2023-11-29 20:59

Kobus van Wyk

The e-pioneer is a good listener

Special skills are needed to train teachers in the use of technology.  A skill that is often overlooked is the art of listening – so great is its value that it could even compensate for a lack of other training abilities.

In spite of extensive training, teachers sometimes still experience problems in coming to grips with the use of technology as a curriculum delivery tool. The e-pioneer never gives up on such ones.

Give the teacher an opportunity to talk – while you are listening.  But it must be attentive listening!  Only by giving careful consideration to what is being said can the e-pioneer discern the real problem.

Teachers may say, “I have been teaching this subject for years without the help of computers – I see no need for it now.”  Why do they feel that way?

Let them talk and find out.  Perhaps they are not aware of what technology can do for their subject area, or there may be a fear that computers will take their jobs away.  Sometimes the technology-curriculum integration picture is not clear to them.

The e-pioneer can only rectify the situation if the underlying reason for the problem is known – and the only way to know this is by listening.

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


  1. LISTENING is the one thing I have discovered that leads to effective use and acceptance of the world of technology in curriculum delivery. Sometime just jumping in the core of training software and going through the stages of the hard core business leaves out the most important aspect and that is the PERSON. Giving educators a chance to talk about their fears and concerns when introducing new technology plays an integral part of facilitation. You will not be able to address everyone’s concern but you can change their mindset and way they perceive technology. Starting from familiar territory and showing how that territory is the same but just packaged in a new form works. I just had a training session with educators who were not using the EWB. I decided not to have a formal session but just wanted to listen to what they have to say. This proved to be very effective. I could clear misconceptions, let them see the use of EWB differently and they came up with realistic solutions to making it work in the future. They felt more at ease and some fears were addressed and solutions were found. After this session I was even invited to come to the educators class who never used the EWB (even though she had training before) as I introduced her to the known (which was her green board) to the EWB and similar features. “SO AN E-PIONEER MUST MASTER THE ART OF LISTENING TO RECTIFY CHALLENGES”.

  2. I would agree with the sentiments of being a good listener, but it is hopeless if there is no feedback to the speaker. I think it is called active listening (of so iets). The person must feel as if they are taken seriously and viable alternatives are to the problems experienced must be explored (not just given). That is where the value in listening and feedback which leads action comes in. Assessing the action taken leads to the solution being valued or discarded. At least something was done.

  3. Oxford Dictionary explanation: TWO WAY Communication is made up of TWO people + TWO mouths (ONE AT A TIME) + FOUR ears (ALL 4 AT SAME TIME) + ONE of the brains thinking and processing(CONTINUOUSLY) – CPU your sender and receiver components.

    You speak once, you listen twice and you process once. Then the FEEDBACK must follow. The order of communication is also important – LISTEN then TALK ! (L is before T in the alphabet). The first action is LISTEN, then reaction TALK / FEEDBACK. (again A before R).

    In plain English: MAKE TIME TO LISTEN TO THE EDUCATORS @ SCHOOLS AND THEIR ISSUES @ their schools re the LAB + EIAWB. We sometimes “storm” in with OUR workshop ideas, our presentation skllis, and that is it !! We need to ASK the educators what THEIR needs are re ICT – not our pre-planned notes, ideas, actions, presentation and then “they” must just swallow it !!

    Albie with Bakore

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