April 4, 2015

Goal 6 – Continually Expand Knowledge

Posted in Goals at 8:13 am by hoosierroots

Goal 6:  Continually expand knowledge of genealogy methods and records through both formal and informal education.

Continuing education in the field of genealogy is critical if the work that we produce is to stand the test of time. While I will very likely never become a professional genealogist, I believe I owe myself and my descendants the same care and expertise a professional genealogist would bring to my research.

Education comes in two flavors, each having its own important contribution to make. Formal education is available through classes, conferences, and lectures. There are a growing number of online classes and study groups as well. Informal education can be gained by reading books, magazines, and journals as well as accessing well written web sites and blogs.

It was interesting to review the education goals I set for myself in 2009. In 2009 I had embarked upon a rigorous s18-month study, which I did complete. I was also starting the second of a three disc National Genealogy Home Study course. I have made some progress on that , but not near as much as I would like. It is time to reset the objectives under this goal for 2015.

I, by nature, love to learn, which means I must make sure that I do not spend so much time learning about genealogy that I leave myself no time to perform my research.

Objective 6a: Complete Disc 2 of the National Genealogy Home Study This excellent course has long been considered one of three premier “basic” educational opportunities. I completed the first CD of six lessons in 2008, then took a break to concentrate on my daughter’s wedding. I did order the second disc in 2009. At times I have worked on parts of the lessons 7-11, but I have yet to finish any of them. I need to set a schedule.

Objective 6b: Selectively read incoming and backlog of genealogy magazines and journals. Genealogy magazines contain a mixture of how-to articles, news on new online and paper resources, and suggestions of how to share what we learn. Journals, more scholarly in nature, usually have three to five articles detailing the research and analysis  performed to solve a tricky problem. Just as I love to learn, I love to read – so I subscribe to several periodicals, but don’t get them read quickly enough. I have cutback substantially on my subscriptions. I no longer subscribe to Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, or Discovering Family History. What I do receive are the publications from the organizations to which I belong. Each of these have 1 –3 publications, a couple of which are distributed only electronically.  I need to create a plan of what I will read,

Objective 6c: Read well-written genealogy blogs. This is probably written a little generically. Here too I need to learn to be selective. It is valuable to keep up on current happenings and discussions in the genealogy community, so I am glad I have subscribed to several blogs. I now use Feedly as my Blog Reader. At my peak I was reading about 60 blogs; my current list is about 35. It has been MONTHS since I have even opened Feedly. (I do have a few non genealogy blogs I try to follow as well.) I need to determine how to attack blog reading – less blogs – and set a limit on how much time I read them. 

Objective 6d: Attend National Genealogy Conference I am concerned that there are too many objectives under this goal, but I am already registered or the National Genealogy Society conference in May in St. Charles, Missouri. It will be a delightful four days of lectures by the nation’s best speakers. I will need to prepare looking at the agenda and mapping my sessions.

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