NOVALinked™ and The Trolley™ Let You "Take Control" of the Classroom

Posted by Jerry Doll on Tue, Aug, 30, 2011 @ 10:08 AM

NOVALinked™ ClassroomOne of our recent taglines for our NOVALinked™ product was the subject of a couple of comments on one of our social media sites.  The tagline is “Take Control…”  The ellipsis can then be followed by the words: classroom, training room, lecture hall, office, customer service, reception area, etc.  To understand the idea behind “Take Control…” it’s important to understand what NOVALinked™ is and how it works with The Trolley™ E-Class monitor lifts.

Imagine a classroom with a monitor positioned at each student desk and also at the teacher’s desk.  From the teacher’s point of view, you might feel like you’re lecturing to the back of computer monitors instead of real, live students.  In some cases, only the top of a student’s head might be visible to the instructor.  The solution is straightforward.  Clear the line-of-sight between teacher and students.  Making that happen can be a bit more complicated.  You certainly don’t want students manually moving computer monitors off of the desks — and you can’t ask them to stand-up during the entire class.  Solution:  The Trolley™ E-Class monitor lift system. 

The Trolley’s basic function is to raise and lower the computer monitor from beneath the work surface of the desk.  When in the “down” position, the computer monitor is hidden in the Trolley’s housing, located in the rear of the knee space and underneath the work surface of the desk.  On top of the work surface, users will see the Trolley’s access door and “up” and “down” buttons.  Press the “up” button and the Trolley raises the computer monitor into its standard, usable position.  When computer time is over, push the “down” button and The Trolley™ lowers the monitor back underneath the desktop.  The Trolley™ has a number of other great features, but you can check our website to learn more about those features and accessories. 

What really makes The Trolley™ an asset in the classroom is the ability of the teacher to control all of them at one time!  That’s where NOVALinked™ comes into play.  NOVALinked™ is a system of various control modules, linked together with CAT5 (networking) cable that feed back to a central control unit.  The control unit can be as advanced as a Crestron, Extron, AMX or other such controller.  Or it can be as simple as an ISI (Independent Switching Interface) controller.  An ISI is basically a master control “up” and “down” button, located at the teacher’s desk.  When the teacher wants all of the computer monitors to rise from beneath the desktop, they simply push the ISI’s “up” button.  Conversely, when computer time is over, the “down” button lowers all of the monitors in the room.  This truly allows instructors to “Take Control” of the classroom.

One of our social network followers commented that it should be easy enough for a teacher to tell students to stop using the computers without having to lower them out of sight.  The felt the “Take Control” sounded a bit too harsh and well — controlling.  In a perfect world and perhaps in a higher education setting, I would agree with our friend.  But, if you’ve ever visited a classroom full of eager youngsters, excited to get their hands on the computer, it’s not quite that easy.  Plus, as mentioned previously, lowering the monitors eliminates the communication barrier between the teacher and the student.

For those of you who have taught something, presented something, given a speech or needed to make an announcement — you know how important it is to gain and keep the attention of your audience.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is to eliminate distractions.  One of the hardest gigs is to try to demonstrate a product in the middle of a crowded shopping mall, trade show, or in a tent at the county fair — too many distractions!  Imagine trying to get the attention of thirty or more students, all trying to sneak a peek at their Facebook news feed or their Twitter account.  By lowering all of the monitors when they are not to be used, NOVALinked™ eliminates some of the distractions and allows the presenter/instructor/teacher to maintain eye contact with students.  And yes, we know students are really good about hiding their smart phones and can still use them, covertly, during class.  We haven’t come up with a solution for that…yet.

“Take Control” is a fitting marketing slogan that works on many levels when considering how The Trolley™ E-Class monitor lift and NOVALinked™ work together to create an environment that is free of distractions, open to the line-of-sight, and promotes a focused approach to enhance the learning process.

We appreciate any and all comments on our social network sites — positive or negative.  It’s how we improve our products.  Keep them coming!



Topics: trade show, School, Classroom, Furniture, classroom computer desks with monitor lifts, design, Nova Solutions, technology, novalinked, collaboration, nova, trolley, monitor lift, desks, workstations, group learning, teacher, social network marketing, facebook, youtube, twitter, smart phone, monitor placement, instructor