Monthly Archives: April 2006

“I’m not as good as I once was…”

…"But I'm as Good, once, as I ever was"

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So sings Toby Keith, who has come to understand the difference between competence and performance. Years ago I owned a book by Marina K. Burt and Heidi Dulay written for teachers of English as a second language (ESL) in which they demonstrated that learners often do not perform to their level of competence. Learners make "goofs" not errors in this situation. Teachers and lecturers do the same.

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From a How–To Article to a Case Study Lecture

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Have you ever read a how-to article in a genealogical society publication that was stripped down, economical of language and so clear you wanted to do that search? I recently read an article like that in the National Genealogical Society Newsmagazine that got me thinking. I like lectures that are illustrated with a case study showing how one problem was solved, but doing so with suffiicient information that the listener could use the same process with his or her problem. Here's what I'm talking about.

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Genealogy Surgery: A Service to Family History Buffs

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I spotted a notice in a British genealogical publication that some noted professional genealogist was holding a surgery at a certain time or place. I smiled. My English cousins speak as peculiar a language as my American nieces and nephews, just not the same language. A surgery is an event where you can visit a specialist and discuss a problem or issue. In North American English we often use the term “clinic” the same way.

So what is a Genealogy Clinic and how could it be used?

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Positioned to Learn

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 Somewhere in my wanderings between the ancient volcanoes of Rarotonga, the desert of Saudi Arabia, the hallowed halls of academia and the purple mountain majesty of the North West I read something intriguing about the best places to sit in a class or lecture.

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Websites for Speakers

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My son, The Hermit Poet, and I have been looking at some ideas for new websites. He's thinking about specializing in creating websites for people in the arts– writers, poets, actors, painters, sculptors, musicians etc. — and friends of his Dad. My son is a lapsed painter, a great poet, and a crackerjack computer programmer.

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Lessons for Program Planners from Speakers’ Laments

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Recently I spoke in a nearby city to a group of 25 genealogists. I had had to reschedule the event from the previous month and had generously given them a "deal": my lecture for half the usual fee, no charge for travel and no meal charges. I did however stipulate that I would need to get in 30 minutes early to set up, and they needed to supply a large screen. So what happened?

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Preparing for A Research Trip to an Archive or Library

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One of the great weaknesses in the genealogists who I served as a librarian for 22 years was their lack of advance preparation before visiting an archives, library or record repository of any sort. So a few years ago I prepared a lecture entitled "Romancing the Librarian" which is now a two hour workshop. Here's what we cover.

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