I am putting together a user/novice-friendly linux distro that has been customized for high school and college debaters.
Hi! I'm Chris McCool and I've been a debate coach for the past 10 years.
A few years ago, Whitman College revolutionized competitive debate by going "paperless". Instead of diligently printing and filing evidence, they had created a digital workflow that changed debate overnight. Now, many programs and students are getting left behind because they cannot afford the laptops needed to keep up, let alone the software license costs! Our goal is simple, eliminate the need for costly software licenses by supplying the debate community with a free, fully open-source solution to paperless debate
With the help of the debaters and coaches at Ballard High School in Seattle, WA, I am developing a linux distribution with the high school and college debater in mind. By switching to linux and LibreOffice we have been able to successfully use laptops from 2002-2003 that have been donated or purchased from local used laptop stores. No team supplied laptop has cost more than $100, far less than the cost of printing a small set of policy debate evidence.
Last year, I helped Ballard High School start the first debate program to be based on the Open Office system and struggled through finding out what linux software, desktop interfaces and applets were most useful to debaters. Despite the hurdles, they successfully showed that a team can go "Open Source" and not have to pay for software. Now we are putting that knowledge together to create a USB bootable + installable (out of the box) version of linux that embraces both the novice and the advanced debater.
The desktop has been designed with the policy debater in mind, but has incorporated programs that also help individual events, especially extemporaneous speaking, as well as general academic software students find useful.
This year's high school policy debate topic, Space exploration and development, is very important to me. On February 1st, 2003 my dad, Willie McCool died on the Space Shuttle Columbia. His experience with debate was minimal. My dad judged a few debate rounds with some fellow astronaut volunteers at the Clear Lake High School debate tournament in 1999 and they came away believing that every student in America should have access to a competitive debate program! It is with this in mind that I've begun developing truly free alternatives for students and debaters. In honor of STS-107, I have codenamed this Space Topic version of Debate OS, "Columbia".
Debate OS "Columbia" Highlights include:
-Wirelessly jump files without the internet or DropBox
-Automatically installed Template, Macros, flow template and keyboard shortcuts
-A debate specific panel that include your digital debate tub, timers, DocFetcher and Inhibit (an applet that prevents your screen from going to sleep during debates).
December 12th: Debate OS "Columbia" alpha to select debaters for testing.
January 16th: Debate OS "Columbia" beta launch.
February 1st: Debate OS "Columbia" final release
February 2nd: Begin Debate OS curriculum/instruction manual and videos
March 1st: Final Debate OS curriculum/instruction manual
*about the image* - This is an illustration by the European Space Agency of space traffic, including satellites and space debris. Both Orbital Rights and Space Debris are major debate case areas this year.
The answer is yes and no. We are working with TOC caliber LDers, past and present, to create a workflow and curriculum guide for paperless debate in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
It's true, as a spin very little software development occurs and it may seem like that means no work is involved. The work that is being paid for is essentially curriculum development that coincides with debateOS. One of the biggest challenges to debate coaches today is providing a paperless curriculum that is accessible to their students and is team manageable. Other issues that the debateOS project tackles are geared towards establishing methods and lesson plans that students can follow to learn paperless debate effectively and efficiently on their own, as many high school debaters have no qualified coaching at all.
First, as an academic spin, debateOS is designed to help you throughout your academic life, not just your debate life.
Second, certain IEs already have some test models we are working on. The most significant among these is for Extemp. We will be testing the usability of Calibre's RSS archive functions as a way to create a digital extemp tub that can be easily shared, indexed and searched. We hope this will allow coaches and teachers to put more emphasis on speech practice, rather than filing and sorting the news.
This answer should be obvious. . . Doubly so from the point of view of an educator aware of quality alternative, and FREE, options.
On a broader, more technical note, the newest versions of paperless software quite simply won't work well enough on 7 to 10 year old laptops, which is currently the age of laptop most donated and affordable to the students I've been coaching.
pledged of $2,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on February 2, 2012.
Dec 4, 2011 - Feb 2, 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Our eternal thanks! We hope that you download and try Debate OS - Columbia when it's released!Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Our eternal thanks and your name on our donor list thank you web page.Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
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A thank you post card and Debate OS stickers! Help get the rest of the community behind a truly open source format!Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above, plus I'll send you a bootable jump drive! Run everything off of the USB drive, or use it to install Debate OS natively to you and your teams' machines! Plus, get exclusive access to the Beta and be able to include your feedback and suggestions in the development process!Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
Pledge $100 or more
2 backers Limited (18 of 20 left)
I'll personalize your school's version of Debate OS! All your boot screens and log-in screens will be school specific plus all of the above! *must supply your own background images and icons, or a place where they can be downloaded.Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
Pledge $250 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
All of the above plus a Moodle-based subdomain to manage your team or debate class. You will receive an administrator password to open-source, website classroom software at http:// ___(your debate team)__.debateOS.org (effective for 2012-2013 debate season). If you are not a school or a coach, or have no need for this service, you can donate it to a school or team that does!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Sponsor Debate - OS "Columbia"! You get everything listed above! Your business or organization's banner will be displayed on the debateOS.org webpage as well as on our list of donors!Estimated delivery: Feb 2012