Casters are great when they are purposefully integrated into the balanced learning environment; however, it is a common misconception that, in a future-ready learning environment, all furniture needs to be on casters. Casters are important to ensure an ease of movement and to ensure teachers and learners aren’t moving things that are too heavy. Casters are also important for ensuring floors don’t get damaged or scuffed during transportation.
Yet it’s important to understand when casters are necessary in your learning space – and when they aren’t. We at NorvaNivel strive to help schools understand the choices available and what will support pedagogy and desired learning outcomes for learning spaces. There are a few things to consider before requesting that everything in the learning environment has casters. Weight, purpose of the piece, and rationale for casters need to be considered.
In schools across the United States, there are parameters that teachers are not allowed to move more than twenty-five pounds. With injury being a concern, casters are being more widely used and required for collaborative pieces of furniture. It is important to consider the weights of furniture going into the space; if the furniture is lightweight, casters are unnecessary and may make the piece unstable. In the case of heavier pieces of furniture, another consideration is that some things are meant to be stationary in a learning environment. Some pieces can act as an anchor in the classroom due to weight or the purpose of the piece.
At NorvaNivel, all our products are designed with a specific intent to meet the needs of educators and students. When adding casters, we consider how casters will enhance the piece and provide benefit to the learning environment. For example, our foldable writable tables have casters, creating a movable whiteboard and space divider. Conversely, casters on seating can cause polarization of the space: some seats with casters actually create a space where learners move away from each other rather than collaborate with each other. Be sure to consider how casters will benefit the learner, learning activity, or learning space.
ENVIRONMENT AND USE
When considering casters, it’s important to understand the floor conditions, exposure to chemicals or other liquids, frequency of use, environmental conditions, and noise and speed restrictions. Also, some casters can only move in a straight-line path, while others can move a full 360 degrees. The age of your learners can also impact your choice, as can learning style, as some learners can be distracted by casters and will flick them up and down.
While NorvaNivel has casters on some pieces of furniture, the caster pieces are only the ones that are enhanced by adding wheels. Our foldable tables (SUNSHINEONACLOUDIEDAY, COLLABORATIVE COLLECTIVE, and PEBBLETREE) have casters because they double as space dividers and movable whiteboards. Our soft seating is lightweight and can be flipped to be a different seating option, so casters aren’t necessary. Thinking about transforming your learning spaces? We are happy to help as you transition from a classroom to a future-ready, engaging, flexible, and agile learning environment!
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