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I shipped in 2015 - 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 2015? 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). With a new job in full swing and an intentional backing-off of some professional work, this list looks a little slender compared to previous years. I still shipped...

1. Gave presentations and workshops for Norwich and Oneota (NY) BOCES, Richardson-Plano Schools,  I spoke at our state conferences ITEM (MEMO), TIES and MASA (Minnesota Association of School Administrators). I did an onsite evaluation of library programs for Princeton Day School. I was guest speaker for the classes at St Thomas, St Catherines, McHenry County College, Joyce Valenza'a and Jennifer LaGarde's classes. I did virtual presentations for the Ontario Library Association, Saskatchewan School Library Association and Nashville Public Schools.

2. Presented internationally at the EARCOS Teacher's  Conference in Kota Kinablau Borneo and a Librarians Conference at Colegio Jorge Washington in Cartagena, Columbia.

3.Teaching Outside the Lines: Developing Creativity in Every Learner. Corwin Press, was released in May!

4. Published the article:  "The Cloudy Future of the School CIO" CIO Review Magazine, December 2015.

5. Published these columns:

Head for the Edge in Library Media Connection:

Power Up! in ASCD's Educational Leadership:

6. Published 182 blog posts.

7. Served as co-chair of the state library tech association legislative board and IF liaison, as school representative for the St Catherine's and University of Iowa library school advisory boards, and a member of a state digital learning advisory committee.

8. I was recognized by ISTE for my contributions to field by being awards a "Making IT Happen" award.

9. Spend a week-long road trip with my wife and the two oldest grandsons on a great trip to Washington DC. Canoed with oldest grandson Paul and Boy Scouts in the Quetico region of the Boundary Waters for a week. (This may be the accomplishment of which I am most proud in 2015.) Did five, day-long organized bike rides over the summer and fall. Joined a couple biking/hiking MeetUp groups and participated in evening hike rides and walks. Did jungle hikes in Borneo and Columbia.

10. Walked 3-4 miles a day, 5 times a week; worked weights at the Y twice a week; and lost a few pounds! Camped out for a fourth year in a row with my grandsons at the Boy Scout's Camp Klaussen. Read, according to GoodReads, 37 books - mostly for pleasure.

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 family, 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 2015 and what will you ship in 2016?

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for sharing your list again this year, Doug. Last year, I used your theme/template to share a list of what I "shipped" with several coworkers and am planning to continue this them during the upcoming week.

Do you have any tips / blog posts to recommend on writing a book?

January 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Townsley

Hi Matt,

Glad to hear you found the list useful. I find it heartening to take a moment to reflect on what one has done. It seems day-to-day not a lot gets accomplished, but over time.

Here is a blog post on writing a book. I don't know if it is helpful or not. For me, the first requirement is a passion for what I want to discover and tell others about. The rest is all details!‚Äč

All the best,


January 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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