Friday, January 25, 2013

Education Plans

One of the assignments for ProGen Study Groups is to write an education plan. The recent discussion on the APG list about genealogy education and institutes was a reminder to review and update the plan I wrote over two years ago.

 My ProGen Education Plan.

 Areas to improve: These are all still works-in progress.

·       Do a better job keeping an up to date research journal.
·       Organizing and writing research reports.
·       Expand my knowledge of Oregon research.
·       Layout and design for publications.

Ongoing Education

·       Continue GFO writers group
·       Editor and writer GFO Bulletin
·       GFO Seminars- Two each year
·       ProGen
·       Oregon research projects
·       Reading (NGSQ, etc.)

I also want to add two books to my wish list: Dr. Tom Jones new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof (March 2013) and North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History by Helen Leary.

These are all current activities, except ProGen which I finished in 2012.

I will add Webinars to the list, an excellent way to enhance your education.  Legacy Family Tree, the Southern California Genealogical Society , and the Illinois Genealogical Society  provide an extensive list of topics with expert presenters at no cost. Legacy webinars are available to view for a time after the initial broadcast and can be purchased on CD.
Teaching is another addition to the list. Agreeing to lead a group or do a presentation, for a topic you're interested in, or want to know more about, is a good way enhance you knowledge.


·       Participate in the new “WriteGen” group.  The group started but didn’t last long. There has been some discussion recently about getting it going again or maybe starting a new group with ProGen members.
·       GFO Spring seminar-Tom Jones. Yes
·       NGS Home study course. Yes
·       Revolutionary War research for future Bulletin issue. Yes, continuing.
·       InDesign class- Portland Community College Not yet
·       SLIG Attended January 2013-Advanced Genealogical Methods, Tom Jones.
·       NGS Home study course. Yes
·       Photoshop class, Portland Community College. Not yet.

I still want to take the Photoshop class to move beyond basic photo editing, but after using InDesign for four years my money might be better spent on something else.

One of the best things I can do in the near future is to put the knowledge I gained from SLIG to good use. The binder for Advanced Genealogical Methods by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL is full of examples, references, hands-on problems and pages of suggested reading. This is a valuable tool to keep nearby.

Of course, I would love to add IGHR (Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research) at to my list. I’ve wanted to attend for years and there are several courses I’d like to take. Unfortunately, the dates don’t work for me so SLIG is the best choice right now. It’s closer to home and the timing is better. I’m thinking about “Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum” next time. An added benefit to SLIG is, of course, access to the Family History Library. GRIP ( Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) is another possibility. (  GRIP is held in July and offers a variety of week long courses. Institutes are my preference for genealogy education; I like that in-depth immersion in a topic, but the cost can be prohibitive. Other people prefer seminars and conferences where you get a variety of topics in smaller doses. One consideration when deciding what to attend is what format works best for you.

A ProGen group is an excellent way to further your genealogy education. ( Most of the assignments are useful after the end of the program including a resume, locality guide, book list and education plan. The groups meet monthly online to discuss the current assignment.  Each assignment covers one or two chapters of the book Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Assignments are submitted prior to the meeting so the other group members can review and comment on each one. Each group has a Certified Genealogist as a mentor.

An education plan can be useful to everyone. It helps you focus on those topics you need help with or want to learn more about. There are numerous choices for genealogy education available in all price ranges so everyone can take advantage of educational opportunities and get the most from your investment.

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