Hopefully you’ve received the last three updates via e-mail, but just in case, here are the highlights:
Just a quick note that #beyondlaptops is not about which device you’re using, but about how you’re using it, and how we can take all of our 1:1 programs to the next level – embracing the future of learning through creativity, collaboration, and connectedness. We aim to be a “big picture” conversation, rather than one about hardware or logistics (and for those that are more interested in these specifics, we’ll make sure you have some time to chat together too).
Although there will be an agenda with topics for conversation, #beyondlaptops is an unconference-style, participant-driven event with collaborative discussion as the focus, rather than “sit & git” presentations. With that in mind, we would like to encourage the participants to bring ideas, challenges and questions, ready to share during our three days together.
Before You Arrive
We would love to tap into the wealth of knowledge we have attending this year’s event for ideas, resources, and suggestions. At the end of last year’s conference we created a wiki as a central place to share and collaborate. If you have any great articles, media or resources you would like to share, please add them to the wiki (once you request to join, I’ll make you a member).
During the conference, we always show a number of short, inspirational or provocative videos, if you have any you recommend, we would love to put them on the agenda!
Getting to Japan, and to YIS
Please have a look at the Getting to YIS page for information about traveling to Japan, and Yokohama in particular. There are also details about getting to your hotel from the airport, currency needs, and mobile phones. If you have further questions, please let me know and I’ll add more to the site!
Note: as you book your flights, we highly recommend you fly into Haneda (HND) rather than Narita (NRT) – it’s much, much closer to Yokohama.
All hotel rooms have been booked per your request, under the name you’ve provided. There is no need for an official confirmation form for the hotel, and you are welcome to contact them regarding any questions you might have. You will be able to pay by cash or credit card when you arrive.
For your planning, each day will run from 9am – 4pm. We have a pre-conference day on Thursday, 17 April – which, last year, everyone attended, so it was more of the “first day” rather than a “pre-conference” – and the main conference continues on Friday, 18 April and Saturday, 19 April.
The planning team has been working hard on developing the agenda. It’s looking great! Right now it’s still a work in progress, but please feel free to have a look at each day (click on the agenda tab, then 2014) to see what we’ve developed based on your input on the pre-conference survey.
According to the survey results, almost everyone is planning to attend the pre-conference day on Thursday, 17 April. Woohoo! This means we’ll really be able to make the most of our time together. However, if you’re still undecided, perhaps this exciting development will help:
During the morning on Thursday, Yohei Yasukawa, innovative and award winning educator, will be facilitating a workshop with a group of YIS students using Scratch and the Raspberry Pi. After the students work with Yohei, they will come work with us in the afternoon to share their experiences and thoughts about the workshop. This will be an exciting opportunity to experience coding from both a professional and student perspective. You won’t want to miss it!
(For more about Yohei, please see his bio below.)
We are organizing some fun evening events during your stay in Yokohama, and we hope you can join us! Please check out the events page of the website to see what we’re planning. Most importantly, onThursday night, we’ll have our annual conference dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants (cost = JPY5,000 per person). Let us know if you’ll be joining us by filling out the survey.
Conference Dinner Costs
We’re currently working on the conference dinner plans for the evening of Thursday 17 April. We are expecting that the cost to you will be no more than JPY5,000. There is no need to pay this amount up front (we only need to know if you plan to attend – via the survey – so we can arrange for the appropriate numbers with the restaurant). You can bring cash with you to the event and we’ll collect it here. Note: this is not a conference registration fee (there is no conference registration fee), this is just to help us cover the costs of a fabulous dinner & drinks!
Founder of Okinawa.rb (Okinawa Ruby User Group), organizer of CoderDojoTokyo/Okinawa, and contributor to OpenSource Cafe. For his enthusiastic contribution to open source communities, such as translating Rails Tutorial into Japaneseand Ruby Hacking Guide into English, he is selected as Super Creator by IPA and as one of Ruby Prize Award nominees by Ruby Association. He runs YasuLab, a small distributed company located in Okinawa/Tokyo/California, publishes many products such as Whistle on Android and ScreenX TV, and teaches students what he learns from such projects at Lexues Academy. Links: GitHub, Twitter.