Saturday, April 5, 2008

Teaching and Learning Genealogy

Thursday night will be the final class of Genealogy In The Beginning which I started teaching in March at my local college.  It has been a six week class, not named to scare off the more experienced genealogist, but in case they are interested to refresh their knowledge.

The class has been interesting.  I have made new friends ... genealogy friends.  Some, like beginning artists, have lines going various directions with the need to bring them together into form.  Others have generations of ancestors just waiting to be found.  There is always a need to learn research techniques and analysis.  Where do you look for this or that?  More importantly how does it apply to the research problem.  What kind of evidence is within a particular document?  Is there a better source?  I hope they remember all of these things. 

To enhance the learning process I have used Keynote presentations each week.  I am a Mac user and simply take my laptop with me and plug into the classroom projector.  The students also receive handouts.  Each week I have presented them with a loop presentation in Keynote called In the News, Genealogy News.  While they are waiting for the class to begin they can watch all the latest genealogy news on the screen.  

As usual they want all the information they can get on Internet.  I have stressed that they also need to do hands-on research and write letters.  Some have Internet database subscriptions and some do not.  The pros and cons of those are discussed.  For some the leap is just too expensive to subscribe.  

It is difficult to tell them everything they need to know in two hours, once a week for six weeks.  I hope they will continue with their genealogy education, reading methodology books and applying what they learn to their specific genealogy.  

I have been teaching genealogy for many years and each class has been a challenge that I have accepted and enjoyed.  This means that I am also a student.  I learn from them and their needs and enjoy their questions.  Let's hope the next class I teach is just as great!   

1 comment:

HappyDae said...

Hi Ruby!

I look forward to visiting your blog on a regular basis. You express yourself well on a topic that we love.

To add to the genealogy education your readers and class will enjoy, I suggest a visit to my FREE web site, http://www.ShoeStringGenealogy.com.

There are presentations, forms, reviews, chats and diversions to explore. Also, check out the resources and utilities.

Happy Dae.