Title:
Workspace partition and method for using the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A workspace partition is disclosed that encourages a user to focus on presented tasks without distraction and physically prevents the user from interfering with, or interrupting, the work and attention of adjacent users, while simultaneously allowing another individual to monitor the user. To this end, a workspace partition is provided with a center wall and two sidewalls, wherein the center wall has an opening in its middle lower portion. Users, such as students with disabilities, focus on academic tasks within the workspace partition. The walls of the workspace partition limit distractions outside of the workspace partition and physically prevent users from interfering with adjacent users. Another individual, such as a teacher, can observe and monitor the user through the opening in the center wall. Multiple workspace partitions can be used together to allow multiple users to focus on presented tasks with limited distractions while simultaneously being observed by another individual.



Inventors:
Roberts, Ursula (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/876125
Publication Date:
03/08/2012
Filing Date:
09/04/2010
Assignee:
ROBERTS URSULA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
160/161, 160/405
International Classes:
A47G5/00; A47B37/00; A47G23/00
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Eric Hanscom / InterContinental IP (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Claims:
That which is claimed:

1. A workspace partition comprising a center wall and two sidewalls, where the sidewalls are at an angle relative to the center wall, where the sidewalls are the same height as the center wall, where the center wall comprises an opening, where the opening is centered horizontally in the center wall, where the opening extends from the bottom of the centered wall, where the opening has a width greater than ten inches and less than fifteen inches, where the opening has a height greater than eleven inches and less than sixteen inches, where the center wall has a width greater than twenty inches and less than twenty-eight inches, where the center wall has a height greater than sixteen inches and less than twenty inches.

2. The workspace partition of claim 1, wherein the opening has a width of twelve and one-half inches and a height of thirteen and one-half inches.

3. The workspace partition of claim 1, wherein the center wall has a width of twenty-four inches and a height of eighteen inches.

4. The workspace partition of claim 1, wherein the workspace partition consists of cardboard material.

5. The workspace partition of claim 1, wherein the sidewalls have a width greater than ten inches and less than sixteen inches.

6. An apparatus comprising a plurality of workspace partitions and a u-shaped table, where the workspace partitions rest upon the u-shaped table, where each workspace partition comprises two sidewalls and a center wall, where the sidewalls are at an angle relative to the center wall, where the center wall comprises an opening, where the opening has a width greater than ten inches and less than fifteen inches, where the opening has a height greater than eleven inches and less than sixteen inches.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein each workspace partition consists of cardboard material.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the center wall has a width greater than twenty inches and less than twenty-eight inches.

9. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the center wall has a height greater than sixteen inches and less than twenty inches.

10. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the opening has a width of twelve and one-half inches and a height of thirteen and one-half inches, wherein the opening is centered horizontally in the center wall, wherein the opening extends from the bottom of the centered wall.

11. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the center wall has a width of twenty-four inches and a height of eighteen inches.

12. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the sidewalls have a width greater than ten inches and less than sixteen inches and wherein the sidewalls are the same height as the center wall.

13. A method of observing a plurality of users comprising obtaining a u-shaped table and a plurality of workspace partitions, where each workspace partition comprises two sidewalls and a center wall, where the sidewalls are at an angle relative to the center wall, where the center wall comprises an opening, where the opening has a width greater than ten inches and less than fifteen inches, where the opening has a height greater than eleven inches and less than sixteen inches, placing the plurality of workspace partitions on the u-shaped table, having one or more users sit at a workspace partition, where there is no more than one user at each workspace partition, observing the users through the opening in each workspace partition.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising the step of referencing an item placed before the user by reaching a hand through the opening.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein each workspace partition consists of cardboard material.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein the center wall has a width greater than twenty inches and less than twenty-eight inches.

17. The method of claim 13, wherein the center wall has a height greater than sixteen inches and less than twenty inches.

18. The method of claim 13, wherein the opening has a width of twelve and one-half inches and a height of thirteen and one-half inches.

