2023-11-29 19:54

Kobus van Wyk

How to overcome doubts of teachers relative to technology

The e-pioneer fights doubt.

Doubt is an insidious enemy – it makes e-learning appear to be an impossible target.

Teachers are beset by two different types of doubts:

Can e-learning work in the classroom?

Self-doubt – will I be able to master technology?

The first one is the easiest to overcome: the e-pioneer can show the doubter examples of classrooms where e-learning is making a significant difference.  This could be in other schools, but often in the very school of the one having reservations.

Self-doubt is a difficult monster to conquer.  Doubt is based on feelings rather than facts, which makes it difficult to fight.  It is easy to refute fallacious facts, but not so easy to tell people that their feelings are wrong.  The most important quality an e-pioneer needs to win the battle of the heart of a teacher is patience.

When teachers lament, “I will never be able to master it,” they mean that they doubt their own abilities.  The best way to remove such doubt is taking them by the hand, working alongside them, progressively showing them that they can indeed use technology.  This requires time and endurance.

A doubt is a disguised fear – a fear of failure.  It is a negative emotion.  The e-pioneer fights it by constantly applying positive reinforcement until the teacher believes that he or she can use technology effectively in the classroom.

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


  1. That is so true. It makes me sad that there seem to be so few e-pioneers in some schools, though…And so much doubt being denied, which results in technology use just to justify technology availability.

    Thanks for this e-pioneers series. It’s very interesting

  2. I am concern about those “e-pioneer” educators that DO GET ICT training skills either from various vendors / sources etc including from Khanya Facilitators.

    These computer related and EIAWB skills then just “ceased to be transferred” to other educators… it, ja IT stops with them who got it – IT IS NOW ONLY MINE !!! FULL STOP.

    No or very little cascading is taking place ONCE “I” AM BACK @ MY school…..this scenario prevails…… of not sharing my skills to “break the doubt fear factor”.

    My experience up to now with SOME ( FEW ? or is it MANY) educators who have “mastered” some computer technology SKILLS, see themselves now as MASTERS and maybe only I can benefit from it, or and I hope that this is the answer to their “inhibited” notion … “I am too scared to show what I have learned about this or that about this or that TECHNOLOGY”.

    Just TODAY I did EIAWB Cluster training and one of the educators mention to me….. “I have only been showed ONCE, by the EIAWB Vendor Mr CL, how to use the EIAWB…..my colllegues don’t have the time” to show me more …”

    Albie who wants to break the 2x types of doubt.

    DOUBT = feeling of not being sure about something must be changed to

    D = Desire
    O = Of
    U = Utmost
    B = Better
    T = Technology @ school implemented by e-pioneers !

  3. Understanding that this is a new concepts at our schools, technology in our clasrooms is gracely embraced by some and rejected by others. Very often you would hear educators comment by either putting blame onto someone for not understanding or coming up with any excuse just to stay away from a presentation that involves IT. There are adequate e-pioneers not necessarily from outside the school but within. Often lack of willingness, lack of motivation and resources could be attributed to the doubt as refered in the article. Educators need to be encouraged to always practice-practice-practice after a presentation otherwise they will forget. But how can they practice when they do not even own a pc or be allowed time to work in te lab. Perhaps e-pioneers should motivate both educators and management to acquire computers – there are now cheap netbooks, very small and portable to use. Management at school should be challenged to allocate time for its staff to work in the lab. We can certainly fight doubt = fear. What a good sense of achievement watching an educator who claimed not knowing how to use a computer or a mouse, now working independely after just few weeks/months of IT introduction.

  4. Teachers are besieged by doubt and fear mainly because they doubt their own computer skills. They don’t practice what they learnt during training because they are not exposed to technology on a daily basis. I think most teachers feel it is not worth the effort to go to a lab once a week for 30 minutes. The best way to counteract doubt and fear is to get rid of blackboards and chalk and replace it with computer technology in the classroom. Implementing the laptops for teachers will most definitely help them to overcome their fears and to force them to use technology to deliver curriculum.

  5. Comment from Matilda Malamba (she could not manage to post this comment):
    I am of the opinion that in addition to the already mentioned ingredients, PASSION is one of the most powerful ingredients needed by the e-pioneers to assist others in overcoming their doubt. How so? HOW one conveys the message, would determine whether the one being ‘taught’ is reached or not. I have just had a very interesting reading on CATAGELOPHOBIA, fear of ridiculing oneself. There is a generation of teachers that can only be won over by the passion we exude in teaching/reaching such ones. A strong desire to acquire knowledge about something would always surpass all possible stumbling blocks that one may find in ones way. HOW WE CONVEY THE MESSAGE would determine whether what we are ‘selling’ is ‘bought’ or overlooked. We must sow seeds, that would cultivate the Desire Of Utmost Better Technology (Albie Smith). With our Passion, Patience, Endurance and Time we might just reach and EMPOWER a generation of teachers that are sadly stuck in a catagelophobic state. Brilliant series!. Thanks Kobus.

  6. I fully agree with the fact that patience is very important to win the confidence of the educators.Most educators really believe that they will never be able to use technology for curriculum, others feel that it is just adding more work for them. A handful of them are using it without any fear or doubt. I think the idea of using those(educators) who already use technology in their classes to motivate, assist and encourage their colleagues would be ideal.

  7. A cheap netbook can be a great asset for helping a young child fine tune their research skills and can also be a huge motivational tool for a parent to encourage good behavior – much less expensive than a laptop.

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