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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Technology Policy

Queridxs Dragones,

Technology is amazing. It has the ability to connect people in the most remote parts of the world, to spread ideas and to inspire us. However, we’re sure you’ve seen the ugly side of technology as well. Tools like smartphones and social media that are designed to unite us, often isolate us. The ability to access the internet 24/7 can make it so we are not present in the moment. One of the things that makes Dragons courses so magical is that without the tempting distraction of a smartphone lurking in our pocket we are forced to be fully present in our experience. We see South America and more importantly, we see ourselves in real time. So with the support of Dragons Admin we’d like to present a list of approved/not approved electronic devices.

  • Not permitted:
 Cell phones, computers, iPads, other tablets including Kindles, iPod Touches, or electronic game devices
    • Permitted: 
Cameras and music players only (none with phone/internet/wifi capabilities)

If students arrive on course with any of the non-permitted items they will be held by the instructors for the remainder of the course. Instructors are not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or damaged. We prefer not having to lug your stuff around all semester, and you won’t be able to use those items at any point during the course.

For permitted items moderation is key. If students are using permitted items to remove themselves from the experience the instructors will talk with that student. If the action continues the item(s) will be held by the instructors. We understand and respect how important access to technology may be for you. However, we ask that you trust the process. At the end of courses students always mention how thankful they were to be disconnected from technology. In both countries we will be visiting you’ll have sufficient opportunities to connect with friends and family via internet cafes and pay phones. There will be times where we will be out of communication for extended periods, but we will make sure to update the yak board to let your friends and family know.

A couple commonly asked questions:

1) If I deactivate my phone can I still use it as my camera and music player?

Response: We acknowledge that smartphones can wear many hats but we’ve found that even a deactivated phone has incredible potential to alter your experience. So to be clear, phones in any form will not be allowed.

The same goes for iPod Touches, since they are basically the same as a deactivated phone.

2.) I’m worried about my connecting flights before/after the trip. Can I bring my phone for that?

Response: Yes, you can but we encourage you to try it without your phone because as soon as you meet us in Cusco we will collect the phone. To ensure that your travels go smoothly we recommend you carry a hard copy of all required flight information and a physical list of important numbers (i.e. your emergency contacts and the Dragons office’s number 001-303-413-0822).

For family and friends back home, know that the instructor team will be in regular communication with the Dragons Boulder office (even while on treks and in remote communities). Throughout the semester if you have questions please post them here on the Yak Board and we’ll reply as quickly as possible. Or contact the Boulder office and they will quickly forward questions on to us. Watch our Yak Board for exciting updates every few of days.

So unplug. Dive in. And get ready for an amazing adventure.

Abrazos,

Lxs Instructorxs