Saturday, October 13, 2012

Continuing Education

Public Service Announcement: For those of you who are following the presidential election, here is something you might find interesting. Genealogist Tom Kemp (of GenealogyBank.com fame) has a blog post about how President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are related to each other. To take a look at what he has uncovered, click on Obama & Romney Are Related! Genealogy Infographic.


Now back to our originally scheduled topic. Here is a list of quality continuing education opportunities for those who already have the basics under their belt:

The National Genealogical Society [NGS] has several PDF and online continuing education courses covering specialized areas of research. Everything that comes out of the NGS is quality. Also check with your state genealogical society. They too may have some continuing education webinars. I know that the Georgia Genealogical Society does and I am signed up to watch one live on Georgia Land Lotteries on the 15th.

Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research [IGHR]. This one isn't cheap but it is the cream of the crop of continuing education for the intermediate to advanced researcher. The next session is 09-14 Jun 2013, registration opens Jan 2013.

National Institute for Genealogical Studies. They have individual courses on specific topics which are very in depth (beginning, intermediate, advanced levels) or you can take an entire course of study in a specialty area. They have a lot of courses on non-USA locations.


Here are some other continuing education opportunities and these are FREE:

One of my favorites are all of the video and slide presentation courses available at FamilySearch. They have hundreds of beginner, intermediate and advances courses on every subject imaginable. I browse their offerings on a regular basis and I usually end up watching something. They are adding new titles all the time.

Another one of my favorites is the Legacy Family Tree Webinars. The top of the top genealogists give lectures here. Normally you would pay a lot of money to hear these same speakers at national conferences. This is an opportunity that you don't want to pass up. You can listen to the webinars live for free and then Legacy makes them available for 10 days in their archives for free. After that, they put them on a CD and sell them for $9.95 (still a bargain). Some of their webinars are free forever. When you look through the archives those that are still free or free forever will have green "watch now" buttons. You can register for these in advance. There is only room for 2000 people to watch the webinars live so you need to log in early on the day of the webinar. If you don't get it you still have 10 days to watch it. The advantage of watching it live is you can ask questions of the presenter and they always give out great door prizes.

Something that you might not readily recognize as a continuing education opportunity is being subscribed to the top genealogical journals. You will see experts present genealogical cases and you will learn so much by reading them. Here are three of the top journals that present scholarly work:

Speaking of reading scholarly articles, there is a NGSQ study group that meets once a month online. This is an opportunity to meet with other researchers to discuss what you have read. This one isn't for the faint of heart because not only are you expected to participate but you will also be taking turns moderating the discussion. You don't need to be a member of the NGS to participate but you will need to get a hold of the articles that will be discussed. You can access them online if you are a member or through a library if you are not. There is a printed schedule that is put out ahead of time. There are groups that do video chat and they also have text based chats for those (like me) that would prefer not to do the video thing. When you sign up, you will be given complete instructions. For more information you can e-mail Sheri Fenley. If you love to learn then you might also want to check out Sheri's blog, The Educated Genealogist.

Honing your skills and keeping up-to-date with what is going on in the world of genealogy will only make you a better researcher.


Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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