The virtual classroom is a great thing, especially for genealogists with limited travel opportunity. But there’s something very special about attending a live intensive genealogy course with dozens of fellow learners.
Like “going away” to college, spending a week away from home and family responsibilities makes room for a different mindset immersed in the subject at hand. It’s genealogy 24/7 without the breaks to cook dinner, run carpool, or go to that pesky day-job.
I’ve been fortunate to attend sessions at the major genealogy institutes, and discovered that the week-long curriculum suits my learning style. As a student, I like lectures that build one upon another, and the longer sessions that allow for questions and instructor answers. With typical classes running 70 to 90 minutes, there’s ample time for discussion and practice exercises.
As an instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), I appreciate the opportunity to get to know attendees and work with them on their genealogy projects. Comments and questions help create a learning conversation that goes beyond a one-way webinar dialogue.
In my Family Archiving course at GRIP we pull on the white gloves and actively working with family artifacts, documents, and photographs — something that’s hard to do entirely online.
Students in other institute courses may not be using scanners and archival boxes, but they will be practicing genealogy writing with instructor-reviewed exercises or taking a guided tour using well-honed online research techniques. And, students will be asking questions, making new friends, and learning from each other before, during, and after the classes of the day.
Summertime is institute time for genealogists at sessions offered by three major programs:
- The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
- The Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
- The Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed)
Registration for these institutes is typically held in the winter or early spring, but late registrations may be available.
Summertime is also time to register for the premier winter institute:
Online webinars or intensive institute — genealogists are fortunate to have both, and to be able to customize an educational program that suits their time and needs.
As you look ahead at future genealogy educational opportunities, consider adding an intensive institute to your learning plan for an unique and immersive genealogy learning experience.