Dead Laptop Battery Blues

1. Turns out that if you keep your laptop plugged in all the time, it’s always charged… right up until the moment, two-and-one-half years later, when it no longer functions at all unless plugged in.  Yes, I’d heard this.  No, for some inexplicable reason I had not actually chosen to believe it.  Count me a believer.  Anyone know a miracle cure or am I in for a new battery?

2. There are less auspicious times to make discovery#1 than halfway through second period when you are promising kids that in five minutes you will get your laptop (charger lying languidly under the desk at home) set up with the school’s printer and begin printing their science exqo projects as they finish them – but I sure as heck can’t think of any.

3. Thank god for a generous colleague who is also a mac user.  Day saved.

4. In the last 7 days, not one but TWO groups have managed to confuse “open” and “save as,” thereby replacing a month’s worth of work with a blank document.   Somehow they managed to do this after saving correctly for a month following my lesson on saving properly.  I didn’t think I needed to teach them how to open documents, given that no one had any trouble doing it the first week.  [Insert snarky comment about natural selection here.]

5. Whatever happened to “garbage in, garbage out,” the well-worn mantra of my tech teachers in middle school, who cured us of any lingering notion that our computers might be out to get us?

6. All that said, I think I’ve done an excellent job teaching my kids to use the features of Microsoft Word drastically more intelligently than they were at the beginning of this project.  Many now use shift instead of capslock, and they are becoming familiar with features like control-c, control-v, decrease indent, center, left align, right align, bullets, numbering, control-a, and more.  It’s uneven – a lot depends on which kid is typing at any particular moment – but the projects are much more professional looking than in any previous year.

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5 Comments

Filed under computer, science, teaching

5 responses to “Dead Laptop Battery Blues

  1. quincy

    I had the same problem with my mac battery dying because I charged it too much, but then I came across this:

    https://support.apple.com/ibook_powerbook/batteryexchange/main?id=qp

    I got apple to send me a free battery within a few days, and now I know better than to charge it all the time.

  2. Nooo!!! I am traumatized on your students’ behalf–how tragically frustrating to lose your work like that! They will surely never make that mistake again though. 🙂

    Good job teaching those Word skills! Those are definitely life skills the kids will use forever. Make sure they thank you. 🙂

  3. 15 more years

    The mac batteries are infamous for dying. I use my school laptop on the battery, and now it barely holds a charge for a half hour- so if I’m showing a PowerPoint, it has to be plugged in.

    Our computer techs told us that when the battery is new, let it die and recharge for 3 cycles before you actually use the computer- for some reason, that extends the battery life.

  4. Tim

    It’s not just Mac batteries. The batteries in most of the one year old Dell laptops our trainers have will barely give them an hour of power.

    My two year old battery in my MacBook Pro will go two to three hours between charges. But that only because I learned my lesson from killing two batteries in my previous laptop. Now I run the machine down to auto sleep at least once every two weeks as a friend recommended. She was right.

  5. Have the same problem with open and save buttons with my elementary kids. For my kids it happens when they don’t get the difference between a file folder icon and a floppy disk icon (what’s that thing?)… It’s a hard lesson.

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