to rest one foot at a time alleviating the pressure off some of the joints.

Know the Proper Poster
Posture is everything. If you have bad posture, you increase the risk for injuries and your stand up desk doesn't serve it's purpose. Here is an infographic to show the proper posture and techniques for a stand up desk.
                                                Image provided by Google

Get the Proper Shoes
As simple as this may sound, it is crucial that you wear the appropriate shoes to be on your feet all day. If you find your feet are still hurting, it could be that you are using the wrong shoes for your feet type. If this is the case you can speak with a doctor to get a recommendation to figure out what kind of shoes work for you.

Stretch Throughout the Day
It's important to not stay in the same position all day. Which is one of the main reasons to get a stand-up desk. Stretching throughout the day is important as your body needs that variation. It will help loosen your muscles and wake you up. You could even set a reminder on your calendar to stop and stretch. Or you could do it anytime you are feeling stiff.
                                     Image provided by Pinterest

After going over the benefits of a stand-up desk and how to properly use them, it is evident why they are becoming more and more popular. If you want to know more information about Spectrum's Evolution Stand-up Desk you can visit our website. Here you can go over more features and benefits and even configure the desk to make it more customizable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Impact of Collabrative Learning

Many classrooms have already adopted the practice of collaborative learning (CL), and we are seeing more and more teachers/institutions incorporating it in with their traditional teaching techniques. Even though collaborative learning is on the rise, there still is a lot of controversy about whether it’s an effective way to learn or if it is actually hindering the student. Before one can even form an opinion on CL it is important to know exactly what it is. CL is educational approach to teaching and learning that involves students working together to solve a problem, completing a assigned task, and to reaching group goals in an educational setting. This way of learning takes out the “lecture” and memorization element from learning and switches it with active engagement from the students in the form of group discussions and projects to process  the information being presented. The teacher acts as a mentor, observing the groups, answering questions as needed, and is there for support and guidance. This type of approach puts the responsibility of learning on the student.                
                                                                                                                                           Image Provided by New Buy Media

Now that we have established exactly what CL is let’s look at some of the benefits of incorporating this teaching style into the classroom.  When students work and collaborate in groups together, they learn skills that they will need throughout their whole life. They are learning critical thinking skills, conflict resolution, and accountability.  Students develop critical thinking skills because they are working with one another to problem solve instead of getting the answers handed to them, and this is where  conflict resolutions plays a key role. When students are working together to solve a problem, each student is giving their own opinion and reasoning. This is going to lead to debates because each student is going to have a different reasoning or justification. Together, they are able to talk it out and come up with the best solution possible. They’re also going to learn accountability because each group member is responsible for the work to be done, if one group member fails, they are letting the team down. They can hold each other accountable and remember they are working together towards one common goal. If these skills are learned and implemented young, it’s going to teach them to work in groups and how to handle situations. That way by the time they grow up and are working in a career field, they know how to work and collaborate with the other members. Other benefits from CL include, but not limited to, diversity understanding, increased productivity, and strong communication skills.

We have all worked in groups before and know some of the challenges that come along with it; you get that one member who thinks they have the best opinion, or the member that hardly participates. One of the best ways that teachers can ensure that students are pulling equal weight and everyone is being included is to make sure that each group is dynamic. Make sure that your students have different strengths and that they build each other up. Another good idea is to make sure that the groups go through every stage of the group formation by Bruce Tuckman. The four stages are forming, storming, norming, and performing, and adjourning. For more information about this process check out this article on MindTools.

