Friday, February 27, 2009

ProGen group in the newspaper

My ProGen study group colleague, Sheri Fenley, alerted us to an article by Stefani Evans CG about the ProGen (PROfessional GENealogist) Study Groups published in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper on 25 February 2009 titled "Online groups help genealogists study." Please see Sheri's blog post and Stefani's article for more information. It's good to see genealogy portrayed positively in the news.

I have enjoyed the year I have been involved in the ProGen Study Group. Our group is mentored by Elissa Scalise Powell, a professional and certified genealogist, who has wonderful experience and insights, and acts more like a patient professor than a hand-whacking instructor. The group has accomplished quite a bit, learned a lot, and become good friends and colleagues of each other in the group (although I've never met any of them in person (except Elissa) - that will probably change in June at SCGS Jamboree!). The online chat session is always fast-paced, helpful and even fun, since we've gotten to know each other's personalities and attitudes.

I am also involved in a monthly Transitional Genealogists Study Group that is studying, and then discussing in the online chat, periodical articles by notable genealogists using the Lichtman method of reading, analyzing and discussing. By reading, analyzing and discussing these articles, we improve our family history knowledge, hone our research skills and get to know other genealogists trying to make the jump from amateur status to professional status.

From the beginning, my thought has been that a focused collegial group of people can learn more together than the individuals can learn on their own, and that collaboration really works well as long as everybody does their share of the effort. Our groups, and the others, are putting this hypothesis to the test. This sort of long-term collaborative group may become more frequent in genealogy education.

If you are seriously interested in joining one of these groups, please contact me offline by email at and I'll put you in touch with the organizers of the groups.

Thank you, Sheri, for the link to Stefani's article.

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