Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How do you master FamilySearch Family Tree?

The answer to the question in the post's title is simple: practice. But what do you practice? The answer to that question is also simple: you use the Family Tree Training Lessons and Videos. Here is the description of the Lessons and Videos:
This curriculum is a set of individualized lessons designed to give the user an extensive understanding of Family Tree. Level One has 28 short lessons that are done on your own account and 21 short lessons that are done on a fake or sandbox account. This level is designed for the very beginner. Level Two is an intermediate course with 35 lessons that are done in your own account and 57 lessons that are done in a fake or sandbox account. Level Three is an advanced problem-solving curriculum designed for those who need to understand how to fix the big problems encountered in the tree. Level three has 30 lessons done in a fake or sandbox account.
If you are having the slightest difficulty learning to use the Family Tree, you need to seriously consider viewing the videos and working through the lesson based on the "sandbox." The sandbox is a "dummy" version of the real program where you can practice entering data and making changes without using the "real" live version of the program. There are enough problems with the real version of Family Tree without inexperienced and unknowledgeable folks trying to learn about the program by making random changes.

I am familiar with the "sandbox" concept since I have been using it for years as part of the structure of the Research Wiki. In fact, I have my own sandbox pages I have used when working on difficult formatting and development of pages. We have also collaborated on proposed changes by constructing the proposed page changes in a sandbox where we could make comments before implementing the changes in the live version of the Research Wiki.

The Family Tree Training Lessons and Videos are a boon to Family History Centers and Family History Consultants around the world. Here is a screenshot of the startup page for the Lessons:

You don't just watch the videos and think you have learned something, you actually need to work through the written lessons. If you are flailing around and drowning in a sea of uncertainty about Family Tree, here is the life preserver. Get busy. Here is screenshot of the lessons:

As I said above, get busy learning and stop drowning. 

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