Do you remember what kind of desk you sat in when you were in grade school or middle school? Chances are it wasn’t anything like the desks we see in our classrooms today. The style and design of the school desk has changed greatly over the past few decades. The desks used twenty to thirty years ago were constructed of all wood or a combination of wood and bulky metal, making them very heavy and almost impossible for an elementary school student move around. The older slanted opening top desks (shown below) did not allow for much workspace and the only thing they were good for was smashing your fingers. With most desks having the chair attached, there was little to no flexibility to accommodate a larger student, wide or tall. It was as though one assumed all students were the same exact size and shape.
When I was in middle school, it seemed like every couple months my teacher was coming up with new seating arrangement. I remember pushing my heavy desk full of books and supplies with all my might across the room to my new home. It was only a few days later that we would be temporarily reconfiguring our desks yet again to form a circle to discuss the latest edition of Weekly Reader. Because of the design of the older desks, these temporary reconfigurations did not allow for much flexibility while working in groups.
It was only recently that office manufacturers began to address a desk design that allows for teachers and students to quickly and conveniently reconfigure a classroom. HON’s education series, SmartLink®, is lightweight and streamlined, and students are able to move and reconfigure with little or no effort. With the increase in the use of technology, the desks not only need to accommodate laptops and tablets, but also still allow ample workspace for the student. In the modern classroom, collaborative work between several students is becoming the norm. SmartLink is so versatile and can be used in group pods or lined up in traditional rows. Below are the most popular classroom layouts using SmartLink.