Hospitality – my #OneWordONT

Here, for the fifth year, I’ll post my one word for the #OneWordONT activity. Thanks to the dedication of Julie Balen, I’ve taken time each year to reflect and select one word to focus and shape my teaching and learning practice for the coming year. These words are not selected lightly. The word only comes after reflecting carefully and searching eagerly for other words that might fit for me.

In the past I’ve chosen words like HEART, COLOUR, ALLYSHIP, and FRAMES. Each one helped focus my thinking and my work as an educator and teacher. Each one shapes my work as a learner and student. Each word has power to shift my thoughts and actions for a year, so I chose with care.

Based on work I’ve been doing recently, I’m refocusing on communities and relationships in digital spaces. This stems from conversations originating from the Mozilla Open Leaders project. It leads out from collaborative writing I’ve completed with the co-directors of Virtually Connecting. It connects to reading I’m doing about literacy, transculturalism, and cosmopolitan perspectives.

So, this year’s word is HOSPITALITY. I’ve written about hospitality many times before:

Since it’s been percolating through my thinking for both my teaching and learning, its time to take time to deconstruct and decipher this one word. I’ve got a year to work on it, examine it, write about it, and play around with it. I’ll start with some playing first – a #OneWord word cloud, to get me started.

Hospitality. The interactive image can be found on this Word Art creation.word art 30

What’s your ONE WORD? How will you shape your year with a one word focus?

Are you looking for inspiration and other #OneWordONT contributions? You can find them using the hashtag on Twitter.


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3 Responses to Hospitality – my #OneWordONT

  1. Maha Bali says:

    Love the concept of the oneword.

    Btw we never discussed Derrida’s unconditional hospitality vs the approach we are focusing on at VC. Something i must have discussed w some folks at some point but not recently.

  2. Hi Helen,

    I took some time to browse through your blog site and I really respect that you actively use your blog as we work on ours. This post, in particular, drew my attention because of its simplicity. I’ve heard of the “One Word” concept before and was very interested to learn what yours was. I think the word art you made really solidified what hospitality meant to you and how you can incorporate it into your learning. Over the past 11 weeks, I can confirm that you have implemented this principle into your teaching practice despite it being web-based. Concepts such as generous, approachable, needs, helpful, welcoming and sharing are ones that stood out to me the most. Although I’ve already noticed this value in your teaching, I’m wondering how you try or how you remind yourself to implement hospitality in your practice?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


    • HJ.DeWaard says:

      I’m happy this post caught your attention. It’s so important to model what you hope students will remember. It’s not always easy and finding your own way to rise to the challenge is what critical digital literacy is all about. One way I remind myself to be hospitable is to remember the ‘human being’ on the other side of my words (text, audio, video, images) and try to talk “through the screen” rather than “to the screen” (words of wisdom from Sean Michael Morris – I guess it’s something to remember when putting anything out on the web – there are people who will engage with you in either a positive or negative way, but it’s still your choice in how you will engage with them. Thanks for adding your thoughts here. Helen

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