2023-11-29 20:46

Kobus van Wyk

Remove obstacles to technology adoption

The e-pioneer is a groundbreaker.

After settling in a new territory the pioneer needs a place to plant crops.  A level patch of land close to a river may be ideal for this purpose.  The pioneer now faces the laborious task of removing trees and rocks to transform the field into arable land.  This activity is called groundbreaking and engaging in this activity makes the pioneer a groundbreaker.

At the start of a building project a dignitary is often seen with a spade in his hand, engaging in a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony.  We have come to associate the term groundbreaking with any initiating activity or thing characterized by originality and innovation.  For instance, we often hear about groundbreaking technologies – those applications of technology that nobody has thought about before.

The e-pioneer is a groundbreaker.

One aspect of the groundbreaking is finding technologies relevant for the classroom.  A far greater task is clearing the field – removing the obstacles that may prevent teachers from adopting technology.

Deep-rooted views and practices may prevail.  An attitude of, “I managed all the years without technology,” is difficult to uproot.  It requires skill and patience to change the way some people think.

Rocklike obstacles come in many forms, such as unstable technology, poor infrastructure or a lack of funding.  From experience you will be able to add to the list of boulders that must be removed before you can establish e-learning as a regular feature in a school.

The groundbreaking e-pioneer endures in the task and rejoices when a crop of technically competent colleagues is reaped.

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


  1. We have to few folk with the “entrepreneurial” skills to forge ahead, believeing in what they set out to do despite the considerable odds they face. It takes a certain character to open opportunities for others.

    …but this is exactly what they do… they clear the seemingly difficult path for other less adventurous ones to follow.

  2. I got too much to write here but a few things hamper technology adoption:
    1) Responsibility and ownership. The schools still think that the labs belong to Khanya.
    2)Technology. If curriculum delivery depends on technology, you better see that the technology works. In our case there are too many problems such as power failures, Windows (no matter which version), viruses (aaarrrgghhh), networks down. etc.
    3) The Khanya way is not the only way. In fact I believe if we think that way we close our minds to other paths of technology use.
    4) Propriety Software. Education cannot survive if they have to pay for every little upgrade or service. I will cite one example. A teacher has to play a DVD on a laptop but cannot do so because there are no codecs. Off we went to do an internet search. Most of the codecs have price tags attached. Only some search I did at home delivered a free codecs. I just hope they worked.

    I don’t mind being a groundbreaker. I just find myself digging a trench when others have somehow stopped because this is not their priority? If this is so, then what are their priorities? Where are the supporters or helpers? How will a building be built if nobody else digs and help to build. It’s ok to be the groundbreaker, but what happens afterwards? Talk and no action?

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