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DemiDec Talk _ Academic Decathlon _ Academic Decathlon Podcast

Posted by: nixonotis Mar 12 2018, 05:39 PM

I was lucky enough to have Evil Doctor Calculus (Yetman) and acadecker (Decker) on the 1st episode of Xathlon Talk, a podcast about Academic Decathlon!

The first episode is titled "Life, the Universe, and Decathlon" and can be found https://anchor.fm/xathlon/episodes/1-Life--the-Universe--and-Decathlon-e161oe. You can listen to it on any podcasting platform, but I would personally suggest using Anchor (which I linked) because it's an awesome (and FREE) platform that I think has a lot of uses in the world of education. Plus, there's a "call-in" feature so you can call in to our station, like a radio show, and share your thoughts on each episode.

I'll be reaching out to people as time goes on to get more discussions/interviews done for the podcast...but please message me or comment if you'd be interested in being on the show. The idea is simply to grow the Decathlon community in one of the fastest growing spaces--voice--by connecting coaches, students, and alumni to each other in a unique way.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the first episode and the idea in general! The first episode is only ~30 minutes long but it was a fun conversation.

Posted by: Phil Cerami Mar 12 2018, 07:38 PM

This is a lovely idea, and I would love to be involved in whatever way I can.

Posted by: nixonotis Mar 12 2018, 07:57 PM

QUOTE (Phil Cerami @ Mar 12 2018, 12:38 PM) *
This is a lovely idea, and I would love to be involved in whatever way I can.

Would love to have you on the podcast! Do you think you'll have time between now and nationals (HUGE congrats, by the way)!? The nice thing about the Anchor podcasting app is that we can talk on the phone and record a conversation, and in the case of >2 people participating, as long as everyone has Anchor, all that's needed is Anchor, a phone, and people.

Posted by: Dave C Mar 13 2018, 01:03 PM

I just listened...nice work from all of you! The discussion about your philosophies of teaching was great. I'll keep listening to future episodes.

Posted by: nixonotis Mar 14 2018, 03:59 AM

QUOTE (Dave C @ Mar 13 2018, 06:03 AM) *
I just listened...nice work from all of you! The discussion about your philosophies of teaching was great. I'll keep listening to future episodes.

Thank you for your kind words smile.gif I agree that it was especially nice to have these two share their teaching and coaching philosophies. Really excited for future episodes and hope you like those as well!

Posted by: Phil Cerami Mar 15 2018, 01:32 AM

QUOTE (nixonotis @ Mar 12 2018, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE (Phil Cerami @ Mar 12 2018, 12:38 PM) *
This is a lovely idea, and I would love to be involved in whatever way I can.

Would love to have you on the podcast! Do you think you'll have time between now and nationals (HUGE congrats, by the way)!? The nice thing about the Anchor podcasting app is that we can talk on the phone and record a conversation, and in the case of >2 people participating, as long as everyone has Anchor, all that's needed is Anchor, a phone, and people.


Works for me! Email me at pcerami@soudertonsd.org and I'll give you my personal number.

Posted by: melanie98 Mar 20 2018, 06:43 PM

I loved it as well! Keep 'em coming.

Melanie

Posted by: acadecker Mar 20 2018, 09:03 PM

After listening--and re-listening--to the podcast, I start to have 2nd thoughts concerning my current strategies for coaching/teaching ACADEC.

At my previous school--where I coached for 24 years--I felt like I HAD to teach/lecture on the material, because the vast majority of the students either would not or could not read the material.

In my new--post-retirement--venue, it may be that I am holding my students back by lecturing to them. I think that lecturing makes it more interesting, and our scores have steadily improved since I started coaching the team here (from around 34,000 to around 41,000); however, I may go to more of a hybrid system next year. If I want my teams to be competitive with Chris' team (which my teams at my previous school could probably never be able to do), I think I need to change how I teach, but I am not at all certain. Maybe this hybrid idea backfires, and we regress.

So, I asked my current group--in the process of studying for the National Online Competition--what they thought of my methods. My scholastic thinks everyone can read for themselves and they don't need my lecturing, which was certainly true for him; but he was motivated to do the reading and varsities, for the most part, are less inclined to do the work. If I make the grading in the class more stringent, the varsities will drop. I only have 11 students in the program this year, and all three varsities were automatically on the team. I would like to have more--at my old school, I had 30 to 40--so that it is difficult to make the final nine, forcing everyone to read and work hard.

