Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Impressions of an Indexing Activity with Boy Scouts
A short while ago, I had the opportunity to conduct a FamilySearch Indexing activity with a Boy Scout Troop in our neighborhood. The boys were between the ages of 12 and 14. The boys all came prepared to learn the basics of Indexing. They each had brought a computer or a tablet to work on and had them all set up in a line in the classroom where they held their meetings.
The idea was that the Scouts could do some Indexing for service hours needed for advancements.
I started with a short video from the Indexing website and some addition instructions. They all logged in to FamilySearch.org and worked successfully through the test drive. The next step was to get started. Of course, the first step is to download the program to your computer. Hmm. The boys with the tablets were out of luck. The Indexing program would not install on their iPads or Android devices. The next group with problems were those working on MacBooks. The program refused to install and kept getting a Java error. Even when the boys could get to the point of downloading the program, we had to have their parents' passwords, to install the programs. In one or two cases the Scouts could not sign into the computers to allow the download in the first place. Then the Java error started showing up on the PCs. Out of about fifteen Scouts, only two managed to get the program downloaded and operational.
Unfortunately, with that many boys, we did not have time for me to work with each one individually. The two boys who did manage to get into the program were making progress and quickly understood what they were trying to do.
For the past few years, I have been hearing about Beta tests of the Indexing program which would move the program entirely to the web. In this case, that would have solved almost all the problems, especially for those using iPads or Android tablets. I could easily help supplement the number of people doing indexing if the program were web-based. In fact, I could probably find some time to index records, if I could do the work on one of my mobile devices.
Granted, some of the connection and password problems could have been resolved if I had had more time and the opportunity to work with the boys individually to resolve the problems. If you are planning on conducting such an activity, I suggest further preparation to make sure each of the boys has the program available on their device before starting the class.
I think that is enough to say on the subject.