Laptop orientation

25 students and their parents attend the first of three ninth grade laptop orientations. We take advantage of this opportunity to provide training and advice to our students. We balance a broad overview of laptop use in courses with specific technical tips and advice on appropriate use. It’s an exciting time for the kids, many of whom are receiving their own, individual laptop computer for the first time.

Presentation Slides

Training Notes


  1. KM says:

    Can you share the type of information you share in these orientation events? What is covered? I know much is specific to your implementation and your systems, but I am sure it would be good for others to see…

  2. Richard says:

    Sure! See above for two PDFs I am now uploading.


  3. Michael Steinberg says:

    Hey Richard,

    Michael Steinberg from BLC08 here in NYC. I’ve been keeping up with your posts. Glad to see the workshops going so well. Thanks for sharing your laptop info. Can you be more specific about battery cycles? What’s the best way to charge/discharge on MacBooks and MacBook Pros?

  4. Richard says:


    Thanks for reading, and thanks even more for the comment. I appreciate the dialogue.

    According to the sources that we have investigated, batteries last about 200-300 cycles. A cycle is defined as an event of discharge-charge. So the best way to maximize your laptop battery life is to make it your normal practice to run the laptop until the battery is nearly exhausted, charge it all the way up again, and repeat.

    I hope this helps!


  5. Michael Steinberg says:

    To continue with batteries, what’s the most efficient and easiest way to deal with laptop carts, then?

    Shutdown laptops after each use (ie, end of each class period)

    Do NOT reattach power adapters and charge each night — instead wait till the batteries are almost exhausted ?

    How best to keep track? I just 64 new MacBooks (finally!) and would like to keep the batteries a while.