As part of their efforts to serve the folks who are interested in learning more about the scientific study of psychic phenomena — otherwise known as scientific or academic parapsychology or psi research or anomalistic psychology — Alvarado and Zingrone have been blogging, recommending the resources of the Parapsychology Foundation, as well as setting up their own and recommending the YouTube channels of others, and otherwise making the literature of the field, old and new, visible to new students.
Alvarado’s blog, Parapsychology: News, History and Research, debuted on May 1st, 2013. From the beginning Alvarado was focused on bringing classic literature, old debates, new books, events, and the lives and work of active researchers and thinkers from parapsychology’s past and present. The blog is divided up into nine categories: “Conferences and Other Events,” “Digital Resources,” “Education, ”Organizations and Groups,” “People in Parapsychology,” “Phenomena,” “Recent Publications,” “Voices from the Past,” and “Writing History.” Seventy-eight WordPress members are following the blog, but given that the lifetime views of his 145 posts (as of July 19th, 2015) have been viewed upwards of 65,000 times, quite a lot of other people are also reading the blog. The “People in Parapsychology” category has twenty-three interviews with active researchers, the “Digital Resources” has at least a dozen entries on articles, journals, online resources for modern and historical parapsychology, and repositories of publications. A new student of the field could hardly do better in terms of a guide orienting them to resources that are available online. A prolific writer who spends part of every day working on journal articles, public information pieces, encyclopedia entries, chapters for books and/or blog posts, Alvarado is a reliable source for information about the field and its history.
Parapsychology Online debuted on June 1st, 2014, with the first uploaded on October 4th, 2014 in the run up to the AZIRE’s first fee-based online conference, Parapsychology and Psychology: Research and Theory. Mainly charting the progress of the organization of that conference, the site began to bring news soon after the conference completed of the AZIRE’s first massively open online course, Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education. Now the blog is used to provide information for students as to the locations of the lectures within the social media learning and teaching platform, WizIQ.com, and more will be written there as new courses and conferences take hold.
The YouTube Channel Parapsychology Online
The YouTube Channel Parapsychology Online was founded on July 14th 2014 mainly to consolidate past and future materials related to the scientific side of the field. Zingrone started her own YouTube Channel, NanZingrone, in May of 2010 as part of her training in online education. Her first upload was a video of her Second Life avatar giving a tour of passive and active education projects in the virtual World. It was designed as the finishing piece in a blog written for the Parapsychology Foundation called “21st Century and Learning: Web-Based Education in Parapsychology,” in itself a reprise a talk given to the Tuesday discussion group at the Division of Perceptual Studies on the 19th of January in 2010. While laboring on her own YouTube Channel, it was mainly used as a repository of technology in education tutorials for the faculty of Atlantic University where she was briefly the Director of Academic and Administrative Affairs (from May of 2010 through January of 2013). By the end of 2013, Zingrone was thinking about splitting out her work in online teaching education from her work in teaching scientific parapsychology. Part of the impetus of this was obtaining a part-time appointment teaching undergraduate and graduate psychology at Northcentral University. She had already been blogging for the social media learning and teaching platform, WizIQ.com (see for example this blog), as well as writing about online teaching in her own blog, Thinking about Learning. Splitting our her interest in teaching and learning in general from providing materials for individuals with an interest in scientific parapsychology. So two YouTube Channels result and this is the video she uploaded to explain her reasoning:
As is painfully obvious, Zingrone had not learned how to talk to the WebCam at the point, but in the tradition of her most important mentor in teaching and learning online, Dr. Nellie Deutsch, who has contributed an enormous amount to the teaching and learning community by using the technology she had at hand, and just making videos of use from year to year.
Parapsychology Online as a YouTube Channel is in its infancy. With so much going on this year, a great deal of the new material has come very slowly to the channel although some of the lectures given at ParaMOOC2015 are up and running, and the plans for expanding this channel are still in place.
Connecting The AZIRE and its activities to the Parapsychology Foundation has been an obvious thing to do. Alvarado and Zingrone obtained their first grants from the Parapsychology Foundation back in the 1980s and were given opportunities to contribute and participate in the Foundation’s high level conferences and events in which the work of active researchers was showcased in face-to-face meetings and proceedings. Alvarado was asked first to contribute to the series of extraordinary events the Foundation was known for, having been asked to deliver a paper on the state of the art in out-of-body research at the 1984 meeting in New Orleans. This conference resulted in the Proceedings that was published in 1986 and is still available, Current Trends in Psi Research. Seven years later Zingrone was invited to present a paper at the 1991 meeting in Dublin, Ireland. This conference also resulted in the Women and Parapsychology proceedings published later in the same year and still available.
From 1998 Alvarado and Zingrone contracted their services to the Foundation to help with a new publications program, then moved to New York City to take up onsite positions, and continued to be employed full and then part-time while running the virtual office in Charlottesville, Virginia until the end of 2008. Volunteering from 2009 through the end of 2014, they have returned to the Foundation as Research Fellows, and independent contractors helping the Foundation develop its online programs, and redevelop its core functions and websites for the future. The Parapsychology Foundation’s YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Foundation Online. Zingrone recommended the Parapsychology Foundation and its website in episode #2 of her YouTube Series Primer: Educational Resources in Scientific Parapsychology.
The Parapsychology Foundation has five websites: the main site, the education site, the online store, the Psychic Explorers Club, and the Exceptional Human Experiences site. Founded in December of 1952 by the Irish medium and entrepreneur Eileen J. Garrett, the Foundation provided funding for research, supported students and held annual conferences where the researchers could meet in comfort. After Mrs. Garrett passed away in 1970, her daughter, Mrs. Eileen Coly took over as President and ran the Foundation through the mid-2000s when the post was taken over by Lisette Coly, the current President. A summary of the Foundation’s many activities can be obtained here, and this is the new channel trailer for the Parapsychology Foundation YouTube Channel which is in development:
A links page will be added soon to this site, and also check out the rest of the Primer series on our YouTube channel for our past (and future) recommendations.