A couple of weeks ago, Thomas MacEntee challenged genealogists to develop an educational plan for 2015. I’m glad he didn’t call it a list of New Year’s Resolutions because it seems like not many of those are kept. Being a retired special education teacher, an “educational plan” sounds much more doable. I spent many years writing student IEP’s (individualized education plans) and the trick is to keep the goals to as short a list as possible while making the maximum learning gain.
Keeping that in mind, here is my 2015 Genealogy Education Plan, which centers around building genealogy-technology skills:
1. This is easy – learn as much as I can at the dual FGS-RootsTech 2015 conference in Salt Lake City in February. I’ve already started a list of possible sessions to attend, but that list will change as the conference draws closer. It will also change while I am there so what I plan to learn is a bit up in the air.
2. Master some level of expertise beyond “beginner” level in Heredis and RootsMagic, both of which I recently bought. I have dabbled only a bit in them and want to learn more about each.
3. Learn how to do at least five new things in WordPress, which I use for my blog. One thing I want to figure out is how to post a comment so that the response isn’t “I think you are a spambot,” which is what it told my friend and my husband when they each tried to post valid, detailed comments so I could see whether or not a plug-in I had installed was working.
4. Attend at least one webinar per month covering technology-themed subjects. I have attended several live webinars and viewed a couple of others in the latter part of this year. There is always good information to be learned and I need to make this a regular part of my genealogy time.
5. Continue to develop skills in navigating Danish and Swedish records, particularly in using the Danish military levying rolls (one ancestor was a career soldier in the Danish army) and in reading old Gothic script, as most of the Scandinavian records I now need date from the early 1800’s and back.
My 2015 Educational Wish List:
6. Attend Jamboree in Southern California June 5-7, 2015.
7. Attend the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, MO May 13-16, 2015.
Last, but not least, as I have been the recipient of many acts of genealogical kindness, I would like to continue to give back and help others:
8. Continue to teach the ladies in my local Welcome Club interest group “Kin Seekers” in a way that keeps genealogy fun and teaches them new strategies to develop their own skills.
9. Participate more actively offering help and suggestions on the several genealogy-themed on line groups which I’ve joined.
I find that by helping others, I not only provide them with information, I usually learn something new myself so #8 and #9 count as part of my education plan.
That’s it. I think it’s a realistic plan for the upcoming year. Not overwhelming, but enough to keep me busy – plus, it leaves plenty of time for breaking down more brick walls. 🙂