Today the Board for Certification of Genealogists presented a series of educational webinars, hosted by Legacy Family Tree, on a variety of topics. The information was excellent, with many notes taken and the downloaded syllabi added substantially to my ‘to read’ list. Webinars are excellent ways to add to our genealogical education. Each week there are many freely available webinars being offered by different organizations.
Are we making the most of this excellent resource for furthering our education? It doesn’t really help much if we watch the webinar and walk away afterwards never to look again at our notes.
Here’s how I get the most out of these excellent webinars:
- I always download and print the syllabus for each webinar so that I have a hard copy and something to write my notes on as the webinar is presented.
- After the webinar is over and while it is still fresh in my mind, I do a quick assessment of my notes. If I feel like the syllabus and my notes don’t cover something fully, or that I think I missed a point made in the webinar, I watch the webinar again (if it was recorded and once it is available). I don’t always have the time to watch the entire webinar again so I will often find the particular spot in the presentation and listen again to the presenter’s commentary and catch what I may have missed.
- If the webinar pertains to an area or topic I am currently researching or need to immediately learn more about , it goes to the top of my ‘follow up now’ list. Often as I am watching a webinar a particular ancestor or brick wall problem will come to mind. I make a note of my thoughts as they correspond to what the presenter is talking about. I try to get to my ‘follow up now’ list as soon as I can after the webinar to try out the strategies or access the database or link discussed.
- If the webinar focused on things like research skills and strategies, analysis and correlation topics, narrative writing and proof argument skills, methodology and certification skills it goes on my ‘future study’ list. I try to study one of these webinars each week. I am currently working towards professional certification so these types of webinars are extremely important in helping me to learn the skills I need.
- I add the name of the webinar, the presenter, the topic and the organization presenting the webinar to an excel spreadsheet. When I feel like I need more education on something or I’m starting to research an area or topic I don’t know a lot about, I can check my file to see if there was a webinar on the topic and if I have a syllabus I can study.
What is your process for getting the most out of a webinar?