At any rate, I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Posted by: The Evil Dr. Calculus Mar 20 2018, 10:44 PM

QUOTE (acadecker @ Mar 20 2018, 02:03 PM) *
At any rate, I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.


I find that peer pressure can sometimes motivate varsities. There are some, however, who don't care about their teammates, and do it all for their personal glory.

I think it comes to creating a culture, and I think you're well on the way to that at your 'new' school.

Posted by: acadecker Mar 20 2018, 11:03 PM

And we're back to what we spoke about in the podcast: creating a culture whereby we can "trick" the students into eating their vegetables.

Posted by: Phil Cerami Mar 21 2018, 05:25 PM

QUOTE (acadecker @ Mar 21 2018, 12:03 AM) *
And we're back to what we spoke about in the podcast: creating a culture whereby we can "trick" the students into eating their vegetables.


I absolutely agree with the culture aspect. That comes in two waves - first, in our creation of the program and having students want to join it because of perhaps you the coach or their peers' passion for it. I looked at it as getting kids excited to do something new. Individual mentorship, encouragement, loving the kids and cultivating their interests like a second father. Us at Souderton didn't get over 40K until we added some significant teambuilding and culture creating events early in the season.

The second wave is administrative and school-culture. Once you start doing awesome things and bringing positive outcomes to the culture of the school, a good admin will funnel more your way. You have to grind out some success before the board, superintendent, principals, and the student body as a whole starts putting you on the same-ish level as sports teams. We're experiencing that now, and community support is amazing at this point.

TL;DR - culture, culture, culture - of two kinds. First yourself, then the school.

Posted by: TinDefacto Mar 23 2018, 06:27 AM

Second episode is now up!! biggrin.gif #2 - California State Countdown!

Nick's out of town, so Allan and I took over and chatted for a bit about California State stats, predictions, and random other things! Originally the plan was to have a couple of others too (and to talk for longer), but an impressively ridiculous succession of technical difficulties had different ideas. We were both quite tired, but we did it!! Hopefully we're able to follow this with other, more in-depth episodes in the future. smile.gif Hope at least one person is able to get some enjoyment out of it!

Posted by: nixonotis Apr 11 2018, 03:43 PM

Third episode is up with guest Phil Cerami!

https://anchor.fm/xathlon/episodes/The-Road-to-Nationals-Phil-Cerami--Pennsylvania-e1ai7u -- let us know what you think. This one is the first one on one "interview" we've done, and it's the first in our "Road to Nationals" series, capturing a glimpse into the world of a coach on his way to nationals (for the first time as a coach). Absolutely worth a listen!

Posted by: madcap Apr 12 2018, 08:57 PM

Are there any transcripts of these podcasts?

Even if not, thank you for interviewing him! Terrific story!

Posted by: nixonotis Apr 13 2018, 05:05 PM

QUOTE (madcap @ Apr 12 2018, 09:57 PM) *
Are there any transcripts of these podcasts?

Even if not, thank you for interviewing him! Terrific story!

That is the plan! Unfortunately Anchor recently updated so it isnít an automated process to get transcripts anymore. Sometime soon we will either do direct transcriptions or blog post versions of the interviews, though smile.gif

Posted by: TinDefacto Apr 17 2018, 05:46 PM

Episode 4 is up! Sam Keal and I talk about our Nationals predictions. smile.gif We somehow talked for two hours, so caveat auditor!

Also: For those of you who will be competing this week, DO NOT LISTEN YET!! You have better things to do with your time. Go study. tongue.gif <3

Posted by: SamKeal Apr 19 2018, 07:33 AM

QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Apr 17 2018, 12:46 PM) *
Episode 4 is up! Sam Keal and I talk about our Nationals predictions. smile.gif We somehow talked for two hours, so caveat auditor!

Also: For those of you who will be competing this week, DO NOT LISTEN YET!! You have better things to do with your time. Go study. tongue.gif <3

The best part of this episode is that it will now be permanently on the record that Sebastian thought that March Madness was football. And maybe baseball.

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