19. The method of claim 13, wherein the center wall has a width of twenty-four inches and a height of eighteen inches.

20. The method of claim 13, wherein the sidewalls have a width greater than ten inches and less than sixteen inches and wherein the sidewalls are the same height as the center wall.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

This invention was not federally sponsored.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the general field of workspace partitions, and more specifically toward a workspace partition that encourages a user to focus on presented tasks without distraction while simultaneously allowing another individual to monitor the user. To this end, a workspace partition is provided with a center wall and two sidewalls, wherein the center wall has an opening in its middle lower portion. Users, such as students with disabilities, focus on academic tasks within the workspace partition. The walls of the workspace partition limit distractions outside of the workspace partition. Another individual, such as a teacher, can observe the user performing the presented tasks through the opening in the center wall. Multiple workspace partitions can be used together to allow multiple users to focus on presented tasks with limited distractions while simultaneously being observed by another individual.

Learning disabilities were first recognized back in the early 1800s, wherein an association was made between brain injury in soldiers and expressive language disorders. Later in that century, alexia and dyslexia disorders began to be diagnosed. The first half of the 20th century found researchers attributing learning disabilities to a wide variety of physical ailments and proposed an even wider range of treatments. However, many researchers agreed that a distraction-free environment would help students with learning disabilities, a recommendation that continues today.

While significant research went into diagnosing and treating individuals with learning disabilities, the term “learning disabilities” was not coined until the 1960s. In this same decade, the U.S. Congress passed The Children with Specific Learning Disabilities Act to create support service programs for students with learning disabilities. Congress defined the disorder as one or more of the basic psychological processes involving written or spoken language that manifests itself in the imperfect ability to think, speak, read, write, spell, or do math.

In the latter part of the 20th century, research showed that individuals with learning capabilities were capable of learning task-specific strategies that allowed them to succeed in school. In fact, many individuals with a learning disability have high IQs. Nonetheless, early identification of individuals with a learning disability is key in their long-term success. The federal government provides funding for many educational support services for individuals with learning disabilities, but these individuals must first be diagnosed with such a disability.

Many educational programs that take care of individuals with learning disabilities use a wide variety of tools and environments to help these individuals learn and succeed. With respect to the learning environment, many individuals with a learning disability benefit from a setting with as few distractions as possible. This enables them to more easily focus on their studies without having to process additional inputs from their senses. While fewer distractions are beneficial, it is also important for individuals with learning disabilities to receive constant and immediate feedback while they are performing educational tasks. To this end, it is beneficial for instructors to be able to review and correct individuals with disabilities while at the same time limiting other external distractions.

While individuals with learning disabilities benefit from few distractions and close supervision, the same can be said for those without learning disabilities. Many believe that students at all levels can benefit from fewer distractions and closer supervision. Further, employees can be more productive at their jobs under the same circumstances. Thus, many different types of individuals can benefit from a device and method to help users perform tasks that limits external distractions while allowing review of the tasks performed by the users.

Thus there has existed a long-felt need for a method and device for promoting focused work by the user while enabling an observer to oversee the work performed by the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The current invention provides just such a solution by having a workspace partition that encourages a user to focus on presented tasks without distraction while simultaneously allowing another individual to monitor the user. Additionally, the partition acts to physically prevent users from interfering with or interrupting the work and attention of adjacent users. To this end, a workspace partition is provided with a center wall and two sidewalls, wherein the center wall has an opening in its middle lower portion. Users, such as students with disabilities, focus on academic tasks within the workspace partition. The walls of the workspace partition limit distractions outside of the workspace partition. Another individual, such as a teacher, can observe the user performing the presented tasks through the opening in the center wall. Multiple workspace partitions can be used together to allow multiple users to focus on presented tasks with limited distractions while simultaneously being observed and monitored by another individual.

It is a principal object of the invention to provide a means for encouraging focused work by a user.

It is another object of the invention to provide a means for observing a user performing focused work.

