Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Getting More from RootsTech When You Can't Be There

Are you stuck at home, feeling disappointed that you won't be able to attend RootsTech in person?  Many of us family history bloggers will (once again) miss this premier genealogy conference year.  Nothing will make up for the interaction between other family historians and genealogy bloggers but if it's education we're interested in, there are several ways you can partake of the RootsTech experience from home.

RootsTech offers a live stream of four or five presentations each day.  See the list and time schedule here.   There is no fee nor registration required for these presentations.  Not only can you watch live, you'll be able to watch again later.  As I watch I take notes during presentations, but I usually can't keep up with the notes.  I find watching a presentation a second time fills in the gaps that I missed during the first viewing.  Another benefit of listening twice (or more) is that I can focus on just one ancestor using the information from the presentation (instead of my mind being scattered across several ancestors from different locations, time periods, etc.)

I was completely satisfied with the live- streamed presentations until I looked at all the other offerings and then I became wistful, desirous to be at RootsTech.

At the link above you can see the courses listed in a variety of ways:  Sessions, Speakers, Title, and ID#.

On the left sidebar there are more categories:  Session Type; Days; Track (Getting Started, RootsTech, Innovator Summit, or Family Discovery Day Tracks); Class Category; Family History Skill Level; and/or Technology Skill Level.

If you find a presentation you find a presentation you wish you could attend, note the course number.  You may be able to learn more about what's offered and discussed in the course.

Go to the RootsTech home page and look to the lower right where and you'll see a photo with a green background (shown at right).  Below the photo is the link Class Syllabus.  With the number of the course you'd like to learn more about in hand, you can find the syllabus, view it online, or print it.  Sometimes a syllabus will offer a lot of information, other times very little.  But for me, it's worth taking the time to check.

Every year, RootsTech chooses individuals to be Ambassadors.  Often, they are genealogy bloggers who write about their experiences and the presentations at the conference.  This year's ambassadors are listed here.  Some are geneabloggers.  Read their blogs during and after conference days to see what they share about the conference.  These are a few of the blogs/bloggers I know:  Amy Johnson Crow, The Ancestry Insider, Dear Myrtle, Genealogy's StarJana's Genealogy and Family History Blog, GeneaMusings, and Family Cherished.

There are bloggers who attend RootsTech who are not ambassadors but who write and post about their experiences, the courses they attended, etc.  Generous guy that he is, Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has, in past years, written round-up posts listing many, many other bloggers' posts about RootsTech.  We can only hope that he does so this year.

Are there other ways that you participate in RootsTech from home?  If so, I'd love to hear about them.


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