February 8, 2016

Getting a GRIP on Education

Here in the middle of winter, the long, hot days of summer seem far away. I don't want to say they'll be here before you know it, because I see no need to rush time. But there’s a great opportunity to sharpen your genealogical skills coming up this summer. And now’s the time to reserve your spot for it.

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, widely known as GRIP, will open registration for its first 2016 session on Wednesday, February 10 at 12:00 noon EST. There are six courses to pick from for that first session, which runs June 26-July 1:
  • Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy for the 21st Century
  • German Research Resources
  • Master the Art of Genealogical Documentation
  • Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State
  • Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family

Instructors include Tom Jones, Judy Russell, Warren Bittner, Michael Lacopo, Denise Levenick, and Cathi Desmarais, to name just a few. You can read about the June course offerings here; click on the course titles for more details.

I'm happy to announce that I'll be co-teaching a couple of classes in Denise Levenick’s course, Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age. You might know Denise as The Family Curator, and the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes and How to Archive Family Photos. This is the first time she’s offered a course in family history preservation, and I'm vey excited to be a part of it. Students will get hands-on experience and be encouraged to work on their own ideas during the course, so they can hit the ground running when they get home. If you’ve been wanting to get an organized start on preserving your photos, heirlooms, and family history, this is a great chance to learn the best techniques to make it easier.

The second session of GRIP, slated for July 17-22, will feature seven course offerings:
  • Advanced Genetic Genealogy
  • Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies for Success
  • From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments
  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy
  • Resources and Strategies for Researching Your Italian Ancestors
  • Advanced Research Methods

That makes 13 different courses to choose from. Each one features five days of instruction by leading genealogical educators and the chance to interact with others who share your passion. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

GRIP is held at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh. Students can opt to stay on campus in a dormitory just steps from the main classroom building, with meals included. The dorm rooms aren’t luxurious, but they have private bathrooms, a mini-fridge and microwave. Think of it as going to summer school for a week with a bunch of genealogy buddies. If you’d like some idea of what it’s like, take a look at some photos and recaps I posted in previous years:

Like I said, registration for the June session begins February 10 at noon EST. Sign-ups for the July session follow on March 2. You’ll find registration information here. Some courses tend to fill up quickly, so if you have a particular favorite in mind, you’ll want to get in as soon as possible. There's even a Countdown Page that takes you straight to registration. Enrollment usually remains open until a few weeks before classes start, with wait lists for full courses.

Here’s to warmer weather, and to hopefully seeing some of you at GRIP this summer!


February 2, 2016

Ready, Set: How to Watch RootsTech from Home

The genealogy world lens is focused on Salt Lake City right now in preparation for RootsTech 2016. Thousands are converging there for four days of classes, exhibits, keynote presentations, and entertainment starting Wednesday, February 3. It’s expected to be the largest family history conference in North America, if not the world.

And I won’t be there.

But I’m not going to sit and feel sorry for myself. I intend to follow along and join in the fun from afar. And if you’re stuck at home like me, so can you.

FamilySearch, which produces RootsTech in conjunction with numerous sponsors, is once again providing global live streaming of selected sessions. With the help of social media, you can hear the latest news, read recaps, see photos, watch videos, and even communicate with other participants.

Just as those attending in person need to pack and plan, it helps to spend a little time preparing to follow RootsTech virtually. Here’s some tips to help you get ready to join the audience that will be watching from around the globe:

1. Get familiar with the RootsTech website, www.rootstech.org. Here you can see the full schedule of classes, learn about the keynote speakers, and find lists and links to exhibitors and ambassadors—many of the people who will be reporting live from RootsTech. This is also where you’ll tune in to watch live streaming sessions, which are offered Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

2. Click on Live Stream Schedule to find the sessions that will be broadcast globally in real time. Note the times of the ones you want to watch—and remember to convert them from Mountain Time (MST) to your local time zone. If there are some you can’t fit into your schedule, don’t despair—the videos will be available afterward, on the same website.

Here’s some live streaming classes I have on my must-see list:
  • Amy Crow: Best Websites and Apps for Local History (Thurs. 1:30 pm)
  • Lisa Louise Cooke: Proven Methodology for Using Google in Genealogy (Fri. 1:30 pm)
  • Peggy Lauritzen: Homespun and Calico: Researching Our Foremothers (Sat. 3:00 pm)
  • James Ison: Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success (Sat. 4:30 pm)

3. Download the syllabus materials for the live stream sessions, as well as other sessions that interest you. That’s right, the handouts for all classes have been posted on the website. I’ve found this is actually a multi-step process:
  • Click on 2016 Classes to see class titles and descriptions. Use the left sidebar to filter your choices, or click on the Speakers tab to find sessions offered by particular speakers. Note the code number for the class.
  • Example: Tom Jones is teaching “Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records,” code number RT8290
  • Go back to the homepage, click on Class Syllabus, and find that class by opening up the selections for the appropriate category (this one is in "RootsTech 3000 and above"). You’ll see a PDF of the handout.
  • If you like, save the syllabus in a RootsTech folder on your desktop, or in Dropbox, Evernote, or another cloud service. (I like Evernote because it indexes every word in the document, so I can easily find things again.)
  • Of course, this isn’t the same as actually seeing or hearing the presentation being given, but it's still pretty cool, and can give you some helpful hints and resources to refer to

The Class Schedule page offers several ways to find classes that interest you

4. Get your social media engine revved up to follow the action on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Twitter is especially fun because the commentary is so immediate. Some exhibit hall vendors offer special deals that they extend to viewers at home, and you’ll hear about those, too. Look for and use the official hashtag, #RootsTech. 

Twitter will be buzzing with #RootsTech posts

5. Follow some of the bloggers listed as Ambassadors to see recaps, photos, and the latest news. They’re all good, so you can’t go wrong. But if you can only pick one, I’d suggest you follow Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings. In past years, Randy has done compilations of posts from numerous bloggers, saving you some legwork. He’ll give you a good taste for what’s going on.

6. Remember to tune in to watch the live streaming. The feed will start automatically on the RootsTech homepage at the scheduled time. You don’t have to register, sign in, or do anything except watch.

And that’s how you, too, can share in the fun and discovery of RootsTech without leaving home. The kicker? It’s absolutely free. Thank you, FamilySearch!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...