Monday, March 29, 2010

FHL Classes Available Online

The FamilySearch Family History Library is now making its onsite classes available online, where anyone anywhere can access them anytime. There are currently 23 classes ranging from 6 to 58 minutes, with most lasting about 25 minutes. Class subjects range from European research to United States military records. Popular offerings include beginning research for Ireland and England, and a descendancy research class. On the current FamilySearch.org you can find the classes by clicking on Free Online Classes.

Don’t be surprised when the format of classes varies. Some use video, some use slides, some are interactive.

Separate Video and Slides

FHL Russian Research class on FamilySearch.orgA Russian research class (above) features audio, video on the top-left, links on the bottom-left, and slides on the right. This format uses Microsoft Silverlight, a browser plugin available for Windows XP (service pack 2), Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.4.8 or above, and Linux. FamilySearch  uses a program from SonicFoundry to produce these presentations.

Shared Video/Slides

FHL England Research class on FamilySearch.orgAn England research class includes all the same elements as the Russia class, but the elements are not integrated. The small video alternates between presenter and slides. Full size slides and links are available in a separate PDF file.

Slides Only

FHL Catalog class on FamilySearch.orgThe Family History Library Catalog class uses a slide format but still has audio.

Interactive Slides

FHL German Handwritten class on FamilySearch.orgThe German Handwriting class uses slides and audio, but also includes interactive exercises.

The complete text of the announcement is available online.

FamilySearch Call for Presenters

Earlier this month FamilySearch issued an invitation to professional genealogists to donate lectures to the online classes. The FamilySearch Genealogical Community Services team will assist presenters in recording their presentations and publishing them online. Recording sessions will take place during the 2010 NGS conference as well as a few days before and a few days afterwards. Interested presenters need to reserve a recording session before the end of March. Reservations are being made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sessions will take place at the Family History Library. There will be no audience during the recording. Finished recordings will be made available for free to the public on the new www.FamilySearch.org web site (as opposed to the New FamilySearch Tree). Presentations will be recorded and displayed using the SonicFoundry separate video/slide format mentioned above.

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