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Evidence Management

Reading Reimagined

Competitive Advantage

For Prepared Debaters

 

mobile

Learning Software For
Prepared Debate Squads

Article feed on mobile

ARTICLE SHARING DONE RIGHT

The Library’s Article Feed is a single repository for all of your debate team’s research files. Filter web articles and PDF files by those that you have (or have not yet) read, those contributed by a particular teammate, those from a specific news source and more!

Article View Mobile

READING REIMAGINED

Read to learn with the Library. You can highlight content in five different colors, look up word definitions, save interesting facts, and mark articles as read. Beautiful as ever, the Article View now supports three different color schemes: Light, Dark, and Book.

Mark Articles

MARK ARTICLES AS READ

When you finish reading an article, make sure to mark it as read. To do so, you must complete a short comprehension activity that requires you to think critically about the article. Through the Dashboard, coaches can monitor their students’ reading activity and review their comprehension exercises.

Memory Bank

MEMORIZE IMPORTANT FACTS

Highlight important article content and add it to your Memory Bank. Submit a question that is answered by the selected content, and then quiz yourself with your saved memories to expand your knowledge base.

Vocabulary

LEARN NEW WORDS

When you read articles, you can highlight unfamiliar words and look up their definitions. Whenever a word is defined, it is automatically added to the your Vocabulary List – where flash cards and study lists make it easy to review.

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Desktop App

A UNIFIED RESEARCH HUB

The Library is a single hub for all of your debate team’s research files (web articles and PDFs). The Library organizes your evidence in one application that can be used for any debate event. Prepd’s event-specific apps – Extemp and Congress – pull articles from the Library’s evidence base.

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The Library is a unified research hub

The Library consolidates a debate team’s entire collection of evidence into a single, streamlined application. The Library’s evidence management system is useful for any debater, irrespective of any specific debate event. Researching is easy and your evidence is organized. All of your files, in one spot – that’s the Library.

What types of files does the Library support?

The Library stores news articles from the web as well as PDF files.

Is the Library its own, stand-alone application?

Yes, the Library is separate from any other Prepd app. You can log into the Library by visiting library.prepd.in.

How does the Library affect Prepd’s other apps, namely Extemp and Congress?

The Library does not eliminate Extemp or Congress. Rather, the Library is a technology platform that supports Prepd’s family of applications.

Extemp and Congress are now apps that “run on top” of the Library. By pulling from the Library’s file repository, Extemp and Congress share common files – that way, if something happens in one app, it gets synchronized across all the apps (e.g., a student highlights article content in Extemp, and the highlights appear in Congress).

 

When would I use the Library instead of Extemp or Congress?

How you use Prepd’s apps is entirely up to you. That said, we imagine that students will prefer to compete with Extemp and Congress (because of their event specific “Round” interfaces), while preferring to research and read with the Library.

Can I incorporate the Library into regular classroom activities?

Yes, absolutely. Any classroom activity that involves online research can use the library to organize its files. We encourage teachers to use the Library for non-debate activities and to share their experiences with us!

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NEWS FEED

Prepd’s News Feed automatically retrieves articles from 20 different news sources. Since articles in the News Feed can then be saved to any Prepd application, the News Feed helps teams quickly file and fills research gaps. It also helps level the playing field, so smaller extemp clubs can compete against larger programs. Learn more about the News Feed by reading this blog post.

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FAST CATCH

Say goodbye to Prepd’s Article Catcher, and say hello to Fast Catch: a one-click solution for quickly and easily saving internet articles to any Prepd app – Extemp, Congress, and your Library. Visit the Chrome Web Store to install Fast Catch.

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Quickly save web articles with Fast Catch

Fast Catch is a Chrome extension that saves any web article to Prepd with a single click. It’s easier and faster than its predecessor, the Article Catcher.

How do I get the Fast Catch browser extension?

Visit Fast Catch on the Chrome Web Store. Select the “Add to Chrome” button in the top right to install Fast Catch to your Chrome browser.

Where does Fast Catch save the article? Can I add articles to Extemp and Congress?

When you launch Fast Catch, it automatically saves the opened web article to the Library.

Once the article is caught, Fast Catch will then present the option to add the article to Extemp folders/subfolders and Congress dockets/bills. To save to Extemp from Fast Catch, click on the orange timer icon. To save to Congress from Fast Catch, click on the blue gavel icon.