Here at Spectrum we understand the importance of collaboration, weather it is with our own employees, or for our customers. We offer a variety of different collaboration tables that make it easy for students, or businesses, to successfully collaborate with one another. Our tables are equipped with the latest technologies making projects or presentations that much easier! For example, here is a picture of our InVision Access Nano Table. If you want to see more of our products like this you can check out our website or you can even check out some videos on our YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ergonomics and your Workspace

You've been sitting at your desk for hours, sending emails, writing reports, reviewing notes for tomorrow’s meeting, and doing everything that floats across your desk. You realize that your neck and back are sore and your wrists feel stiff. This is very common, especially for those working in an office setting. You take it as part of your job; you stretch it out and continue to plug away at those emails. Unfortunately, this is how many people perceive these symptoms, as part of their job. Wrong,  there are a number of things an individual or business can do to help improve their workstation. Ergonomics is the study of your work, your work environment, and work tools being used. Symptoms of a poor work environment or tools are eye strain, back pain, neck pain, stiff wrists, and more. If you ever have any of these symptoms it is time to start doing something about it. Here is an excellent illustration of tips that you can do to incorporate ergonomics into your everyday life.  

  provided by

It is also important to remember that there is different ergonomically friendly office equipment such as mouse pads, keypads, monitors, chairs, and desks. At Spectrum Industries we offer a wide variety of desks, tables, and chairs that can make your workstation more enjoyable.

Here we have the Freedom One eLift Desk and the Evolution Stand-up Desk. With the eLift desk the user has the option to do their work sitting down, but if you are getting stiff or experience back pain you can take your desk from sitting to standing with the push of a button! Our eLift's raise up to 42 inches high making this desk the right height for everyone. It is important to remember however that when using a standing desk the kick rests are very important because it alleviates pressure from the knees. The Evolution Stand-up Desk is perfect for people that have recurring      back problems and it is also equipped with a bull nose edge making it more comfortable on the  wrists to avoid carpal tunnel.

Freedom One eLift                                                                                     Evolution Stand-up

Now let's look at our Executive Mesh Back Chair. This chair has easy back height- adjustments, locking seat and back tilt, sliding seat, a tension knob, and five star legs making weight more evenly distributed. These features make it easy for the user to adjust the chair any way that works best for them.

To see more products, you can view our website at or for more ergonomic tips and tricks check out our Pinterest page.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

EdTech: The Classroom of the Future

Some of you may already know what educational technology is, for those of you who don’t know edtech is a new practice that classrooms are adapting too. It takes the traditional classroom setting and flips it by using technology as the main platform of learning.
Anytime there is technology involved, there is going to be controversy about whether or not it is going to be beneficial to the students or end up hurting them in the long run. According to EdTech Review, one of the biggest arguments is that by having technology in the classroom the students are going to become more distracted by the screens and focus less on the content that is being taught. While this can hold true, it is important that the teachers set clear rules and expectations for the technology and preferably use technology that the students are already familiar with, for example laptops, tablets, or smartphones. It is also important to remember that the teachers can set up parental locks on the electronics so the students can only see and view certain apps or content.
Another leading argument is that children already have plenty of screen time outside of the classroom and if they start incorporating it in the curriculum, students are going to continue to have poor communication skills. While it is true that many kids already have a lot of screen time, it is important to remember that the content at which they are looking at is educational and monitored. Furthermore teachers who have already adapted to educational technology also incorporate oral presentations and have the children work in groups. It could be argued that by having both platforms for learning the students are actually becoming more rounded and dynamic in this ever changing world of technology.
                           Picture provided by Google

There are some definite pros to using technology in the classroom. First off, the use of different electronics is a fun and effective way to learn because it gets the students more involved with the content.  There are a variety of online e-tools and apps to help teachers and students better collaborate with one another and get the most out of their learning experience. 

One of the best reasons to incorporate technology in the classroom is that it is preparing students for the digital age that we live in. Technology is everywhere and is being used for everything. It is only fair that we prepare our students for what is to come. By having technology as part of the classroom norm, it gives students the proper tools and skills that they will need throughout college and ultimately the rest of their lives.

Spectrum Industries understands the importance of technology and how it is slowly becoming the future of learning. We are dedicated to providing products that help facilitate learning through the use of technology and communications equipment.  We are proud to say that we have assisted many classrooms to become more tech friendly through the use of our Chromebook/ iPad/ laptop carts, lecterns, and collaboration tables. We look forward to working with many more school and institutions to help get them edtech ready.