How does the Newfeed work?

In the top left corner of any Prepd app, you’ll see a search field. The search icon immediately to the right of the search field is Prepd’s Smart Search tool – which searches through all of the files you’ve saved to Prepd. The second image, to the right of the search icon, is the Newsfeed. If you enter text and click on the Newsfeed icon, you will run a search through all the articles that have been saved to the Newsfeed. From the search results page, you have advanced search tools for narrowing down results.

What are the benefits of the Newsfeed?

The Newsfeed accomplishes four things. First, it helps level the playing field for smaller extemp clubs or individual competitors, who may feel at a disadvantage relative to larger programs with more filing capacity. Second, the Newsfeed helps new teams transition to Prepd, because they’ll immediately have access to tens of thousands of research files. Third, the Newsfeed is a fast way of saving articles into Prepd. Fourth, the Newfeed covers any research gaps that you may have, so you’ll never have to worry about not having evidence for even obscure topic areas.

Which publications are included in the Newsfeed?

The Newsfeed collects articles from the following publication sources:
• Al Jazeera America
• Associated Press
• The Atlantic
• Brookings
• Christian Science Monitor
• Der Spiegel
• Fox
• Gallup
• Guardian
• Jerusalem Post
• LA Times
• New Republic
• Politico
• Reuters
• Russia Times
• South China Morning Post
• Time

What about the New York Times, Washington Post, and Economist?

Prepd does not include content from paid news sources. In the case of these three, prominent publications, their terms and conditions forbid a company like Prepd from redistributing their paid content to non-subscribers. Fortunately, you can still save content from these publications if you have a subscription – you just have to do so manually with Fast Catch.

Why are Newsfeed articles deleted?

In order to save space and keep your articles relevant, the Newsfeed automatically purges articles once they are two months old. It doesn’t contain articles that are older than two months. However, coaches have the option to adjust the deletion settings from the Team Settings page in the Dashboard. Coaches can select between 2, 4, 6, and 8 week deletion periods; but the default for all teams is two months.

Can I adjust settings for the Newsfeed?

Yes, in addition to adjusting the settings pertaining to article deletion, coaches can also selectively enable or disable certain news sources. By default, all news sources are enabled, but coaches can turn some off through the Team Settings page in the Dashboard.

How does the Newsfeed advance the educational value of the activity?

Prepd believes strongly in enhancing the educational experience provided by speech and debate. We believe that one of the greatest benefits of competitive extemp is that it develops independent research and reading habits. So, Prepd has built a set of features that protect the educational experience.

For one, students still have to manually research articles – either through the Newsfeed or with Fast Catch – in order to permanently save their research. It’s unwise to rely on the Newsfeed since all its files will be deleted after they become two months old.

Second, Prepd offers other educational tools for monitoring student activity. Namely, Prepd tracks reading activity and visualizes it in the Dashboard. When reading an article, students can select the “Mark as Read” button at the bottom of the article view. Students will then be presented with one of five comprehension exercises. These activities are not meant to be difficult or time-consuming (they should only take a minute or two to complete), but they force students to pause, internalize what they just read, think critically about it, and then articulate some sort of insight. Once an article has been marked as read, the student’s activity as well as answers to the comprehension exercise will be displayed in the Dashboard.