As educators nationwide prepare for a busy ed-tech conference season over the next few months, new airline restrictions on lithium batteries--such as those commonly found in laptop computers--could affect the way many travel.

As of Jan. 1, airline passengers are no longer permitted to pack loose lithium batteries in their checked baggage. The new rule aims to reduce the risk of lithium battery fires.

Lithium batteries are considered hazardous because, in certain conditions, they can overheat and ignite. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found during safety testing that a fire brought on by non-rechargeable lithium batteries would pose a difficult, if...

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