DISCLAIMER: I am an official promoter for RootsTech 2023.
This month’s theme for Elizabeth O’Neal’s October Genealogy Blog Party is Family History Month and it’s blogger’s choice.
Since I’m a retired teacher and fall represents the beginning of the new school year, education is always at the top of my list when the Tucson summer heat recedes and we head into our beautiful.
However, this year, coming out of the pandemic, we are also in a period of rampant inflation and rising prices. That means cutting back on some purchases to stay in budget.
Personal education, particularly in support of hobbies, is an area where cutbacks might easily be made. Soooo, how does FREE sound? It definitely fits everyone’s budget.
RootsTech, sponsored by FamilySearch, first launched in 2011, and it has grown with each succeeding yearly conference.
Until the pandemic descended on the world, RootsTech had always been strictly an in-person event. As travel restrictions and personal choices limited our ability to attend genealogy conferences, the RootsTech team stepped up and created a pretty incredible online conference, available around the world with sessions offered in multiple languages.
RootsTech 2023 has just been announced and it will be a hybrid event, held 2-4 March 2023. Live sessions with the ever popular Exhibit Hall will be held, as always, in Salt Lake City. Cost for attending in-person will be an extremely reasonable $98 per ticket with the Exhibit Hall free to everyone.
The virtual event will, as in the past, be completely free to attend.
If RootsTech 2023 isn’t happening until March, why am I promoting it in October? There are a couple of reasons.
First, if you’ve never attended RootsTech, either virtually or in person, now is the time to sample the conference.
Second, if you have attended a past virtual event and still have sessions in your queue to watch, consider this your official reminder!
Now is the time to visit RootsTech. You’ll need to sign in in the top right corner. If you don’t have an account, it will only take a minute to register for a new – FREE – account.
Note that you can actually register for RootsTech 2023 at this time!
Next, I find the easiest way to browse is by choosing ON DEMAND, also along the top right toolbar.
The next screen that opens will offer several choices:
Click on the Year tab and not one, not two, not three, but FOUR years of past RootsTech sessions are available to view from the comfort of home.
There are a number of ways to filter your search, all listed above the YEAR options.
I prefer the YEAR list because I can view sessions grouped by the conference at which they were presented. 2019, for example, has a limited list of 26 recorded sessions. Very manageable!
You might want to search for your favorite SPEAKERS, or to listen to completely new speakers whom you’ve never heard. That’s an option, too.
Want to learn more about a genealogy product? Check out the SPONSOR OR EXHIBITOR tab.
If you are bilingual, take a minute to review sessions offered in other LANGUAGES.
Searching by TOPIC, CONTENT TYPE and RESEARCH LOCATION is also possible.
Take some time to browse each of these categories to become familiar with how they are set up.
After you’ve browsed a bit, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. How in the world can we keep track of all these sessions? RootsTech has made that simple!
Let’s say that one of the sessions I want to watch, but don’t have time for at this moment, is Census Sense by Patti Gillespie, which is the first session in the above image.
Notice that there are two important items in the session description besides the title and speaker. The bottom right corner tells me that this session is 49 minutes and 1 second long. Good to know when I sit down to watch it.
The second really important item is what allows us to stay sane as the list of sessions that we want to watch gets longer and longer. See that little plus button in the top right corner of the session description? That adds the session to your personalized PLAYLIST so it isn’t necessary to continually going back to browsing to find the sessions that interest you the most.
If you click to add an item to your playlist and you’re not signed in to your RootsTech account, you will be prompted to sign in.
I’ve just added four sessions to my example list. Let’s say it’s now tomorrow and I want to watch those sessions.
See the little triangle icon in the right corner? That’s the button to display your playlist. I clicked and here are the four sessions I saved. Each has a large pink X in a circle. After I watch the session, I will click the X, which will remove it from my future play lost.
In this manner, I can add sessions, perhaps grouped by each year. As I watch them, I’ll click to remove the session and when no sessions are left in my 2019 playlist, I can create a new playlist of 2020 sessions.
Now that you know the simple ins and outs of navigating the RootsTech website, you need to do two things:
1. Register for RootsTech 2023.
2. Get busy and watch all those past sessions which interest you!
It’s fabulous FREE education for Family History Month!