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Prepd Unveils Generation 3, The Next Version of its Debate Technology

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Prepd – the startup behind popular Extemp and Congress software – has just unveiled the next version of its debate technology: Generation 3.

“Prepd Generation 3 is a complete rebuild of our technology,” Prepd founder, Ian Panchèvre, explains. “We’ve completely reimagined what debate software should be.”

Since graduating from Yale last spring, Panchèvre has visited dozens of schools to see how students and teachers were using Prepd in a live classroom environment, embarking on what he describes as “a customer empathy journey.”

“Instead of thinking about Prepd as a former debater, building what I would have wanted to use, I wanted to understand and channel the needs of the community directly into our product.”

Ultimately, he and his team arrived at a number of key insights that informed their thinking. In true Extemp fashion, Panchèvre lists three points:
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Sources Used in the 2015 NSDA Final Rounds

Dallas 15As another fun exercise, Extemp Central totaled all of the sources used in the International and United States Extemp final rounds to see which sources were most commonly used in each competition.

Of all publications, The Washington Post was cited the most, with the publication being cited nine times in the International Extemp final and seven times in the United States Extemp final.  One wonders whether this is due to the quality of The Washington Post‘s journalism or if it is due to the fact that it is one of the few big national sources that extempers can cut for free.  The New York Times was in the top three of both extemp categories as well, being the second-most cited publication in the International Extemp final and the third-most cited publication in the United States Extemp final.

A major difference between the two finals is that the International Extemp final saw a greater use of think tanks and scholarly journals.  For example, extempers in that round cited Foreign Policy in Focus, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  United States extempers did make use of some non-newspaper and magazine sources such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress, but these were not cited as often as the other final round.

For those squads looking to diversify their files for next season, these lists may help you determine what you should consider including in your files.
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Prepd Goes Mobile!: Prepd releases an iPad App, Prepares to Launch a Free Smartphone App for Student Congress

l_2Prepd is software for Extemp. Prepd helps extempers research, practice, and compete. For coaches, Prepd makes it easy to manage and monitor their team. Learn more about Prepd by visiting www.prepd.in

Prepd is proud to announce the launch of its first mobile product! Prepd for iPad is an application that replicates the experience of Prepd’s Offline App. Prepd’s mobile app runs on iPad devices using iOS 8.0 and higher.

To download Prepd for iPad, simply search “Prepd – Extemp” in the App Store or open the following link on your iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prepd-extemp/id949527116

Prepd’s iPad app synchronizes articles from the Dashboard. Users can go offline and open folders and articles while in competition. The iPad app is free to download, but requires a Prepd account in order to log in.

Moreover, Prepd is weeks away from releasing a new product for Student Congress. Precedence is a mobile app that will run on iPhone and Android devices. As the name implies, Precedence makes it easy for debaters to keep track of precedence and recency in a Student Congress round. Precedence will be available for free to any person who would like to use the app, even if their team does not use Prepd’s Extemp software.

Learn more about Precedence: http://prepd.in/precedence/

If you submit your email through the website, you will be among the first to know when Precedence is available for free download.

Plug: Prepd Extemp Filing Software

1238112_499167350177246_728795908_nSan Antonio, TX, August 28th, 2013Prepd, dedicated software for Extemp, launched today in public beta. Prepd has already been working with about a dozen, private beta partners. As of today, any high school or college debate team, or individual competitor, can join Prepd.

Extemporaneous Speaking (or “Extemp”) is a speech and debate event that requires competitors to give speeches on current event topics, with limited preparation.

In the past, extempers would prepare by printing out and filing thousands of news articles from the Internet. However, rule changes by the National Forensic League and many local circuits now allow students to use laptops and tablets to access articles in competition.
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Plugging for Two Former International Extempers

There are links to two resources that I have been asked to pass along to the extempers who read this site.

