2023-11-29 19:36

Kobus van Wyk

How can you be a trailblazer?

The e-pioneer is a trailblazer.

The explorer makes the discovery; the pathfinder maps out the road for others to follow; the trailblazer ensures that the road is recognizable.

What is a trailblazer?

The “blaze” part of the word has nothing to do with fire.  A white spot on the forehead of a horse or any other animal is called a blaze (Afrikaans: bles).  The word is also used to refer to the white mark left on a tree trunk when a piece of bark is chipped off.  A clear, visible and permanent trail is created when trees are blazed at regular intervals on a route.

A trailblazer is therefore one who blazes a permanent trail.

Can you see why an e-pioneer is a trailblazer?

Once you’ve discovered a technology route for others, it is sometimes difficult to communicate this information to them, particularly if they do not have a technology background.  You have to make things very clear and set progressive targets for them.  Blaze – make explicit – the first step; once this objective is reached, show them the next step of the way; carry on in this fashion until they are comfortable following the mapped road.

You are the pioneer – you’ve found the path.  But others will not follow it unless it is clearly charted for them.  Don’t assume they will know how to proceed.  They won’t.  Blaze a visible trail to help them find their way through the bewildering technology forest.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers.


  1. Kobus, your e-pioneering descriptions are brilliant! They so clearly illustrate the point. Hopefully they also encourage us to keep on blazing away at the trail…

  2. Kobus, your metaphors are wonderful. New things can intimidate, but they can empower. We need lots of trailblazers. I am trying to do my part. From a good sermon I heard years ago: 1) start where you are 2) use what you have 3) do what you can I added another 4) start now!

  3. The “blaze” in Albie Smith is a white spot on ….. as on an E-WHITE-Board.

    I am going to ensure more “white” spots on the EIAWB …. It must be clear, visible and a permanent “white” trail on the E-WHITE Board.

    I want ALL Schools, Facilitators, Educators, Learners and even WCED Officials to follow the white trail …. the white board …. not WHITE chalk … but EIAWB White… no more white chalk or white koki boards or Government white papers or white dotted lines on tar road … but an E-IA-WHITEBoard trail !!!

    Albie the InterActive WhiteBoytjie

  4. Brent, thanks for those thoughts. With your permission I’ll use them for brewing more chicken soup for e-pioneers!

  5. Yesterday I had a training session and an educator came to show me what she had tried at her school. Now one may want to pick her IAWB presentation apart for all the “wrong” things but here is what I liked:
    a) She tried when others did not even make an effort.
    b) She took advice (although people would like to criticize) in her stride. She is not perfect or an expert at what she does, but then again her other attributes shines through her work.
    c) She freely discussed how she felt and what it is she was going to do.
    d) She did not wait for anybody. She is doing it and are preparing stuff to train the educators at her school.
    d) she was happy doing the lessons on the IAWB.
    e) she is already including learners in what she does.

    In her own small way, with very simple IAWB lessons, she is a trailblazer in her school community.

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