There are good experiences and then THERE IS AWESOME! Virtual GRIP Genealogy Institute was awesome last week!

Last week, as some of you already know, I taught in three courses of the virtual week of GRIP Genealogy Institute. On Friday night, the adrenaline was still present. Slept very well that night and the next two nights. I guess the exhaustion had set in. A good kind of exhaustion. The students were amazing, inquisitive, sharing, friendly, and kept me on my toes. Other instructors in these courses have expressed pretty much the same feeling.

  • Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills (Coordinator and instructor)
  • Not Just Farmers: Records, Relationships, and the Reality of Their Lives (Instructor)
  • Midwest Family History Research: Migrations and Sources (Instructor)

I am a person who loves the virtual aspect via the Zoom platform. While the presentation is live, the students and other instructors can immediately add information and questions to the Chat. After those are addressed in the Q&A for sessions, they can raise their virtual hands to ask more. It’s easy to tell in which order the hand was raised. I found that in some sessions, students were immediately checking some of the websites that were discussed. They loved being able to sleep in their own beds and more came online early in the morning for discussion.

I have seen lots of great comments and appreciation on various Facebook pages and that makes me smile. The public GRIP Facebook page is noted below. Registered students also participate in a private Facebook group. Both are valuable in many ways.

So many people to thank but my fellow coordinators, Jay Fonkert and Cari Taplin, for sure. Then the fellow presenters in each course. I must mention the four who participated in Digging Deeper, and they are Amy Arner, Cyndi Ingle, Debbie Mieszala, and Cari Taplin. Wow, the work they put into their presentations and the syllabus sections. Debbie helped with two of the extra afternoon sessions for solving student research problems. Amy was present most of the week and I appreciate her discussions with the students when I was busy in other courses and a sudden meeting I had to attend. Cari and Cyndi had more presentations to give in the Not Just Farmers Course. What a week. The GRIP Guides in each course kept us going and on schedule.

Kristi Sexton and Gena Philibert-Ortega, the co-managers of this 2024 GRIP and I hope for a long-time to come, herded us well, and they certainly had a lot on their plates. They did a great job. Paula Williams, the overall Tech guru was fabulous, too. It was the first year of GRIP under the auspices of the National Genealogical Society.

A special thanks to Tami Osmer Mize who not only was a student in the Digging Deeper Course, but this past Sunday, her Genealogy Conference Keeper email newsletter included this surprise. Thanks, Tami!

“This past week I participated in my very first week-long genealogy institute, choosing the Genealogical Research Institute (GRIP)’s “Digging Deeper” course, coordinated by Paula Stuart-Warren, to help refresh my research skills which, for anything other than finding genealogy events, have gotten a bit rusty. What a great choice, too — Not only did I learn a lot, but I came away with new ideas, resources, and strategies, as well as renewed determination to solve my brick wall ancestor puzzle (I’m talkin to you, Milo Allen!) I attend webinars a lot, but devoting a full week to genealogy education, with lots of interaction between instructors and other students, is the best!”

Conference Keeper Genealogy Calendar of Events

GRIP Genealogy Institute

GRIP on Facebook (join the other 6,000 participants)

What about a 2025 Virtual GRIP? That news isn’t fully ready yet, so be patient while the in-person GRIP takes place in a couple weeks. I think some people will need some rest before sharing the 2025 news later this summer.

© 2024, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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