You can also save an article to Extemp and Congress through the Library itself, in case you don’t do so through Fast Catch.

How will I use Fast Catch if I have multiple Prepd accounts?

When you first log into Prepd through Fast Catch, you select which Prepd account you’d like to save the article to. If you want to change accounts, simply log out of Fast Catch, log back in, and select a new account.

Can I read the web article while Fast Catch is working?

Yes. You can scroll through and click on the page, and Fast Catch will continue to function.

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EASY PDF UPLOAD

The Library is equipped with a simple PDF upload tool. Once uploaded, PDF files retain their original file formatting. Moreover, you can highlight PDFs, mark ‘em as read, and save their content to your memory bank.

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Quickly and easily upload PDF files

With Prepd Generation 3, you can upload PDF files through the Library. Once a PDF file has been uploaded, you can then save it to Extemp or Congress.

Does Prepd change the formatting of the PDF file?

No. Unlike previous versions of Prepd, which tried to extract the raw text from the PDF file, the new PDF experience preserves the full format of the file – images, colors, charts, text, sources, etc. It’s all there, just like the original file.

How do I upload PDFs?

To start the process, simply drag and drop a PDF file over the Library’s Article Feed. You can also select the PDF icon from the far left, vertical navigation bar.

Once you’ve provided the file, you will then be asked to enter information about the article. The PDF will be saved once the information is submitted.

What information do I have to provide to save the PDF?

You will need to manually enter the following information:

  • – Article Title
  • – Original URL
  • – Publication Name
  • – Article Author(s) (optional)
  • – Publication Date

Can PDFs be synchronized to the Offline App?

Yes. Although, please note that due to their large file sizes, PDFs can considerably slow down the Offline App’s synchronization process, especially if your team has saved lots of PDF files. You also have the option to “selectively sync” (i.e., only sync web articles, or only sync PDF files, in case you are short on time or have a weak internet connection).

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SMART SEARCH, SMART FILTERS

Find useful files – ASAP. Target keywords and narrow search results with Smart Search. Filter files by those that you have (or have not yet) read, those saved to a specific app, and those filed by a teammate.

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Find files with smart search and smart filters

Smart Search helps debaters find highly relevant and specific articles. With Smart Search, you can target keywords and enter parameters to narrow the search results. Separately, Smart Filters allow you to organize and reorganize the articles that are displayed in the Article Feed.

How do I launch Smart Search?

Select the down-arrow icon to the right of the search field, in the upper navigation bar.

How can I narrow search results with Smart Search?

Once Smart Search launches, you will be able to specify keywords (e.g., all of these words, this exact word phrase, none of these words, etc.) and narrow search results (e.g., articles published after a certain date, articles published by a certain news source, etc.).

How do I launch Smart Filters?

Select the three-bar-gauges icon next to the right of the down arrow icon, in the upper navigation bar.

What are the smart filter options?

You can sort articles by most recent, oldest, alphabetical A-Z and alphabetical Z-A.

You can also filter articles between those you’ve read or have not yet read, those that were originally web articles or PDF files, those that you caught or that were contributed by a teammate, and those that have been saved to Extemp or saved to Congress.

Can I use Smart Search and Smart Filters at the same time?

No. Smart Search and Smart Filters are meant to be used separately from one another.

If you use Smart Search, it will return articles according to the parameters of your search. Articles will also be algorithmically weighted, with the articles most relevant to your search criteria appearing at the top. Thus, you can’t apply filters to Smart Search. If you change the filters while the Article Feed presents Smart Search results, the Library will clear the search results and present articles according to the filters.

What happens if I just enter text in the search bar, without opening or using Smart Search?

You will perform a standard search, which is effectively Smart Search according to default settings. The results will include articles that contain any of the submitted keywords in either the title or the body, weighted according to relevancy.

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AND MUCH MORE

MOBILE ACCESS

Use the Library on any smartphone via Chrome’s mobile browser. The ability to catch web articles on your smartphone will be coming soon!

Mobile Access

Offline App

OFFLINE SUPPORT

Enjoy full access to your files while competing with Prepd Offline – a single Chrome app that offers offline access to Extemp, Congress, and the Library.

RICH ANALYTICS

Prepd’s Dashboard will be updated with a brand new analytics panel that provides insight into how students read and learn.

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READ TO LEARN

Don’t just read the news, master the news. The Library helps you learn more while you read: memorize interesting facts, look up word definitions, mark articles as read, highlight content in five different colors, and much more.