It is a final object of this invention to provide a method for encouraging a user to focus on presented tasks while reducing the number of distractions incident upon the user while simultaneously allowing another individual to observe and monitor the user.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. The features listed herein and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of this invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an observer observing multiple users according to the current invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a workspace partition according to the current invention.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an observer observing multiple users using the workspace partition.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the workspace partition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with the references made to the drawings below. The components in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. Instead, emphasis is placed upon clearly illustrating the components of the present invention. Moreover, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts through the several views in the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an observer observing multiple users according to the current invention. Multiple workspace partitions 10 are located on a table 100 to provide semi-private areas for users 60 to perform various tasks with reduced distractions from outside the workspace partition. The workspace partitions 10 encourage the user 60 to focus on tasks presented before him or her. An observer 50 can view the user 60 performing various tasks through an opening in the workspace partition 10.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a workspace partition according to the current invention. The workspace partition 10 includes two sidewalls 30 and a center wall 15. The sidewalls 30 are affixed to the center wall 15 at an angle 40. The sidewalls 30 can be allowed to rotate freely to change the angle between the sidewalls 30 and the center wall 15, such as through the use of hinges or changing the fold angle, or can be set at a fixed angle.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an observer observing multiple users using the workspace partition. The workspace partitions 10 rest on a table 100. In this figure, two users 60 are each located behind a workspace partition 10. An observer 50 has a direct line of sight 70 through the workspace partitions 10 to view the user performing various tasks. At the same time, the workspace partition 10 reduces the influence of external distractions and physically prevents users from interfering with, or interrupting, the work and attention of adjacent users. The center wall and sidewalls of the workspace partition 10 reduce the amount of visual distractions incident upon the user 60.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the workspace partition. The sidewalls 30 are each connected to the center wall 15. The center wall 15 includes an opening 20 that enables observers to view a user performing tasks within the workspace partition. The opening 20 preferably extends from the bottom of the center wall 15 and is centered horizontally in the center wall 15.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the center wall 15 of the workspace partition 10 is between twenty inches (20″) and twenty-eight inches (28″) wide and even more preferably twenty-four inches (24″) wide. The height of the center wall 15 is between sixteen inches (16″) and twenty inches (20″) tall and even more preferably eighteen inches (18″) tall. The opening 20 is between ten inches (10″) and fifteen inches (15″) wide and even more preferably twelve and one-half inches (12½″) wide. The height of the opening is between eleven inches (11″) and sixteen inches (16″) tall and even more preferably thirteen and one-half inches (13½″) tall. Each sidewall 30 should be the same height as the center wall 15, and between ten inches (10″) and sixteen inches (16″) wide and even more preferably twelve inches (12″) wide.

The workspace partition is made from a rigid lightweight material. Preferably, the workspace partition is solely composed of cardboard. In another preferred embodiment, the workspace partition is at least partially composed of plastic. It provides the appropriate rigidity while at the same time being lightweight and recyclable. Such a surface also enables the observer and/or user to write on the workspace partition and/or affix objects thereto, such as pinning notes to remind the user of specific steps to perform for various tasks.

The sidewalls of the workspace partition are preferably secured to the center wall in a manner such that they can rotate relative to the center wall. For example, if the workspace partition is made from cardboard, then a crease between the sidewall and center wall is sufficient to allow the sidewall to bend and rotate away relative to the center wall. Alternatively, the sidewalls can be connected to the center wall by means of hinges.

The opening in the center wall is a key aspect of the current invention. The opening should be large enough to not only allow for an observer to view the user performing tasks within the workspace partition, but also to allow the observer to stick a hand or other object through the opening to make visual references to tasks being performed by the user. For example, a user is performing math problems within the workspace partition and makes a mistake. The observer must be able reach through the opening and specifically point the mistake out to the user. At the same time, the opening should not be too large, as this would inundate the user with unnecessary visual distractions not only from the observer, but from other adjacent users, within or without a workspace partition, as well as other visual distractions outside of the user's workspace partition.

The overall size of the workspace partition is important as well. It must be high enough and wide enough to reduce the distractions incident upon the user, while at the same time being small enough to provide multiple workspace partitions on a single table.

As stated above, multiple users can use multiple workspace partitions simultaneously. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, multiple workspace partitions on a single u-shaped table are being used by multiple users, wherein each workspace partition has no more than one user. The workspace partitions allow an observer to observe multiple users while decreasing the distractions incident upon each user. The shape of the table enables the observer to view multiple users from the same location, while at the same time preventing distractions initiated between users and elsewhere. In this fashion, a single observer can view multiple users in an environment that provides fewer distractions to the users.

It should be understood that while the preferred embodiments of the invention are described in some detail herein, the present disclosure is made by way of example only and that variations and changes thereto are possible without departing from the subject matter coming within the scope of the following claims, and a reasonable equivalency thereof, which claims I regard as my invention.

All of the material in this patent document is subject to copyright protection under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in official governmental records but, otherwise, all other copyright rights whatsoever are reserved.