HOW2s are aeroplane safety cards for teachers. The difference is that HOW2s depict evidence-informed teaching techniques for online and face-to-face teaching. They live on a web-app that has features to enable peer-to-peer educator learning across campuses, groups of colleges, countries even. (Once we’ve looked at the next few points I’ll to go to the web-app to show a few HOW2s and the Skills Exchange)
So a HOW2 is a step-by-step visual explanation of a teaching technique. We use a combination of still visuals and words to accurately convey precisely what a teaching technique IS.
Using visual explanations in this way makes the learning process for a teacher quicker and easier and accelerates the transfer of new teaching methods to the workplace. You can read more about how cognitive load theory has informed our work here
Please take a minute to consider how many words we would need to use to convey what has been communicated instantly by using a combination of still images and words. There is a reason why aeroplane safety cards look the way they do. The airlines want their customers to get the point quickly, easily and accurately. We want our help our customers in the same way.
Here’s a the original concept video we created back in 2009
Focussing on making improvements in HOW to improve learning through better teaching
As the name ‘HOW2’ suggests the focus is not on what is being taught, rather it is on supporting teachers with HOW to teach the content.
It may be useful to distinguish the difference between a teaching strategy and a teaching technique. A strategy is a conceptual idea. A technique is a concrete example of the concept.
For example, Questioning is a strategy.
Think-Pair-Share, Co-operative Answers and Discursive Questioning are examples of techniques that belong to this strategy. HOW2s depict specific techniques.