Skill Building for Family Historians


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Why Family History Academy:

The surge in virtual presentations has opened up learning opportunities that had not been available in the past as they required in-person attendance. However, some could not attend these events because of an inability to travel and its cost, health concerns, the cost of accommodation and the institute fee itself. Now that the online box has been opened, many have no desire to return to more traditional genealogical education.

This was the impetus behind the development of Family History Academy. For Australians and New Zealanders, overseas travel to a recognised genealogy institute is expensive, with long hours on a plane and jet lag to overcome. With that in mind, experienced and engaging instructors were approached to offer virtual courses and workshops, designed to challenge and enhance the skills and knowledge of genealogists/family historians. The result is Family History Academy, founded by Cathie Sherwood, an Australian, who is an educator and has been involved in family history for over forty years. You can find out more about Cathie at: Ancestor Discovery.

Is this online learning focus likely to change once the world returns to some normality? 

Personally, I don’t think so. Virtual presentations are not new. They have been around for years but it wasn’t until 2020 and the advent of a global pandemic that they exploded in popularity. Now they are an integral component in genealogical education. 

Does this mean that we will never return to in-person institutes?

Of course not, but there will always be a place for virtual high-quality, engaging courses and workshops, especially those which cater to the more advanced genealogist/family historian. 

Can I achieve my learning objectives in an online classroom?

We want our course/workshop participants to interact with the learning materials and the instructors in different ways – to go beyond just listening - to share, debate, develop, explain, defend. We believe that learning happens best when learners are invested in the process, supported and challenged.

Class numbers will vary depending on the course/workshop but numbers are generally limited to 30 and more intensive workshops may only have 15 participants. The smaller numbers allow for greater interaction with the course/workshop instructor and learning which is personalised for you.

Family History Academy’s aim is to provide courses and workshops which are valued by attendees for the high level of expertise of the instructors, the quality of the course offerings and the opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement in a global learning environment.