Monthly Archives: February 2006

Diagnostic Tests for Genealogy Educators

Here’s a test for you to hone your skills on.
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A genealogist comes into the Family History Library in Salt Lake City dragging a two-wheel dolly with two bankers boxes held on with bungi cords, sets up at a table and pulls files to work on. Its true. I saw this with my own eyes!

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Reference by Walking Around: Blue Sky Thinking?

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Years ago I read an article about management by walking around that suggested managers needed to get out of the office and into the front lines daily to observe, to listen and provide guidence when needed. Its a good idea. But what’s it got to do with genealogy?

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Group Discussion to Learn Complex Concepts

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I am attracted to the idea of using discussion groups with intermediate and advanced level genealogists to help them learn things like evidence analysis and research logic, the sorts of things that help genealogists solve the challenging problems. I am an admirer of Dr. William M. Litchman of New Mexico whose ideas have helped so many good genealogists in his area become much better researchers and much clearer thinkers. Concerning genealogy education Dr. Litchman wrote,

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Information Transfer Exercises

Many years ago when I was teaching English language at a university in Saudi Arabia I shared an office with a colleague from England who was working on a textbook for the Kenya Department of Education. One day he showed me one of the lesson assignments in the text. Students read apage of information and were instructed to transfer the data to a table. It was, he said, an excellant way look at students ability to comprehend what they read. So how does that relate to teaching genealogy?

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Caring for the Speaker: Tips for the Host

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I was exhausted, and slumped into the nearest chair. It had been a difficult day and it was only 11:30 am. I was sick and in the middle of a five lecture day. Never again, I told myself would I lose control of my speaking environment. Famous last words. Things can and do go wrong with speaking engagements. Speakers need to have control of certain things to prevent problems from coming up. Here are some from my experience:

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Thoughts on Self-Directed Learning #5

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When I was a young man my Sunday School teacher taught me an interesting concept in self directed learning. Her message was that I could read the Scriptures linearly, page by page like you read a book or I could use read a few verses, then look up key concepts in a concordence or topical guide, find all the related references and read them. So how does that relate to the education of the genealogy educator?

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Too Busy to write a Book? Write a Booklet!

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Here’s an idea to: promote your services, establish yourself as an expert in youir field of genealogy, distribute your own value added product, and generate additional revenue.

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Thoughts on Self-directed Learning #4

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When I was a teacher of English back in the olden days when we first came off the ark, there was a reading for comprehension strategy called SQ3R. In recent years its benefitted from inflation and is known as PSQ5R

Much of how we learn in self directed learning will be dependent on our reading skills. Here is one strategy for reading to comprehend that may be useful to you.

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Pedigree Problems: learning activities

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Hey, don’t we all have “pedigree problems”? Mine stem from the fact that every single ancestor has two parents. Karen Clifford  used the phrase in her book Becoming an Accredited Genealogist (Orem, UT: Ancestry, 1998) to refer to simple case problems for students of genealogy.

Karen is a clever and talented teacher. I recall her giving a lecture back in 1997 on new CD-ROM databases for genealogists. The connection from her laptop to the projector was non-functional, and while the resident techies at the conference tried to sort out the problem she bravely carried on, joking as she did so. A class act indeed. But lets return to her pedigree problems.

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Thoughts on Self-directed Learning #3

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I like John P Colletta. He teaches with humor, and thats a good thing. At the National Genealogical Society Society Conference in Sacramento in 2004 he gave a lecture called “Resolving Research Dilemmas, Case Studies in Logical Analysis and Successful Methodology”. I wish I had been there. But I have a copy of the syllabus for that conference which I reviewed carefully as part of my own self-directed learning. Its an easy one-page outline, with a powerful message for self directed study. In the outline he provides an interesting study outline. John suggests: Continue reading