2023-11-29 19:45

Kobus van Wyk

Don’t allow the tail to wag the dog

The e-pioneer does not allow the tail to wag the dog.

It is easy to become carried away by technology.  The e-pioneer knows that in e-learning the emphasis must always fall on the learning – the e is only the medium in which learning takes place.

If technology is promoted in a school for the sake of technology, the technology tail is allowed to wag the education dog.  The e-pioneer must act as a buffer between the teacher and those responsible for technology in the school.  Make sure that educational needs dictate technology procurement, and not the other way around.

During training sessions, the e-pioneer must help teachers understand how to become more effective e-learning practitioners.  Teach them the relevance of the different hardware and software products – don’t just focus on how to use then, but show teachers why they must be used.  Explain why the use of a particular piece of technology will enhance teaching and learning.  Make sure that the teachers understand how to make these tools an integral part of classroom practice.

The wagging tail of a dog is a good sign – it shows the dog is happy.  But if the tail is dictating the movement of the dog, something is clearly wrong.  Likewise, thriving technology in a school is a good sign – but every piece of technology must serve an educational purpose.

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


  1. I fully agree that the tail must not wag the dog. Just like in business, technology must not dictate our business/educational processes, instead our educational processes should dictate the type of technology we should use to add value to our services.

  2. I do believe that your heading to this post is correct. I am more for the appropriate use of ICT. I notice that you have used the “how” and the “why” words. How about using the “when” word too? These days we could also talk about the “where” word in the use of ICT.

    I must disagree a little with the emphasis on the “e” (electronic) part. The e must work. There are too many e-problems and this also puts people off becoming e-literate.

  3. Mark 10/10 – too many unsolved e-problems (mainly of technical nature) for weeks eventually it “mature” into months, then …. the “keen e-educators” also become “e-disillusion” resulting into the non e-educators to remain even more e-literate and argues ….: ‘I told you ITC gurus !! I stay with my present non-technical educational equipment as they are more reliable as they got NO e-problems as the equipment is not e-related (i.e. books, notes, red pen, white chalk, greenboard, paper, kokipens and no Eishcom connected – “e-electricity” problems !!!”.

    Albie e-worried e-pioneer

  4. Clearly tech problems can be a stumbling block. However if those e-pioneers in the 70s aand 80s had not perservered with their Radio shack pcs and tape storage we would not be where we are today. Technology that is less problem prone such as electronic whiteboards and cell phones are the way of the future.

  5. Картинки у меня есть, но на них не попали, а учитывая тематику блога, спамокомментарии как минимум не выбиваются из контекста, а иногда попадают «в яблочко» )

  6. My experience at a science workshop yesterday….my laptop gave up the ghost. It would not start up at all…dead! Well…I had a school’s laptop with me. Let’s quickly install the software I need. While installing, I started to connect it to the whiteboard to save time. No whiteboard software on the laptop and the laptop does not communicate with the board. I found out later that the adapter connecting the laptop to the board was faulty.

    Result? Cancelled workshop, but i made sure that people that came did not leave empty-handed. I was disappointed I wasted other people’s time. Moreover, I had to buy a new baby….which I actually cannot afford, but was necessary. How do teachers feel every day when they go through stuff like this?

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