Debating with Technology

Throughout this term a group of students have participated in a Debating Project.  Each week, up to seven students from five different schools meet in an online meeting room. 

Everyone can see and hear each other using the Polycom TV

At the start of the project we learnt how to speak confidently and to ‘think on our feet.’  That means, we had to think quickly and without any notes. Mr O’Brien, the teacher running the project, gave us some fun activities to help us.

What Good Luck, What Bad Luck

In this activity we worked in a small group to tell a story.  The first person started off with ‘What good luck…’ and the next person jumped in with ‘What bad luck…’ and so on. 

For example: ‘What good luck, it is the weekend’

‘What bad luck, there is a power cut and I can’t watch my favourite show’

What good luck, I’ll watch it online later’ and so on

Rabbit On

We each got a topic and had to ‘rabbit on’ for 30 seconds.  ‘Rabbit on’ is another way of saying talk a lot. 

Time to Debate

Soon it was time to participate in an actual debate.  Students from a different school adjudicated (that’s a debating term for scored) and timed each debate.  Each speaker had one minute to argue their team’s point of view.

Listening to our opposition in Debate 1

Our first debate was TV is a Bad Influence on Children and we were the affirmative team.  Our second topic was Cigarettes Should Be Banned and we had to argue that they should not be banned.  The UPPS Debating Team worked hard to present clear, logical arguments and rebutt the opposition’s points.  After two very close debates against strong opposition sides, we won and made it through into the Grand Final.

The Grand Final is this week.  Each school suggested three possible Grand Final topics which were placed in a hat and one was randomly selected.  We are on the affirmative side and have to argue Children Should NOT Be Kept in Detention Centres.  This topic was suggested by Sam so he is very happy about it.  It is also a topic we have discussed in class after reading Morris Gleitzman’s novels Boy Overboard and Girl Underground.  Wish us luck! 

 What do you think… Should children be kept in detention centres?

If you could pick the Grand Final topic, what would it be?