The homeschooling year has started for many. That means long days sitting around the kitchen table reading books and listening to mom or dad lecture about Algebra or World History.
Maybe that’s the way thing go in your house but my family is out of the house a lot. That means having to do school work in the van sometimes. Maybe the kids can catch up on some reading or do math drills with one of the Kindle Fire tablets.
If your family is like ours you may find yourself running out of power for all of those devices if you’re out of the house for a few hours. That may lead to multiple devices needing to be charged at the same time. Here are 10 Battery Saving Tips When You’re Van-Schooling that will settle squabbles over the power outlets in your van.
Thanks to all the individual patrons who have supported the podcast. Special thanks go out to Matt Kamla.
10 Battery Saving Tips When You’re Van-Schooling
1. Use airplane mode. All the wireless radios in your device use power. If you’re not actively using your data connection or a wireless connection, just turn it off. Also make sure your Bluetooth radio is turned off if you don’t need it. All of these wireless connections cause your device to drain fast.
2. Don’t turn off your device. This seems counter-intuitive but turning off your device and turning it back on will use more power than letting it sleep. The sleep mode is designed to conserve power and only use a trickle of battery to maintain the device’s memory state. When you turn on a device it uses a lot of power to not only do a self-check but it also runs a number of power-on functions that use more power than if you let the device sleep for a few hours.
3. Turn off push notifications. Besides being a distraction, push notifications also use power. When you enable push notification for an app, it will regularly check online for any updates. This uses up your battery throughout the day. Turning those notifications off will stretch your battery life and ease the insanity of your device constantly beeping at you.
4. Use a reliable 12V charger. Sometimes you just have to charge your device, it can’t be helped. In those instances, get a reliable multi-device charger like the Belkin Road Rockstar. It can charge 4 devices at a time. Don’t go for one of those off-brand knock-offs. Those often have inferior electronic internals and can damage your device. The Belkin Road Rockstar has a $2500 device guarantee. If your device gets fried while charging, Belkin will reimburse the cost of the device.
5. Lower the screen brightness. That bright screen is great. The high-density pixel display makes reading text, playing games, and watching videos easy on the eyes. It also uses a lot of power. To reduce the amount of power consumption, lower the brightness of your screen. You can always turn the brightness back up if you’re in direct sunlight or a particular situation requires it.
6. Don’t stream video. Streaming video is the double-whammy of battery drainage. You’re using your wireless radio and performing a processor intensive task (rendering video). If you can avoid streaming video you can increase battery life by hours.
7. Keep your devices cool. Your kids may think it’s cool to have a tablet or smartphone but they also need to remember to keep that device cool too. If a tablet or smartphone gets hot the battery becomes less effective. Keeping it out of direct sunlight and away from other heat sources (heat vents hen you’re driving in the winter) will help it function more efficiently.
8. Turn off vibrations and haptic feedback. If a device is constantly buzzing because of notifications or it vibrates when you type on the screen you’re using up more power than necessary. You can turn off these features and gain a little more battery life and get rid of those annoying buzzes coming from the back seat.
9. Reboot. Some cheaper tablets and smartphones don’t manage apps and memory very well. That means you may have apps running in the background that are using up precious milliamps without you knowing it. Rebooting your device once a week helps to clear out those memory and battery hogs.
10. Use low power mode. Many newer devices have a low power mode that you can activate. Sometimes this mode activates automatically when you reach a certain battery level but you’re often able to turn it on manually. Running in low-power mode all the time can really stretch the amount of time between charges.
What about you? Do you have any battery saving tips? Let me know in the comments below.
Once my Facebook Fan Page reaches 1,100 likes I will give away one hard copy bundle and one e-bundle of Kimberly Travaglino’s new book, How to Hit the Road; Making Your Family’s Full Time RV Dreams a Reality. You may also comment on last week’s podcast for a chance to win one of two e-bundles.
Leave a Voicemail
You can call 518-290-0228 to leave me a message or use this convenient widget to record a message right from your computer.
Want to be notified of any upcoming news regarding the podcast or if I’m speaking in your area? Join my spam-free mailing list. You’ll receive monthly updates and news about future projects and I’ll let you know if I’m speaking in your area at a homeschooling convention.
The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com
Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.