We have no credibility as a 21st Century technological society if we keep having to charge our gadgets and if battery life is totally insufficient for the work days we have, the lives we lead and the things we need to do. A device which goes flat is completely unacceptable and destroys any cool technology image we might wish to promote. One thing which seems achievable is that schools, businesses and homes could have solar powered USB chargers at a small cost. Adam Codner from the University of Minnesota developed one as a project and has shared the information on YouTube. There are other videos which show you how to make 4 battery USB chargers for a reasonable cost and there are commercially available ones. Solar powered USB chargers for mobile devices should be everywhere so no one is left without battery life and no one is having to protect themselves from the high costs of electricity usage if everyone charges their device. There are written instructions for a small solar powered USB charger on instructables. I am not sure what happened to the paper batteries I blogged about in 2011. They would ease the costs and battery crises and be more sustainable. We have to stop this dependence on batteries so that we can freely use our devices. It is not so easy with laptops. They need more resources to charge and portable solar powered units to charge them seem to be less reliable and a bit of a problem in terms of sustainability and reliability. The comments under this article on treehugger promote some good discussion. The point that a laptop really should not be where there is no real access to power is probably valid but not helpful for those who do have to work in remote areas for a living or research. Spare batteries seem to be the best solution for now and laptop batteries are not cheap. The other solution is that in an organisation where people are laptop dependent, there should be access to electricity which is fed into the grid sustainably through wind and solar panels etc. We have to make the renewable energy solutions promote a more viable option to support our device dependence. We keep ignoring it, but it is not going to go away. They used to have cars where you had to crank up the engine to start them. That was hardly fine living , either. Eventually they gave the world starter motors and alternators.Personally, I want a want to tap my devices so they are then charged. The wand could then plug into a charging unit or be totally solar powered. Far more convenient than having my device connected to the wall or a solar unit.
Filed under: classroom, e-learning, software, technology | Tagged: educating in the 21st century, laptop batteries, mobile devices, solar charger, solar chargers, solar powered, solar powered energy, solar powered USB, solar powered USB charger, Solar powered USB chargers, University of Minnesota |