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The RootsTech Syllabi - Wed, 29 Jan 2014

With #RootsTech 2014 just a week away, the Syllabi from the sessions now are available.

I am going to the conference this year. Now that the syllabi are out, I make sure I browse through them to confirm that the sessions I previously planned out still are the ones I want to go to. But even if you’re not going, reading the syllabi is the next best thing, and you will likely learn a lot from them. So I highly recommend you browse through them, whether you’re going to the conference or not.

One option is to download the zip file with all the sessions. I put it in a RootsTech 2014 folder on my computer and then unzipped them there. Unzipping creates two folders, a sessionfiles folder for PCs, and a _MACOSX folder for Macs. You can delete the one not applicable to you.

Inside there are 159 folders each representing one session. Most folders usually contain one file in them, but a few have multiple files. Each folder is named with its session number, e.g. GS1134. The files in the folders are named also with its session number as well as the author’s name, with a few also having the name of the session, e.g. GS1134_Klosky-BridgingTechnology.docx.

Personally, I liked the organization of the RootsTech 2013 Syllabi much better. They had a top level folder for each day, and the folder for each session were named with the time and the name of the session, e.g. 0945-Ask_the_Expert_Genetic_Genealog – well at least the first 31 characters of the session. I liked this much better, so I spent about an hour to rename the folders so that I could easily find the sessions by date and time.

Doing this also allowed me to check if all the sessions had syllabi. Most do. I only counted about 67 that don’t, compared to the 159 that do. Many of those missing syllabi are from the Developer and LDS sessions. The RootsTech submission mechanism make it appear that there was a deadline for your syllabus or your talk might not be accepted, so most people put theirs up.

Now for the syllabi themselves. They are all in either pdf or docx format. Many are nice outlines of what the talk will be about. A few contain the actual slides. But some qualify almost as full research papers and are very detailed. Here’s a few examples:

RT1508 - Lisa Louise Cooke - How to Use YouTube for Family History: Setting Up Your Own YouTube Channel

RT1088 – Ancestry Insider – Do It Yourself Photo Restoration

RT1941 – Judy Russell - Doing Time – Prison Records as Genealogical Resources

In my own case, I did my syllabus a little differently and set up a questionnaire asking people to fill it out and bring to the presentation. I send a message to RootsTech when I submitted it stating that it was a bit unorthodox as a syllabus and I’d make it more traditional if they wanted. But I didn’t hear back from them and they published it as is, so I guess it was okay.

So fill out my questionnaire and then bring it with you to my talk on Windows Phone for Genealogy on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Ballroom F.

2 Comments           comments Leave a Comment

1. baerbelj56 (baerbelj56)
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Joined: Thu, 30 Jan 2014
1 blog comment, 0 forum posts
Posted: Thu, 30 Jan 2014  Permalink


I was really looking forward to your class because I own a Windows phone. However, I will need to cover the B-1 counter at the Library instead. So if I fill out the survey and e-mail it to you, will you share your class information with me?


2. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
237 blog comments, 226 forum posts
Posted: Sat, 1 Feb 2014  Permalink


Don’t feel you have to fill out the survey. It’s more of a fun thing for the presentation. I may be putting my presentation up online after the talk, but there’s not a lot of substance in the slides. They’ll just be background to what I’ll be saying during my talk.

How do you like your Windows Phone?


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