If I had know it was this much fun, I would have joined in sooner! Last night I had the opportunity to present my very first webinar, Organize Your Family Archive, for Family Tree University, and I’ve come away learning a lot from the experience and from the attendees.
A special feature of the webinar included working with Family Tree Editor Allison Stacy Dolan to take first steps in organizing her own inherited archive. Allison shared a representative box of family memorabilia and we worked through identifying the contents and deciding on a strategy to get her started. I think it would be fun to check back with Allison in a few months and see how she is doing.
What I Learned
- Students have a lot to teach their teachers. The questions following the webinar were very revealing — attendees tend to feel overwhelmed by their stuff, they want concrete ideas on how to handle the volume, and they are looking for answers.
- Stay in contact with your organizer. Kerry Scott, Family Tree Magazine’s Online Community Editor, (I knew her first at the Clue Wagon blog) was available for the inevitable last-minute questions and encouragement. Kerry coordinated everything from schedule to technology and managed to stay cool even when I nearly flubbed it all with my attempt at Geek status.
- It’s best not to try to get too fancy! I tried a few snappy “improvements” to my home computer setup that could have easily created a disaster. I think I will leave things plain and simple for a while.
One of the things I miss most about teaching high school students is the regular interaction with pupils. I’m sure that’s why comments to blog posts are so very precious; it’s the closest a blogger gets to someone stopping by after class to make a comment or to ask a question. Presenting a webinar is pretty close to being back in the classroom. The atmosphere is exciting, the students inspiring, and the challenge invigorating. I’m already looking forward to “next semester.”
If you missed the live webinar, you can view it and have access to the notes and links through FamilyTree University’s webinar-on-demand. Organize Your Family Archive will be available soon.