Monday, March 3, 2014

My 2 cents on "Exploring New Formats for Genealogy Instruction"

"Pro-gen model" for other topics than professional genealogy
     - incorporates blended learning, interest groups, unconference (online via HOA or webinar hand-raising, or at in-person event)
     - spread over several weeks, provides time to digest / practice individually, and network with fellow students virtually, even after class ends

Meetups advertised via bloggers, sign-up open to public who read postings

     Physical local meetings
         - go to evite site for free registration (like Sheri Fenley sets up for Sacramento event headcount)
         - table topics & facilitators (like SCGS Jambofree), people move from table to table
         - free room/tables/chairs: perhaps FHC, society, library, patio dining (eat & schmooze after)

     Online meetings - maybe possible to mimic above?
         - via HOA: join/drop "filmstrip", or post questions/comments (like DearMyrtle); recorded free
         - via webinar hand-raising too limited?  is there a multiple speaker format?

Topic-specific formats

      "Explorinars" (like Thomas MacEntee)
         - great for learning to use a new tool (eg Evernote, Dropbox)
         - pace & step-by-step instructions allowed installing & setup during webinar!
         - recorded, so could playback & pause, if desired
         - perhaps a group followup session a couple of weeks later could help both answer questions after using, as well as share how others using?

      "Stump the Panel" (like CGSL)
         - an attendee asks a research question
         - 3 panel members suggest ideas and/or conduct on-the-spot short online research
         - then floor opened to all attendees to make further suggestions, or ask questions about suggestions (eg how might be used elsewhere, more details about a new-to-them resource)
         - repeat steps above, for question from another attendee, round-robin
 "A Conference Manifesto" for the Genealogy World 

1. tiring of back-to-back-to-back-to-back lectures  >  desire variety of presentation styles
2. prefer--and often learn more from--interactions: a plug for the value of group learning
3. measurable desire for other learning formats incorporated alongside lectures into conference 

Exploring New Formats for Genealogy Instruction

Conference within a conference - a day-long event within a larger one (or tracks)
Unconference - request topics & facilitators just as for speakers; pick best ideasand schedule
Interest groups -
Blended learning - lecture/lesson at home, homework/problem solving at school.
MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses are all the rage right now in the online community. See Coursera for an idea of what's available out there.