Category Archives: Web-based Learning

Podcast from a Major Archives: An Interesting Educational Idea


A recent media release from The National Archives (UK) makes me wonder if other archives or libraries are exploring the idea of educating their clients using podcasts. It seems efficient: A lecture by a subject specialist is recorded and made accessible through the website WHEN THE CLIENT NEEDS IT. I expect that major genealogy collections will include podcast lectures teaching clients what is in the collection and how to access and use it. Interested in this example? Read on.

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Paul Milner and the Britain and Ireland Forum


I see in the news that The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has just announced that
Paul Milner is joining the NGS Britain and Ireland Forum as co-leader.
Paul joins Sheila Benedict, CG, in leading the Britain and Ireland
, an NGS members-only Forum established to assist members with
their research in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands
and the Isle of Man. I like Paul. I like the way he teaches. And I like what he teaches. This is a good thing for the Forum.  Here’s a bit more about Paul.

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PowerPoint Provocations

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Recently on the Association of Professional Genealogists’ list my friend, Mary Douglas,the leading authority on Kansas ancestry,( and a fine educator, I might add) , posed an interesting issue. She explained that after a recent lecture she was asked for a copy of her powerpoint presentation. The learner already had the handout. Mary wondered how other lecturers would respond. Most of us who responded felt the speaker should not give awy the powerpoint. The basic reason seems to be that it represents many hours of work and the lecture needs to be sold more times to recover that investment.

Is there a context where it might be to your advantage to give free access to that powerpoint?

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2. Reading, Transcribing and Abstracting: Resources for Learning.

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Transcribing documents is an almost last art among most genealoists. What with photocopy machines,microfilm reader printers, scanners, digital cameras and the whole attitude of instant genealogy on the web, the skill of transcribing is largely in the domain of the seasoned professional researcher. To bad for the web-based genealogists who never face this task. They may never know the true thrill of the hunt. What resources are there for teachers?

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1. Reading, Transcribing and Abstracting: Resources for Learning.

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There he sits, the determined genealogist at the microfilm reader pondering marks in a page with a microfilm that states photocopies, even for personal use, cannot be made. The Genealogist obviously needs some skills to handle this situation.

Where can he turn?

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New On-line Class in Canadian Immigration Records

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Patricia McGregor recently created a new online course on Canadian Immigration Records that is being offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Details of this course follow. Continue reading

Pulling the Plug on On-line Classes at MyFamily.Com

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George G. Morgan of Aha! Seminars was one of the first of my friends I ran into at the Ontario Genealogical Society Seminar last week. George has been offering some on-line courses on and informed me that was getting out of the on-line courses this summer. George is looking into hosting his own on-line courses at Aha! Seminars. The loss of these courses at will be a disappointment to those looking for training at the $29.95 level. But check out George's website and watch for more news on his courses or to check out his speaking schedule. George is a talented and entertaining genealogy educator who  attracts loyal fans. Here was George from Florida, speaking in Canada, and in his audience was an elderly gentleman from Houston, Texas, who brought his daughter along to hear George. Admittedly George has an interesting sense of humor. 

The Referal Reward: Using Your Website to Identify New Clients

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The problem with a website for advertising your services as a genealogy lecturer,teacher or event promoter is that websites like posters on laundromat walls, are passively waiting for people to come to it and even then, the visitor is unknown to you.

What is needed is a way to capture names, and contact information for followup. One way might be to have a way for the visitor to obtain free information by registering for it. Sandy Dumont  who delivers professional seminars was quoted recently on SpeakerNetNews,

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Web Sites for Genealogy Educators

My son The Hermit Poet has just launched a new venture you might be interested in. Check out Think about a custom designed web page for your business designed by a creative young genealogist.

Irish Genealogy Classes On-Line

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My friend, Louise St. Denis at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies emailed me recently to remind me of some on-line classes starting this week at the Institute. I've been feeling guilty these past few months about ignoring my Irish ancestors. It seems the Connors are getting harder to ignore, but I have no knowledge of Irish records. The following classes might do the trick. Check them out on the website.

  • Irish: Census & Census Substitute Records
  • Irish: Electoral & Taxation Records
  • Irish: Land Administration Records
  • Irish: Military, Naval & Pension Records
  • Irish: Understanding Ireland, History & Source Records

The Irish research program at the National Institute is under the direction of Brian Hutchison, CG. Brian's program offers courses in Irish research that I've never seen offered before for on-line learners. Courses of this quality and detail are not free, of course. But then you already know you pay for better instruction.

Check it out.