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Published in Learning Matters and Professional Learning

The changing landscape. Why teachers need a safe place to learn too

We all adapted and met the challenge of C19 head-on because there was no other choice. C19 has changed the education landscape for good. We all did what we had to do. Now, it’s time to look to the future, do more to support our teachers, and give them a better way and place to learn.

Train Visual Ltd. has been trusted by educators since 1999. And giving them a safe, private space to learn since 2011. Years before online learning and teaching became a necessity, we launched the How2 web app and created step-by-step visual guides to improve learning through better teaching. In today’s world, this is more important than ever, and our focus remains on maintaining and fostering a learning environment that can continue to take us to the next level of education. 

What are HOW2s?

The concept behind How2s involves step-by-step, visual explanations of teaching techniques. When we use just words to explain a concept, with both students and teachers, those words can blur together. Seeing what is being taught through visualisation helps to create a lasting impression. A combination of visuals and words can help facilitate the learning process, accelerate the transfer of knowledge and aid in retention. Utilising infographics and creating step-by-step explanations helps to shorten the path to understanding and creates a positive learning environment. Our website contains over 150 How2s that are organised into a library of teaching themes so any educator can easily find the topics of their choice. In less than a minute, teachers can locate the solution to a learning barrier and resolve it quickly. 

From learning how to set up a face-to-face or virtual classroom to the best way to reinforce positive behaviours, there are techniques to help educators. If teachers are struggling with a particular subject area or want to learn how to address undesirable online student behaviours, there is a wealth of information available at teachers’ fingertips.

How2s are founded on three key principles – access, simplicity and clarity. Teachers are entitled to evidence-informed teaching knowledge. Access that allows them to improve and further develop their teaching skills. How2s also enable teachers to learn from each other and grow together. Creating an accessible environment fosters a healthy and positive learning space for teachers. Technology can be difficult, especially for those of us that are not tech-savvy. We make it simple for educators to learn so that they can quickly and easily adapt to the pressures of meeting the needs of today’s students. If something is not clear, it will not be used. We provide clarity so that teachers can find exactly what they need when they need it. We also foster an environment where teachers and administration can learn and grow together by sharing their experiences and questions with peers and fellow educators in the same situation. Finally, from an organisational standpoint, How2s allows a team to quickly streamline practices and offers a platform for observation to help create efficiencies across educational teams and departments. 

How do HOW2s help and why are they necessary

How2s help to increase the confidence of our educators in an uncertain time and allow both new and experienced teachers to share best practices among colleagues and fellow teachers. How2s help to save time by taking the stress out of lesson planning. By creating a pool of expertise, teachers become part of a valuable community where they can further their education and gain support from a community of peers and like-minded individuals. Not only can they learn from each other, but they can teach each other as well. How2s help teachers create new lesson plans or enhance existing plans to gain a fresh approach and to reinvigorate content. The ultimate goal is to help each other while engaging students and removing barriers to student progress in the process. As Sally Dicketts, President of England’s Association of Colleges points out, simple changes learned through How2s can increase confidence for both the student and teacher and create a more secure learning environment. Keeping students engaged, no matter what their age, is more difficult with all of the distractions in today’s world, especially as we all adjust to a newer way of learning. That is why it’s crucial to work together to find solutions that are accessible anytime, anywhere. By organising and centralising valuable information, teachers can save time searching for answers and focus on what is most important to student success.

Fostering the future of education for everyone

The educational landscape may be changing, but one thing is for sure, there has never been a more critical time in education. Teachers are a vital component to the system, and regardless of the platform, we must foster our educators so that they can ensure students can access the curriculum and thereby access future learning, life and employment opportunities. Providing the necessary tools gives our teachers and students the power to succeed in an unsettling time. We are all adapting and getting used to this new normal in education, but by working together, we will prevail. Visit our FAQ page Visit our FAQ page to find out more about how How2s are giving teachers a safe place to learn together. 


HOW2s — My journey

Damian Rollinson first used HOW2s when he was a sessional lecturer. In this blog post, he describes how HOW2s increased his confidence as a teacher and gave him more time to spend with his growing family.

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