"This might be a useful exercise. 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 Seth Godin"
One of my favorite bloggers and virtual mentors, Doug Johnson quoted Seth Godin recently to preface his post, "I shipped in 2011 - you can too".
I have been thinking about that post quite a bit as the calendar year ends. It was a memorable year for me professionally. I think that with the support of my team and administration, I "shipped" quite a bit. All of these things were a stretch - and scared me a little (and sometimes a lot!).
- Started a 365 day photo blog dedicated to SCSD Media Services (I only missed a couple of days) January 1, 2010 Fear factor: Could I actually keep up with this and come up with enough work related images?
- Created an SCSD Media Services YouTube channel with playlists and locally produced content (January) Fear factor: Putting our SCSD creations out there for the world to see.
- Created a GoogleSites eportfolio template based on the work of Joyce Valenza and Jennifer LaGarde, "Manifesto for 21st Century Librarians" shared it via Twitter and later used my individualized eportfolio as part of my evaluation package (January) Fear factor: Joyce and Jennifer are two librarians I admire greatly. It was scary asking for their permission to borrow their ideas to create something to share with the TL community.
- Invited our local women's club to use the high school media center as a meeting space and gave a presentation on social media (January) Fear factor: I'm used to talking to media savvy kids, could I answer their questions on their level?
- Coordinated World Read Aloud Day Skype sessions with schools in Illinois and Singapore (March) Fear factor: Would the technology cooperate?
- Attended EdCamp Omaha and facilitated a session (March) Fear factor: When they called for volunteers, Alyssa Calhoun and I decided to go for it even though we were not experts on the topic: GoogleDocs.
- Collaborated with Mike Herdliska, SMS Principal, to meet with all 7th and 8th graders to discuss digital citizenship and online safety (March) Fear factor: Could we make this relevant, thought-provoking and interesting to them?
- Presented at the Iowa Association of School Librarians annual conference with Shannon M. Miller from Van Meter School District: Making Connections with Web 2.0 and Social Media (April) Fear factor: Up until about 15 minutes before the start of the presentation, I wasn't sure if it would be a solo gig or if Shannon would be able to get there.
- Published an article in Teacher Librarian "Go, set, ready: Collaborative Relationships for 21st Century Learning" (April issue) Fear factor: I hadn't written for a scholarly publication since I was at Kaskaskia Community College. I wasn't sure where to start. Betty Marcoux was a great editor and cheerleader.
- Compiled documentation and participated in the review of library services for the Department of Education Site Visit in April. The Media Services program was recognized as a strength in three sections of the final report Fear factor: How would our services be viewed by an objective, trained team of evaluators?
- Collaborated with 4th grade teachers to help 50 4th graders create book trailers (May) Fear factor: Could we really do this complex project with 50 students - starting out by working altogether in the cafeteria?
- Presented at the TransformEd Ignite Event in June (sponsored by SourceMedia) Fear factor: This was the scariest thing on the list. Could I capture the attention of a room full of community members, teachers and business leaders?
- Organized, publicized and hosted a Tweetup for Eastern Iowa educators Fear factor: Would any one show up?
- Worked with Jodi Rickels, Lakeview Principal, to renovate our Media Center : paint, shelving, furniture, AV (work in progress) Fear factor: What if everyone hated the color scheme or thought the graphics were lame?
- Created a Media Services support web site for solon.k12.ia.us users (August) Fear factor: What if my time was wasted and no one used it?
- Started a district level blog for staff in September (this is it) Fear factor: Could I share anything that would interest the staff? Would they read it?
- Rolled out Destiny Quest to staff and student, introducing the social media/sharing features (September) Fear factor: What if I couldn't learn all the necessary basics for being a site administrator? What if I didn't know how to fix a problem?
- Presented "PD in your PJs" at the Iowa Library Association Annual meeting (October) Fear factor: How could I make my individual experience with professional development relevant to an audience of school, academic and public librarians? (Answer: chocolate)
- Collaborated with the 6th grade Science teacher on astronomy research/presentations (November) Fear factor: How would I schedule this around my other responsibilities? What kind of working relationship would I have with the teacher?
- Helped Tech Writing students set up iGoogle start pages and explored the concept of PLNs (December) Fear factor: How could I get them excited about personalizing their online learning opportunities?
- Presented a "day in the life"to the SCSD Leadership Team. Presented the 2010-11 annual report: an infographic with hyperlinks (December) Fear factor: Could I effectively substitute a collection of vignettes for the more typical series of charts and graphs?
- Staff "Appy Hour" featured in the December School Library Journal and in online editions Fear factor: Admitting first that I am not an expert, could I facilitate a sharing/learning session?
- Shared two slides at a TL Cafe webinar: Library World Smackdown (December) Fear factor: After passively attending for the last couple of years, could I jump in to share? Would the technology work? Would I sound clueless?
- Created an advocacy piece for our state association in response to the Iowa Education Blueprint (December) Fear factor: Would I get anyone to collaborate? Would it be acceptable to the Iowa TL community?
- Met with middle school students every Tuesday morning before school for "Tech Club" Fear factor: Would anyone show up? Would I be able to accomplish anything in less than 30 minutes?
Those are just the highlights I can come up with right now. I'm sure I've forgotten something.
Almost every bullet in this list has been influenced in some way by my online PLN, especially by Twitter. Twitter has not only become one of my favorite ways to learn, but also key to keeping me energized, motivated and willing to take risks.
I'm looking forward to 2011!