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Electronics Policy

大家好!
I hope everyone is doing well and staying above water in this wild season of transition, wrapping up the school year and prepping to launch out of routine and into unfamiliar territory this summer. It’s been a pleasure reading a few of your introductory Yak posts so far, we’re looking forward to hearing from the rest of you!

The purpose of this post is to address major themes about our electronics policy and electronics access on course, and to open it up for any other questions and concerns you may have. Thank you, Matthew, for raising the question about E-Readers in your Yak a few days ago; I hope this post will bring some clarity to your question.

To begin, as I’m sure you already know, Dragons courses are designed to be unplugged experiences. We ask that you disconnect from day-to-day social media habits in order to better be present in the place and moment where you’re at. This is crucial for building and deepening relationships within our group and for fostering undistracted authentic interaction with local people and communities where we’ll be exploring. For more details on this, please check out your Dragons’ Course Preparation Manual under “Communication” and “Dragons Unplugged” sections on pages 11 and 12.

We understand that this may be a considerable challenge for some of you to set aside your social media presence, so we appreciate and thank you in advance for trusting us on this one.

Now, some of you may be thinking, if I can’t bring my smartphone or tablet along with me…

What CAN I bring?

  • If you want to take photos, please bring a small portable camera
  • If you want to listen to music as we’re en route between cities, please bring MP3 player that does not connect to the internet
  • If you want to bring a Kindle or other E-Reader to read books, please download all reads pre-course so that there’s no need to connect to internet during course

And what if my only MP3 player is an iPhone that could get me online if I fancied?

  • If having access to music for long bus/train/plane rides is important to you then please do what you can to find a device that can get you your tunes without enabling internet/social media access. That means, try to unearth the old iPod Touch from under pushpins in your living-room cabinet or scour Craigslist for a retro deal (see ad above for tantalizing alternative listening options). We ask this because we instructors very much prefer not being device gate-keepers and bringing an iPhone will result in it living in one of the instructor bags for the length of the trip (and we are not liable/responsible for any damage or harm that could come to the device)

So what about when I DO need to access the internet?

  • We the instructor team carry a group tablet with us that students may share to write emails home, do research for independent projects, compose blog posts for the Yak Board, etc.

Ok, got it, what about adapters?

  • Don’t sweat it. Your average two-pronged MP3 charger will fit in Chinese sockets, and if not the instructor team will carry adapter as necessary.

Thank you for your patience and prudence in reviewing this. That’s all we’ve got for now. If you have more questions beyond what’s covered here please don’t hesitate to post a quick Yak.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days for pending Yaks from us about the itinerary, packing tips, and more, as well as to read more intros from your peers!

Wishing you all well,
Ian, Patricia, and Maddie