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Published in Using HOW2s and Professional Learning

Festive round up

A BIG thank you” followed by a summary of what’s new at HOW2s to reduce workloads, support well-being and help teachers, coaches, managers and leaders hit the ground running in 2021

My partner and I do not have any children. We seem to collect’ God Children — both official and unofficial. At the last count, I had five and my partner three. Some are still at school; some are at college or university. Many of my friends are teachers. What I’m trying to say is that I am aware of just how amazing you people out there working in the schools, colleges and universities and training providers have been. During 2020 I’ve tried to do-my-bit so to speak but anything I’ve done or the HOW2 company has done pails into insignificance when compared to what I’ve seen my friends and our college/training provider community doing. You’ve touched and affected lives for the better every day. It’s both humbling and incredible to witness. So I want to start by saying, on behalf of the young uns, the young adults and the not to young adults you teach — Thank you. You are amazing.

What’s new at HOW2s — Improving the online learning experience

We need to put pedagogy back into the technology

Louisa Owen, Liverpool City College 

It was no mean feat getting to grips with Teams, or Zoom or whatever your platform of choice was and is. Some are still getting to grips with it. But, as a friend of mine, a teacher for over 30 years, pointed out as we strolled around a golf course in the Summer, the fact that you know how to use Teams is not the same as knowing how to teach with it. 

We’d started creating online HOW2s in October 2019, so when the lockdown came, the workflow structure was in place; all we needed to do was press the accelerator. As of December 2020, the Online Collection is a work-in-progress and has 30 HOW2s in it.

Screengrab showing thumbnails of 3 of the 30 new HOW2s. I'll be spending part of the festive season sketching some more ready to be desk top published in the new year.
Go to new Online HOW2s Collection
HOW2 Subscription Required

Building a Professional Learning Community — Making it easier for teachers to support each other

Perhaps more than anything COVID highlighted the need for community. Many of the teachers in the HOW2 community do not work at the same campus or even in the same college or state/county (country even). The Skills Exchange creates an instant community, joining everyone up it uses a traffic light system that enables busy communities of teachers, at a click of a button, to contact and ask for, or offer support to, each other. The recent upgrade to this functionality makes it (even) easier for teachers to find each other. 

Using the Skills Exchange, it takes just seconds for busy teachers to support each other across their community
The same functionality also helps coaches reach and support more teachers.

STOP PRESS A new notifications feature was pushed to staging today (14:12:2020) and will go live in January. It’s like a notice board, only online.

Ready-to-go online training for our community and a training day for every college and training provider — on us.

We created a range of videos to support different teacher training scenarios. For example, to help someone new to HOW2s to get the most from the app, or to offer busy quality managers and coaches a range of over nine of ready-to-go whole-staff training days.

As 2020 drew to a close our HOW2 community told us that for December/January training they wanted something really focussed, something that would see teachers working together and socialising in curricular and cross-curricular groups. So we created a day around just 6 HOW2s — all aimed at helping teachers get to grips with blended learning. This is ALSO available to non-subscribing organisations. 

Instructional Coaching Programme for Teaching and Learning Coaches

As the lead of CPD for a college with 5 sites and hundreds of academic staff, I don’t endorse things easily nor spend our money lightly.. but I DO endorse Ian Harris, BA (Hons), PGCE and Carole Kane MA (in Online and Distance Education), PGCE of HOW2. They inspire, motivate, support and innovate during this period where our time is so stretched. They have worked with my team today on shaping TLA strategy with passion so that each and every one of our teachers knows not just what to do to improve learning but HOW2 do it!!!
Get in touch if you are thinking of exploring a platform with a difference that will truly transform your practice and I will happily have a chat about our experience to date.

Louisa Owen, posting on LinkedIn after day one of the HOW2 Instructional Coaching Programme delivered online to Teaching and Learning Coaches at The City of Liverpool College in October

Contact us if you’d like us to run a bespoke instructional coaching programme for your teaching and learning coaches. Or to discuss any aspect of professional learning. 

Meantime, again, on behalf of all the youngsters, and young adults and not so young adults that you teach — thank you. 

Stay safe, wishing you a peaceful and restful festive season.



Apollo 13 — Houston we have a problem”

Apollo 13 is the inspiration behind the HOW2 Teaching Technique Pilot and Navigator”. With many colleges splitting practical classes Pilot and Navigator only needs a little tweak to get students at home working in real-time with their peers in class.

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