2023-11-29 19:48

Kobus van Wyk

The road of least resistance is not always the best

The e-pioneer promotes the best – not the easiest – road.

Starting on the road of using technology in the classroom is a daunting task.  The story of two donkeys can be encouraging.

Two donkeys went on a long journey and were given a choice as to the load they had to carry. In front of them were two huge bags of equal size: one of them contained cotton and the other one sugar. One of the donkeys quickly chose the bag of cotton and the other one had to be satisfied with the bag of sugar.

After trekking for a couple of hours over a steep hill, the donkey carrying the sugar was near collapse, while the one who chose the cotton still had a spring in his step. Then they came to a river that they had to wade through. On the other side of the river, the donkey with the sugar load suddenly discovered that his load virtually disappeared. The other donkey was dismayed at the volume of water that was absorbed by the cotton and was later even more surprised at how reluctant the fibres were to release the water. One can imagine the ecstasy and agony of the rest of the journey.

The lesson from the donkey with the sugar is that the load gets lighter if one endures. Eventually the use of technology will make the teaching task a breeze.  Those who insist on a light load will get bogged down with old-style teaching methods.

The e-pioneer must spend time showing teachers the sugar – allowing them to taste it – at the outset of the journey.

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


  1. So true !! The sooner educators start to “implement” ICT into their daily curriculum activities, the sooner they will taste the “sugar” and can rest on the soft “cotton”.

    Albie the Donkey in Shrek

  2. I think educators are already not on an easy road. My advice to them about integrating ICT into teaching and learning is to pick and choose their “battles” (so to speak). Do what you know and then build on it. There are going to be failures, resistance from others and so forth. In the old end one can talk about the failures with experience – what works and what doesn’t.

    It is a common misconception that ICT always makes then easier. Not so. It can complicate matters too. The educator will have to navigate through the complicated matters to get learners to learn effectively. This all sounds very nice, but the road tends to be rocky. Teaching is not for sissies. “Daar is leeus, olifante, kwaai son…..” We must be careful not add more boulders to an already rocky slope.

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