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I shipped in 2014 - you can too

Doesn't matter whether it was a hit or not, it just matters that you shipped it. Shipping something that scares you ... is the entire point.. from What did you ship in 2010? by Seth Godin

"What did you ship?" is a great question for all of us to ask ourselves. What, beyond just doing one's job, did you accomplish (not try to do, not intend to do, not think about doing, not hope to get done, not plan to do - but actually DO) in 2014? What did you do that was a little bit scary? That you might have drawn criticism for? That may changed the world just a little bit?

Considering what one "shipped" is a good thing to do every year as it closes (or as a new year begins).  So here's my 2014 shipping list, as best I can recall:

1. Gave presentations and workshops for the West Chicago Community High School, Broome-Tioga BOCES, GaETC in Atlanta, Tennessee Association of School Librarians, South Dakota Library Association, and WISCNet in Madison, WI. I spoke at our state conferences ITEM (MEMO) and TIES. I was guest speaker for the classes at St Thomas and St Katherines. I participated one of the TLChat Live sessions with fellow ITEM members. (I somehow whacked my calendar events from January to August, so this list may be missing some things.)

2. Presented internationally at the Learning 2.014 Conference in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia and the 21stCenturyLearning Conference in Hong Kong. I did a program evaluation for the Anglo-American School of St Petersburg.

3. Turned in the manuscript for my new 40,000 word book Teaching Outside the Lines: Developing Creativity in Every Learner. for Corwin Press. To be released this spring or early summer.

4. Published these articles:  

  • Why Do I Still Need a Library When I Have One in My Pocket?: The Teacher-Librarian’s Role in 1:1/BYOD Learning Environments. (with Jennifer LaGarde), Teacher-Librarian, June 2014
  • Library Facilities for Schools Where Every Student Has a Device (with Jennifer LaGarde), Informed Librarian Online, April 2014.
  • Build an awesome class website with GoogleApps (with Marti Sievek) Explore online magazine of ISTE, July 23, 2014.

    5. Published these columns:

    Head for the Edge in Library Media Connection:

    Power Up! in ASCD's Educational Leadership

    6. Published 204 blog entries.

    7. Servedas co-chair of the state library tech association legislative board and IF liaison, as the school library representative on the regional library board, and a member of a state digital learning advisory committee. I joined MASA - the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and participated in their meetings.

    8. Spend a week-long road trip with the LWW and two oldest grandsons on a great trip to St. Louis. Bicycled for 5 days along the 250 mile long KATY Trail with my son-in-law.

    9. Walked 3-4 miles a day, 5 times a week; worked weights at the Y twice a week; and still gained a few pounds! Camped out for a third year in a row with my grandsons at the Boy Scout's Camp Klaussen. Read a lot of books - mostly for pleasure, but plenty on creativity as well.

    10. Got a new job. Put the house up for sale.

    Writing and speaking and most of this stuff is more fun than work. My home (usually) contains no small children or other dependents to care for. I don't play golf, fish, or square dance. Television bores me. My Saturday and Sunday mornings and many an evening are spent writing and designing presentations and workshops. I have, through plain dumb-luck: good health, a supportive wife, an interesting job with great co-workers, and lots of opportunities work toward the betterment of education. At least that's what I hope I'm doing.

    I measure my days not whether they were happy or unhappy, but whether they were productive or unproductive. Did I have a fruitful conversation or meeting? Did I get something finished? Did I write something worth sharing? Did I read something challenging? Did I do an hour's worth of physical activity? Did I clean up a mess, revise an article, or organize something for the future? Did I do something that made my own life or someone else's just a tad better?

    All of us need to "ship" - do more than is necessary beyond our jobs and professions (especially librarians and tech integration specialists), at home (as spouses/partners/parents/grandparents), and for ourselves (exercise, healthy eating, recreation, and the occasional reward). We should strive to do the maximum in our lives, not the minimum. Wear out, don't rust out. I am by nature a lazy person of middling intellect - so if I can ship, you can ship.

    What did you ship in 2014 and what will you ship in 2015?


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    Reader Comments (5)

    What an impressive load of ship!
    Wordplay aside, you are inspiring Doug.
    "Doing more than is necessary" resonates with this *.librarian who's ever-delighted to pedal hard to keep up with a PLN of "all the smart people I know." My Personal Learning Network also feels like my personal "Peleton of Library Notables" with whom I enjoy the occasional ride. But rather than "sitting back on your wheel" and simply riding along, I appreciate your throwing the gauntlet down with "If I can ship, you can ship." Let's see what ships in 2015, starting with a small role in tomorrow's #tlchat.

    January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCraig Seasholes

    Hi Craig,

    Load of ship might be the best description I've heard of my work! Love it.

    I respect you very much as a leader in not just Washington, but in the nation. Always great to see you at conferences and hear you online. The profession needs you and more like ya.

    Take care,


    January 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

    Finally purchased my own domain - My plan is to use it for personal reflection and that is it. My last go around I was trying too hard to get people to follow me. Now I don't care about that anymore...

    January 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathan Mielke

    With your disciplined lifestyle, you accomplish a lot of good work! It makes me appreciate that you took time to visit St. Kate's LIS classes even more. Thank you!

    January 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Hammond

    Hi Nathan,

    Your blog is now in my Feedly Reader! Thanks for sharing the URL.

    I personally have never worried much about how many readers I have, blogging awards, etc. The blog is an excuse to reflect and if those reflections amuse or inform others, so much the better. I don't need or want any competitive pressures.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts in the new year,


    Hi Heidi,

    Your publishing a book this year makes you pretty disciplined yourself! Congratulations for you shipping as well!

    Speaking to your classes is always a pleasure, not work. I am honored to be invited.

    Take care and have a happy new year,


    January 6, 2015 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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