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The Library helps you learn

The Library isn’t just a powerful tool for saving, organizing, and sharing debate research, it’s also an education technology that helps you learn more while you read. Debate is awesome, in part, because it is academic. Teachers, parents, and students all know that the activity produces critical thinkers and informed citizens. So, shouldn’t your debate software help you learn, too?

To that end, we’re reimaging the reading experience to help you meaningfully engage with article content on a textual level. We’re also introducing entire new features – like the Memory Bank and the Vocabulary List – to help you study and review information. Finally, we’re building tools for coaches to gain insights into how their students read and learn.

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MEMORIZE IMPORTANT FACTS

Coming Soon: Highlight important article content and add it to your Memory Bank. To do so, you’ll submit a question that the selected content answers. Later, visit your Memory Bank and quiz yourself to expand your knowledge base.

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Memorize important facts, collect and study memories

It happens all the time: you read an article and interesting facts are jumping out at you. Sometimes, you memorize the facts right then and there. Oftentimes, you keep reading and eventually forget. With the Memory Bank, you’ll be able to take full advantage of these learning moments. Save the important content and review it later. Memorize and master it.

How does the Memory Bank work?

When you are reading an article and you want to save an interesting fact, simply highlight the relevant article content. The highlighter menu will appear. Next to the highlight button, in the middle of the menu, is an icon of a brain – that’s the Memory Bank.

When you click the Memory Bank icon, Prepd will ask you to enter a question. The question is something that you write and it is answered by the content you highlighted. For example, you could enter the question, “What is America’s unemployment rate?” if you had highlighted article content that read “America’s unemployment rate is currently 5%.”

Once you’ve saved the question and answer, an entry is created in your Memory Bank. You can visit the Memory Bank by selecting the brain icon from the left, vertical navigation bar in the Library. From there, you’ll be able to review a list of all your memories as well as study flashcards.

Can students share memories with each other?

For the moment, memories are private to each student. After conducting user interviews, we felt that students would be more comfortable using the Memory Bank if their entries remained private. That way, students could freely study whatever they want without fearing judgment or feeling the temptation to judge.

We are, however, open to revisiting this product decision and making memories shareable in the future.

Will the Memory Bank work offline?

Yes. The Memory Bank will be available in the Library component of Prepd Offline. However, students should not open their Memory Bank while they compete, as memories may be considered a pre-written speech and a violation of competitive rules.

Will the Memory Bank work on mobile?

Yes. If a student has a smartphone that runs the mobile Chrome browser, she will be able to open the Memory Bank and study her memories.

Can coaches use the Memory Bank as well?

Absolutely. Both students and teachers can build a collection of memories. Moreover, teachers will be able to review their students’ memories and monitor their study habits.

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LEARN NEW WORDS

When you read articles, you can highlight unfamiliar words and look up their definitions.

Coming Soon: Whenever a word is defined, it is automatically added to your Vocabulary List – where flash cards and study lists make it easy to review.

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Enhance, enrich, and augment your vocabulary

It’s a simple fact: The more you read, the more words you see, the fancier your vocabulary. A well-developed vocabulary isn’t only useful for debate rounds and standardized tests, but also, well… who doesn’t want to speak more good?

Prepd helps you speak more good by making it easy to lookup word definitions while you read. Whenever you define a word, Prepd automatically adds the word to your Vocabulary List – where flashcards and study lists make it easy to review.

How do I use the Vocabulary List?

Whenever you read an article and see an unfamiliar word, highlight that single word. In the middle of the highlight menu that appears, there is an AZ icon that opens a pop-up containing the word definition. Once you’ve finished reviewing the word, you can close the pop-up and trust that the word has been saved to your Vocabulary List.

What information appears in the word definition pop-up?

In most cases, you will see the following:

  • – A pronunciation guide
  • – An audio recording
  • – Up to three definitions
  • – An example of the word used in a sentence
  • – The original article and sentence from which the article was sourced

Sometimes, certain entries may be blank. This happens when the third-party dictionary services that we use do not have the needed information.

Can I look up a word definition but not save the word to my Vocabulary List?

Yes. Once the word is defined, select the “undo” button at the bottom of the pop-up and the word will be removed from your Vocabulary List

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Can students share vocabulary lists with each other?

For the moment, saved words are private to each student. After conducting user interviews, we felt that students would be more comfortable using the Vocabulary List if their entries remained private. That way, students could freely study whatever they want without fearing judgment or feeling the temptation to judge.

