Any laptop maintanance tips for 9yrs olds?

Hi

I was wondering what topics we can teach to 9yrs old and above on laptop maintenance.

Please sugguest.

Thanks
Purna
( on behalf of repair cafe bangalore team)

Hi Purna!

Hoping your kids are going to have close help/supervision from adults? We found even with teenagers, it’s a bit of a challenge to disassemble a machine without total chaos ensuing. It’s good to talk about how to use a screwdriver, how to manage screws, and the repair work surface.

Perhaps you can start with the basics of maintenance though, which includes treating the machine with respect and being careful with the keyboard and trackpad. Not eating or using drinks near it. Always make sure you are using the correct power supply. If they have removeable batteries, you could remove these and explain that they can be changed. If they have removeable RAM, you could even show them this.

Then if you can go further, perhaps you can dip into some of the basics of computing, explaining how the computer works? We don’t have materials pitched at 9 year-olds, but I could send you what we’ve used with teenagers.

Copying @Jeannie_Crowley who might have some materials to share.

Let us know how you get on developing this activity and how we can help!
Janet

1 Like

Yeah Thanks Janet …it would be nice if you could share what you have already done in your classroom.

For us its a online class so we will keep it simple and will do the tbings sugguested by you to start with.

Although (having made all those mistakes myself!) I agree with everything Janet says, I wonder whether it might be putting the cart before the horse.

I don’t think you can effectively teach the necessary skills remotely, so when your lockdown eases what about starting them off with the disassembled parts of an old laptop? Get them to look very carefully at each part and then gradually put it back together. You must have one or two laptops that are beyond repair, but ideal for this purpose. It will build their confidence in their own knowledge and develop their manipulation skills without risking damage to a working machine.

You can combine this with basic explanations of the function of each part, and how they work together to make the whole machine work.

In my view the key skill in repairing almost anything is systematic fault diagnosis. This is best taught with simpler systems first - for example why doesn’t my torch (flashlight) turn on or why don’t my earphones work?

When I was a kid (many, many years before laptops were a thing) I got into repairing stuff by just being given old, broken stuff by adults who assumed I’d “play with it for a bit” (things like old radios start with). Nobody told me what to fix, how to get into it or what to do once I did. I wrecked some stuff (that was already broken so no problem) but I learnt to get into things and then drifted towards the electronics section of the school and public libraries.

So if you’ve got access to some really life expired kit, why not just give it to the kids, show them how you might go about unscrewing/unclipping cases and then leave them to it. If they’ve got stuff that they can’t make any worse and its now “theirs” there’ll be less pressure on them to be careful and more learning may take place.

Worked for me anyway!