Not content with currently studying two units of the UTAS Diploma of Family History, I decided to sign up for a MOOC. What’s a MOOC?
A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course – you can search for and take part in free online courses offered by Universities all over the world by looking here. What a great way to learn about something new!
And just what did I decide to study? Preventing Dementia. This is a MOOC offered by UTAS and its an area I have wanted to investigate and learn about. There’s a unit to do with Dementia offered in the degree I’m enrolled in that I had considered taking on this semester but chose to leave it until next year by which time I would have just about finished the Family History course. In the meantime, it seemed like a good idea to take this short unit and bring myself up to speed on all things demented before I launched into the other unit.
MOOCs are a great way to break into study as an adult – no fees, no exams, no stress and a supportive international student cohort who are all in the same place as you. Learning to navigate the delivery of the MOOC subject matter through UTAS is also a great way to learn their formal online study delivery system without the pressure of passing or failing hanging over you.
My local neighbourhood centre has invited me back to facilitate a second round of Family History classes – so not only am I knee deep in learning, I’ll be sharing those skills with others as well. If you’re a Central Victorian and want to get started on your own research, there are just a couple places left in this 4 week class that begins in August. Enrol here.
The neighbourhood centre has a computer lab and a library subscription to Ancestry.com.au so you don’t even need to have a computer to be able to get started – the centre is a GoDigi partner and have mentors in place for people wanting some IT guidance and support.
It came as a surprise to be asked to facilitate a beginners family history course. It seems our local neighbourhood centre are quite keen to see a course offered that starts with the basics of sound research with a view to providing an ongoing family history study group.
Researching family history is a pasttime that’s attracting more and more people – especially with the increasing amount of material available online making research far easier.
Is it easier? Or is it just more convenient? Some online providers would have you believe its simply a matter of typing in your name and off you go. Given that the basic records of births, deaths and marriages within Australia are embargoed, its highly unlikely you will find your own birth listed unless you are a centenarian!
Some of us of a certain age may, however, find the notice of our arrival in that wonderful resource known as TROVE.
Type in your name in the Trove search box and it may just pop up in one of the hundreds and thousands of digitised newspapers now fully searchable via the website of the National Library of Australia. This is certainly easier that scrolling through miles and miles of michrofiched newspapers in the Library’s Reading Rooms.
One of the research skills I plan to cover in the course is how to access and use newspapers – TROVE and the NZ equivalent, PapersPast will both feature strongly.
Wednesday 28 November 1894 – Bendigo Advertiser
Elsewhere in this article (a collection of news snippets from country areas) it was reported that, earlier in the week, the temperature had reached 112°F. This high temperature had been only one of a week’s worth of temperatures over the 100°F mark for the small town of Bridgewater located not all that far north of Maldon.
It comes as no surprise that the youth of Maldon would have been seeking respite in the dams.