Category Archives: Technology

Tips For Using The New NDCA Wiki

With the first weekend in the books, I wanted to share some tips with debaters and coaches regarding the new NDCA Wiki. While there has been some criticism of the new wikispaces site, the vast majority of people that I talked to at Greenhill were pleased with the change. From an administrative point of view, the new site is substantially easier to manage and hopefully will cut down on the amount of cleanup required to correct mistakes. With the goal of assisting users with the transition, I have provided several tips regarding the wiki—they’re below the fold.

Before diving into the tips, though, I wanted to issue an official 3NR shout-out to Kinkaid’s Vivek Datla and Zach Rosenthal, the early favorites for this year’s Disclosure Award. Their wiki page is well formatted, well organized, and comprehensive; while it could be improved at the margins, it is a great example of what a well-maintained page can look like using the new wikispaces format. Kudos, Kinkaid!

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NDCA Unveils 2010-2011 Wiki

The National Debate Coaches Association has announced an upgrade to the 2010-2011 National Argument List, colloquially known as “the wiki”. The wiki is now hosted by wikispaces, the same software that is used for the college caselist. Please take a minute to register for the new wiki before the season gets underway. If you have questions about the transition to the new software, please check out the transition page; if that doesn’t answer your question(s), post ‘em here and someone will help you.

Using an iPad as a Viewing Computer?

Has anyone considered using an iPad as a viewing computer for paperless debating? By using Dropbox and/or FileApp, it is relatively easy to transfer Word documents from a laptop to an iPad. The advantages of using an iPod are pretty clear: it’s smaller and lighter than any other viewing device, the screen size/resolution is good (certainly better than most netbooks), and it is super easy to use/handle. There are also obvious disadvantages, though: it does not have a USB port so it is impossible to jump files without either accessing a network or connecting it to iTunes, it doesn’t allow documents to be edited (just viewed), and the screen is smaller than a full-size laptop.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Would debaters and coaches feel comfortable with an iPad as a viewing computer? Has anyone else experimented with this yet? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Tech Tips from Akshay Bhushan

Here is a list of some awesome tech tips from Akshay Bhushan. The windows 7 shortcut one is especially awesome.

With most teams going paperless next year, I thought this would be useful to them.

I found a lot of debate related downloads/add-ons that could potentially be useful. Greenhill kids are now using some of these

This one is useful because it allows teams who collaborate over google groups/send out files via email to have their dropboxes automatically updated. Just useful in general.

Macros for your computer-I have ALT + Shift + 1 to open my debate notes document ALT Shift 2 to open a firefox window to google scholar ALT shift 3 to open new tab to Lexis-you can also create macros which Automatically copies text you select and pastes it formatted correctly into your template.

This one seems obvious why its useful

Teams going paperless will have 5-6 viewing laptops, and getting all your files and a 300 dollar netbook stolen or left behind is not fun. Teams can steal your sweet Heidegger file. This at least ensures that no one can get your files, and can actually use internet connection to find out where your laptop is.

I’m surprised that most debaters I’ve seen don’t utilize this-it’s an easier way to bookmark and SAVES pages for offline viewing. Before tournaments and if I don’t have time to complete some research assignments, I save every possible card and then can cut it in between rounds, even when there isn’t internet

Most teams going paperless will be putting different flash drives on their computer every year. If they run Vista (unfortunate for them), the Disk will “AutoRun” and will bring up a screen asking you what you want to do with this USB. This autorun function also allows viruses to spread-most trojans and spyware will jump onto flashdrives and spread via this AutoRun function. You don’t even have to open the file folder of the USB  to get a Virus. This prevents that from happening.

NDCA Hosts Paperless Debate Seminar At Woodward Tournament

The National Debate Coaches’ Association is hosting an informational seminar about paperless debate during round five of the Woodward 1st and 2nd Year National Championships. Alex Gulakov—an alum of the St. Mark’s School of Texas, a current student at the University of Texas, and the creator of the Synergy software—will be demonstrating paperless debating tools for interested coaches.

The NDCA is recording this presentation so that it can be made available to the community; more information will be posted as soon as we have it.