We are, however, open to revisiting this product decision and making vocabulary entries shareable in the future.

Will the Vocabulary List work offline?

Yes. The Vocabulary List will be available in the Library component of Prepd Offline. However, students should not open their Vocabulary List while they compete, as this may constitute a rule violation at certain tournaments.

Will the Vocabulary List work on mobile?

Yes. If a student has a smartphone that runs the mobile Chrome browser, she will be able to open the Vocabulary List and study her word entries.

Can coaches use the Vocabulary List as well?

Absolutely. Both students and teachers can save words and use the Vocabulary List. Moreover, teachers will be able to review their students’ vocabulary entries and monitor their study habits.

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MARK ARTICLES AS READ

Mark an article as read once you’ve finished reading it. To do so, you’ll complete a short comprehension activity. Through the Dashboard, coaches can monitor their students’ reading activity and review their comprehension exercises.

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Mark articles as read

When you finish reading an article, mark it as “read.” It’s no secret that the best debaters are avid readers. To that end, Prepd measures reading activity to help students keep track of what they’ve read and to provide valuable insights for educators.

What’s the purpose of marking an article as read?

When you’re looking for evidence and have limited team, being able to immediately recognize which articles you’ve read (and thus are most familiar with) could be quite handy.

Moreover, giving a student the opportunity to process the article he just read, and then think critically about the subject or the writing, improves reading retention and critical thinking.

For educators, this feature generates new insights into what and how their students read. Not only can teachers set and verify reading targets for their students, but they can also see which publications and topics their students are reading as well as their intellectual reactions to the articles. These insights can guide one-on-one instruction and classroom exercises.

How do I mark an article as read?

Select the “mark as read” button located in the bottom navigation bar of the Article View. A pop-up will appear that randomly presents one of five different reading comprehension exercises. These activities are intended to be relatively painless – they shouldn’t take more than a minute or two – but they do verify that the student read and processed the basic article content.

What are the different reading comprehension activities?

There are five different reading comprehension activities that may be presented:

  • – Analysis of an argument: Identify a claim, warrant, and impact in the article – and now rebut it!
  • – Significance statement: Why does the subject of this article matter in general? Why does it matter to you in particular?
  • – Three new things: List three new facts that you learned from reading this article.
  • – HWWWW: Identify a How, What, Where, When, and Why in the article.
  • – Summary: In your own words, write a brief summary of the article.

Can I go back and change my “marked as read” answer?

No. Once you submit your response, the article is marked as read and your response cannot be changed.

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AND MUCH MORE

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Quickly understand an article’s subject matter by reviewing a short, auto-generated summary.

SUMMARY

READABILITY

READABILITY SCORE

Take note of an article’s reading difficulty level. Reading progress will be tracked in the Dashboard.

READING MODE

Does reading on a computer ever hurt your eyes? The Article View now supports three different color schemes: Light, Dark, and Book.

READING MODE

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“With Prepd our team gained the ability to better “see and manage” our files. We know exactly who is filing, when they are filing and we can track progress in building effective files. Coaches also get tools which make them more effective in encouraging students to file. Compared to our former dropbox system, Prepd is easy, fast and efficient!“
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Harry
Stong

Director of Forensics, Battle Ground Academy

“Prepd has been an amazing resource for our team. Our physical International Extemp bins were lost right before our 2014 District Tournament, giving us only two weeks to recreate years of work.With limited time, we subscribed to Prepd, caught over 3,000 articles, and have never looked back. A few weeks later, three of our competitors were IX finalists, and one qualified for the National Tournament.The same student also qualified in 2015.“
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Tom
Cork

Debate Coach, Santa Fe Preparatory School

“Our debate program had been looking for alternatives to research, store, and access current event materials, and then we discovered Prepd. From accessing information for practice rounds or tournaments, to making it easier for me (as a teacher/coach) to track research for grading purposes, to assisting students looking for research material for non-debate classes and assignments, Prepd has been an amazing tool. It’s great for extemp, Congressional Debate, and even oratory research. And I love that the saved articles are void of annoying advertisements and irrelevant (for debate purposes, at least) photographs. Plus, it has saved countless trees and tons of toner. All of my debate students are mandated to register with Prepd, and I have no qualms about making such a requirement for them.“
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Paul
Gaba

