By: Chuan-Zheng Lee
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Debatekeeper is a timer for debates with automatic bells. It can sound a bell, vibrate and/or flash your screen to remind you to clap (for e.g. big rooms where a phone's not loud enough). Focus on the debate; let your phone do the timekeeping for you!
Debatekeeper automatically switches to the appropriate speech time, displaying the current speech name (e.g. "Prime Minister") on the screen. It supports most parliamentary styles of debating, including British Parliamentary (Worlds), Australs, World Schools, American Parliamentary, Canadian Parliamentary, Asian Parliamentary, Australian and New Zealand's Easters and Joynt Scroll styles.
You can also write your own debate format (style) in XML for the app to use—see the app wiki at https://github.com/czlee/debatekeeper/wiki for details. Get in touch with me if there's one you'd like added to the official release.
• Rings bells automatically at the correct times
• Can vibrate and/or flash the screen at bell times
• Configurable preparation timer
• Configurable overtime bells
• Points of information timer (15 seconds)
• Supports most parliamentary styles
• Supports user-defined debate styles
• Browse through summaries of available styles
• Includes two “test formats” with 15-20 second “speeches” for you to try it out
• Counts up or down according to user preference
• Screen stays on and dimmed while timer running (you can turn this off though)
Advice for adjudicators: It can pay to make sure your debaters (a) know what the bell sounds like, so they don't think you just got a text message and (b) can hear the bell. I find it's loud enough in classroom-sized rooms, but not bigger rooms (say, lecture theatres); in those rooms you can use this app to remind you to clap..