Standup workstations with specially designed desks allow students freedom to sit or stand while learning. These desks have adjustable height levels and swinging foot pedals to accommodate student needs. As Beth A. Lewis of the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota says, “We’re so used to the traditional classroom it’s taken a while for people to start thinking outside the box. I think it’s just a matter of breaking the mold.”
Some students just have to be on the move — even while learning — so it is important to find ways to help such physically active and fidgety learners. As Margaret Bunting, a speech pathologist with the Pedi-Center in Phoenix, says, “The classic classroom fails to feed the active learner’s mind.” Through the standup workstations, these active learners can move freely and fidget continuously as needed to help them stay focused on learning. Workstations allow students the flexibility necessary to learn. And, standing up to learn stimulates brain cells.
Kinesthetic learners are individuals who learn best by doing. Such learners need hands-on activities. Standup learning stations give teachers the flexibility of using different instruction methods to aid kinesthetic learners with completing lab activities, such as using math tiles for problem solving or artistic drawings for reading exercises. This helps kinesthetic learners deepen their understanding of the material, while other students are learning the material in ways that work best for their learning styles.
Auditory learners learn best through their sense of hearing. Auditory learners could benefit from standup workstations because the stations could be set up with lessons on tape or computers with educational software and headphones to adapt the curriculum to their learning styles. The auditory learning stations could be set up near the teacher’s desk to allow for numerous lectures, while other types of learners could be working within their individual stations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “5.4 million children 4-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD [attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder], as of 2007.” With so many children around the world struggling to focus academically, standup workstations could assist these individuals. Stations allow ADHD students to move as needed, which helps them expend excess energy and aid in focusing such students. Some ADHD students must move constantly, causing them to be disruptive. With standup workstations, these high-strung students can sit or stand as needed, swing their legs and wiggle their feet — without ever bothering other students.