Thursday, June 10, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 23 - Create Your Own Challenge

This week's 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge is a little different. Challenge 23 by Amy Coffin is:

Come up with a personal genealogy challenge of your own. Each person has different research goals and experiences. Use this week to come up with your own challenge, and then take the steps to accomplish it. Genealogy bloggers are encouraged to share their ideas and challenge their own readers.

I spent most of the week trying to figure out what my challenge would be. I have already set a lot of challenges for myself this summer. I started going through my bookmarks (that are getting out of control again) and found something from March that I have been meaning to do.

My challenge was to view a few videos from the Family History Library's online research classes.

Randy Seaver wrote about the online classes from the Family History Library in March and then this week he posted an update. I had bookmarked this first post as a reminder to go back and view some of the videos, but I never found the time in the spring. But with the update and a challenge I finally did it.

I had already viewed the English Research Series when it first was released on the site. I had also viewed the videos that FamilySearch had recorded from the Association of Professional Genealogists' Professional Management Conference last September. But lots of new videos were waiting for me to view.

I haven't viewed all of the classes, but I highly recommend two of the online classes available on the site.

The first is Tom Jones' Inferential Genealogy. This video is not just a person talking and slides being shown. This is an interactive lesson where you view records, report your findings, make conclusions, and then hear Tom's results. I hope that more lessons like this one become available. One of the things that people complain about when discussing online classes is the lack of feedback. Although Tom didn't get any feedback while giving the lesson (except from the production crew), the viewer is given the time and resources to learn. This is great for the more advanced researcher.

The second video that I recommend is The Bachelor: Reconstructing a Solitary Life Using Obsure and Far-Flung Records by Mary Penner. This class has two parts: the video of Mary talking and the images of her slides are timed with her lecture. I really like this format more than the standard webinars where you only see the slides and hear the person talking. Being able to see the speaker allows the viewer to pick up so much more.

I'll continue to fill in some downtime with these classes and I hope to see more in the near future. If you can't attend genealogy conferences, these videos will give you a great education and let you see what you might be missing.

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