Debate Coach, Wellington High School

“I am very impressed with Prepd. The app addresses several issues associated with building and maintaining a competitive extemp digital filing system. The software provides a convenient and intuitive manner for researching articles and organizing files so students can focus more time on giving speeches. The data tracking aspect of the software also provides coaches with better insight for preparing their students for competition. This is a great tool for any extemp program looking for a better way to manage its files.“
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Joseph
Johnson

Coordinator, Fine Arts North East ISD

“Prepd is a revolutionary program for the successful Extemper. It is the perfect filing, storing and prepping solution for squads trying to “go digital,” and away from the old heavy Extemp tubs full of paper articles and folders. The Prepd founders are mindful of the evidence rules for every speech competition organization, from TFA to UIL to NSDA, which was my main concern. Some favorite features my team enjoys are the “add article to round,” which filters out all of the other articles except the ones you want to use in your round, the highlight feature, the favorites feature, the add topic feature, so you can see your topic clearly as you prep, and the countdown timer. It is clear that Prepd was started by a former Extemper, because everything on an extemper’s wish list is in this program. I highly recommend Prepd for you and your squad!“
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Wendi
Brandenburg

Debate Coach, Contennial High School

“Prepd was an indispensable tool in my last few years of competition. As the manager of my team’s files, it’s data tracking allowed me to easily monitor my teammates’ activity. When building a file, I was never worried about overcrowding or disorganization, a concern that frequently came up before my team used Prepd software. In major tournaments, Prepd’s Article Catcher allowed me to swiftly and easily update my files in between rounds to prepare for the next topic area. Perhaps most importantly, Prepd’s in round search mechanism and “add article to round” features made it simple to sort through massive amounts of information and access the most topical and specific pieces of evidence. Overall, I would recommend Prepd to any competitive Extemper. “
Micah Cash

Micah
Cash

National Champion in USX at NSDA Nationals 2016, Tulsa Washington HS

“As a person who always strives to be organized and efficient, Prepd provides the best of both worlds. Over the last few years competing in extemp, I’ve been consistently impressed by how effective Prepd as a software has been at keeping my files in an organized, easy-to-access place both in and out of draw. Unique features that I’ve found particularly useful include the Prepd article catcher, which helps me file articles in a more streamlined fashion than Dropbox or Google Drive, and the ability to “add” articles to a given round, which allows me to keep track of all the articles I plan on using in my speech. As a rising junior and a speaker with experience at the local, state, and national level, I would definitely recommend Prepd to all extempers.”
Micah Cash

Nikhil
Ramaswamy

6th place finisher in IX at NSDA Nationals, Jasper HS

“Prepd is a great system which has allowed me to further my efficiency in the prep room. Things like dropbox are extremely hard to navigate and not too terribly engaging. However Prepd is an intuitive program which allows me to be better prepared to speak. After you draw, you type in your question and it appears on your computer all throughout the speech along with a timer. Also, you can save specific articles that you are using, which makes it really easy to go back and find it if needed. Also, filing on Prepd is great because you can save the article in multiple folders which is extremely helpful. The Prepd staff also responds very quickly to any snafus with the system. They were even at the NSDA National Tournament in person to deal with those problems. In short, I am glad my team made the switch and I have yet to see a better system yet.“
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Paul
Bousquet

Student, Battle Ground Academy

“There is no better feeling than going into a prep room with nothing more than a laptop, yet still knowing still that you are just as prepared as anyone else carrying around a 50 lb evidence crate.Prepd allows you to rest your muscles and use prep time effectively. Not only is catching articles as easy as clicking two buttons, finding and retrieving caught articles is a breeze as well. Extempers know that 30 minutes goes by very quickly when preparing a speech, and a simple, easy, yet tournament legal database with potentially thousands of articles is something that too few people get to experience. Prep time is meant for researching and preparing, not fiddling around with file folders, bulky binders, and largely irrelevant magazines.Prepd solves all of this, and more.“
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Lance
Ledet

Student, Northwest Career and Technical Academy

“Prepd provided my team with a great way to collect and view articles on the fly. Using Prepd in round is great because it cleans up all the clutter and presents just what I need to see. Having Prepd really made managing extemp files much easier. Being able to track my article catching activity gave me a new incentive to pull files: pulling more today than yesterday. Overall, using Prepd was a great experience that made doing extemp easier and more manageable.“
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Stewart
McLean

Student, Saint James School in Montgomery

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