The first comes from last year’s NFL International Extemp national champion and National Points Race champion Jacob Baker.  Baker attends Cornell University and is a member of the Cornell International Affairs Review.  He has founded a blog called “The Diplomacist.”  The blog, according to Jacob, is a “collaborative effort amongst students from 10 universities across the nation to express opinions about international affairs in short-form journalism.”  You can access “The Diplomacist” by clicking here and you can access their twitter by clicking here.

Also, Omar Qureshi, the 2008 NFL International Extemp runner-up, has asked me to pass along to any extempers who do Public Forum debate that he has a thirty page brief on this month’s NFL topic.  The brief is $10 and you can access it on Omar’s Championship Debate website.

These resources, in addition to what extempers and Public Forum debaters find elsewhere online and from different vendors, would be a welcome addition to anyone’s competitive arsenal.

Extemp Central’s Twitter Lists Will Help You File Smarter

Extemp Central on Twitter

Extemp Central on Twitter

by Corey Alderdice

If you haven’t heard, Twitter is kind of a big deal.  With an estimated 18 million active users by the end of the 2009, it seems safe to say that the Tweet Machine is no passing fad.

Last week, Twitter began rolling out the wide release of its new Lists function.  The Twitter Blog describes the feature in short:

The idea is to allow people to curate lists of Twitter accounts. For example, you could create a list of the funniest Twitter accounts of all time, athletes, local businesses, friends, or any compilation that makes sense.

Lists are public by default (but can be made private) and the lists you’ve created are linked from your profile. Other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.

Your friends at Extemp Central have encouraged you to both become our Fan on Facebook and follow our tweets.  The lists capability provides an even better reason to join us on Twitter: keeping up on news and cultivating your files.  Currently, Extemp Central is following nearly 70 magazines, websites, policy journals, think tanks and institutions to help you better understand the news of the world each day.  The lists are subdivided in specific areas to better address your needs:

@extemp/politics

@extemp/education

@extemp/entertainment

@extemp/policy-journals

@extemp/think-tanks

@extemp/science-and-tech

@extemp/sports

@extemp/international

@extemp/united-states

We really, really want your help in making this an outstanding utility for extempers.  Have a look at the sources Extemp Central is currently following.  From there, send us an email or leave a comment on this post on any additional websites, individuals, publications or organizations that would be useful to add to the list.  You are even welcome to suggest any additional lists that we should create or follow from other users.

If you are new to Twitter or just thinking about joining (which you should!), Mashable (@mashable) has an excellent online guide to using Twitter.

The Right Way to File

by Mark Royce

Many extempers become slaves to their tubs, rather than letting the files serve them.

The file boxes perennially transported by extemporaneous speakers to tournaments across the country perform a variety of functions.  The most important, obviously, is the assistance they provide to the competitor’s memory: facts, figures, dates, locations, and other very precise pieces of information are quickly accessible in an organized system, such that no precious prep time need be wasted in their retrieval.  Furthermore, most extempers either modify an inherited set of tubs or design their own, which teaches them to organize foreign and domestic issues in meaningful categories.  All the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, would be grouped together, as would intertwined economic issues back home.  I might also add in jest that traversing the country with such ponderous luggage as extemp tubs teaches patience and improves physical stamina, while providing a constant reminder of how technologically antiquated the NFL’s procedures are.  But there is another role which extemp files frequently play that they certainly should not, and the purpose of this article is to warn of the dangers of relating to the tubs in this manner.

Do not the files often assume a kind of idolatrous affection in the minds of those who maintain them?  Do not many extempers, usually of at least intermediate skill, lavish a sort of narcissistic attention on their tubs, taking care to highlight in a favorite color, to ensure that each folder contains a certain number of articles, or to resolve to file for a certain number of hours each day?  Granted, such habits may be the honest manifestations of the quest for excellence: order, method, clarity, and daily attention to the headlines are essential; and a committed extemper is by all means entitled to customize the portable library on which he perpetually relies.  But extempers, as a whole, devote too much time and attention to the files, striving to meet some self-imposed standard of aesthetic perfection as librarians rather than remaining focused on winning tournaments as public speakers.

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