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Who are you? What do you do?

We consider ourselves, first and foremost, educators. Apart from our office manager, Nicky, we have been teachers, managers, and senior leaders. And since Nicky is a scout leader, we consider her an educator too! You can find out more about our backgrounds on the about us page. 

Here, on these FAQ pages, we want to guide and mentor you as you learn about the HOW2s. Our commitment to you is honesty and transparency. Strange as it may sound, we sometimes recommend that organisations do not subscribe.

The FAQs are here to help you make an informed decision for your faculty, coaches, managers, and ultimately your students. 

We want this process to be a great experience, even if you don’t subscribe. We don’t employ a sales team (it helps keep the costs down), and we don’t look to push square pegs into round holes. So take a good look at the FAQs, then get in touch to set up a conversation. 

I think we’ve got the consultation process about right — we have a great reputation in the sector, I even play golf with a number of our non-subscribers!

Ian Harris, CEO, HOW2s

HOW2s improve learning through better teaching

Sally Dicketts, CBE, President of the English Association of Colleges 

Sally is also CEO of Activate Learning Group of Colleges. Based at the City of Oxford College, in England, the group contains six other colleges

What we do

We’ve provided subject expert faculty, like those that work at Activate Learning, with access to HOW2s since 2011. Every teacher, every faculty would love to have access to their own instructional coach. We can’t quite manage that but we can give them access to the knowledge and skills of an instructional coach — online. So that they can become as expert in the craft of teaching as they already are in their academic, career or vocational pathway. Nearly a decade before online learning and teaching became necessary, we launched the How2 web app and created step-by-step visual guides to evidence-based teaching (EBT) strategies. The aeroplane safety card type graphics make it easy for a new or more experienced faculty to adapt the HOW2 teaching techniques to any academic, career, or vocational subject and setting to improve their students’ learning experience and outcomes through the use of EBT

Essentially, the app allows full-time faculty and adjuncts to access support when they need it. And, since 2011, working with our community of users, we have added a suite of social learning tools to enable 
• faculty developers and instructional coaches (and others in a supporting role) to give a far greater number of faculty more comprehensive and immediate support 
• faculty to, via a unique scalable skills exchange mechanism, offer and ask for support from and to each other
• leaders to support ALL (full time and adjuncts) their faculty and see the impact of their decision. 

We have subscribers in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the USA. Our customers are community colleges and further education Colleges, universities, teacher training organisations, apprenticeship providers, and schools — in fact, any organisation that is interested in supporting their teachers/faculty to use EBT methods and master the craft of teaching. 

Graphic Organisers as Advanced Organiser — one of >150 EBT techniques on the app

As you watch the video keep an eye out for the contextual descriptors and the status bar. The descriptors are there to support you in adapting the technique to your context. The status bar is there to support us in supporting each other.


Activate Learning is a large organisation, made up of seven Further Education colleges with college campuses spread across the United Kingdom. Using HOW2s has enabled us to achieve a high level of consistency in our terminology and practice of teaching and learning. The greatest benefit to our organisation is the sheer range of tools available to the teachers from within the HOW2 web app. We have a large staff group ranging from new teachers to those who are very experienced, but within the HOW2s there are always ideas and challenges for every member of staff.

All our Faculty Managers are trained in using HOW2s to promote the development of practice within their teams and through the Skills Exchange staff are able to connect with colleagues right across the organisation, discuss their development and share their experiences using a common taxonomy.

Anne Haig-Smith - Director, Applied Learning Foundation, Activate Learning Group

Are the HOW2s a good fit for your organisation?

You may want to consider whether the HOW2s CPD web app is the way that you want to support the TLA in your organisation. To help you weigh up the pros and cons, we’ve put together a table which compares the main options open to you.

There’s a lot to think about. It’s subjective, but these are the things we’ve discussed over the years with our customers.

AttributeHOW2sExternal trainerConf­erenceIn‑house trainerBooks
Personalised to each teacher51242
Easy to learn and apply52222
Quick to deliver53311
Instant support for both online and classroom TLA during Covid-1951111
Minimal CPD research time54511
Constantly accessible 24/751114
Limited teacher disruption52124
Aids professional collaboration52222
Suitable for coaching, whole-staff training, twilight, self-study54342
Instant evidence for inspections51121
Consistency of training quality53343
Instant solutions post observation52242
Themes for learning walks52242
Share best practice across whole organisation52242
Provides a common language for all to use and understand52242
Easy to evidence impact52221
Solutions in one central area52222
Takes seconds to find solutions for learners’ barriers to progress52222
Transparency - easy to see who is regularly using the resource52222
Many educators supported by a few coaches52222
Provides a silver bullet without being driven22222
Away day buzz and a good lunch15522
Future content and feature updates included in subscription51131
Use at scale (across regions/countries)53324
Brings in new ideas relevant to individual teachers53242

Contact us if we’ve missed anything!

Addressing Senior Leaders’ Questions

In the buyers’ guide, we tackle the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) Senior Leaders have about subscribing to the HOW2s today.

We’ve grouped other FAQs into categories to help you find the information you are looking for.