In a world of increasingly jam-packed calendars, we’re constantly looking for ways to trim down excess time. From banking apps that save having to calculate your budgeting, to cramming your 5-a-day into one smoothie; we’ve become a generation of obsessive second-savers.
This fascination with time-saving has trickled down into the Learning and Development industry, and beyond.
When we need to master a skill, we tend to naturally opt for small and often. We instinctively know it’s the best way to learn.
Join us as we check out the most amazing examples of microlearning in action today (that is if you have a spare few minutes?)
Firstly, let’s give ourselves a quick reminder of what microlearning is…
Microlearning: The Ultimate Definition
Microlearning is an approach whereby content is condensed into shorter learning units for rapid consumption.
It’s kind of like a weekly sitcom. You dip your toe in for half an hour a week, learning more and more about the subjects as the weeks go by. Each episode reveals a bit about the characters.
This gives us more time to do the important things in life, such as binging the latest Netflix phenomenon or reading outstanding L&D blogs…
Now without further ado, here are the best examples of microlearning in action…
The Best Examples of Microlearning in Action
However much we’d love to, it would be rude if L&D were to keep microlearning their own little secret. Microlearning has escaped its cage and is impacting learning in other areas with its rapid approach to learning. From curricular subjects to sports, cooking and music, it seems that everyone has fallen in love with microlearning. Here are some examples of microlearning in action:
With Duolingo, you can learn over 85 different languages. Its popularity has seen over 300 million registered users worldwide.
Duolingo is a language learning app. It has different levels and categories such as: language basics, food, animals and phrases.
This form of microlearning cuts units down into short, daily tasks. Before you know it you’ll be ¡hablando español!
Are you a kitchen’s worst nightmare? Is boiling an egg a taxing task? Well, have no fear, Tastemade is here! Tatemade delivers you recipes in the form of 60-second videos . These quickfire micro-vids give you easy to follow instructions that cover every step. From the ingredients to the preparation, cooking times and serving suggestions; this app covers it all. Over time, your cooking knowledge will grow. And inch by inch, you’ll become a mini Gordon Ramsey! (Hopefully a more mild-mannered version).
Word-a-day apps exist for one thing: the aggrandizement of your phraseology. Word-a-day apps are the purest incarnation of microlearning, the process lasts for mere seconds a day. Truly expeditious!
A push notification gives you a new word such as ‘exculpation’ and then gives you the definition. (clearing from accusation, if you wanted to know!)
Headspace is an app that teaches you meditation techniques. It’s said that meditation is a practice just like any other skill. Because it involves people doing nothing, a lot of people overlook this.
It takes a lot of effort to think of nothing! This is why meditation is the perfect example of a skill you can improve through the little-and-often approach of microlearning. Every time you log on and spend time meditating, you’re strengthening your ability to instil a bit of stillness in your mind. After a while meditation will become second nature.
Newsletters are often overlooked but are a prime example of microlearning in the wild. They’re usually sent on a weekly or monthly basis. In a corporate environment, they inform customers of updates within the company. The Skimm is one of the most popular newsletters. It’s sent out Monday-Friday and highlights the top news stories of that day.
It currently has around seven million subscribers and esteemed advocates such as Oprah Winfrey and Trevor Noah have given it much public praise. If you scroll up to the top of this blog, you’ll be able to sign up to our very own newsletter!
TED is a really effective way to feed your curiosity and expand your mind. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The most popular video is ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ by Sir Ken Robinson. This video currently has almost 60 million views!
With the TED Talks app, learners can download talks on a huge variety of inspiring subjects such as activism, dance, happiness, economics, family, gaming, gender equality and sooooooooooooo much more! Don’t know where to start with Ted? Here are ten of our favourites!
Brain training is a massive industry and it’s showing no signs of stopping. Forecasting suggests that by 2020, people will spend between 4-10 billion pounds on brain training products.
Apps such as Lumosity claim that by spending a few minutes a day on their brain games, you’ll sharpen your memory, attention and problem-solving skills. Proof that microlearning can make you a superhuman!
No more questionable guitar teachers with bad hygiene habits! Wahey! Chordbuddy helps to teach the guitar by the use of a device that you attach to the neck. The device colour codes all the notes that have to be played to make the chord. It only takes a few micro-lessons for the player to be able to take off the device and play the chord from memory. This is microlearning at its finest!
If you struggle to recall those hazy days of your school science lessons, then Minute Physics is great for when you want to appear intelligent at parties. In bite-sized videos lasting (yep, you guessed it) a minute each, you’ll cover everything from the ups and downs of gravity, to the solar system, and no doubt a bit of thermodynamics too.
Microlearning is something we all do, as we all like to save time where possible. L&D are now catching up to the power of learning in small bites. It’s quick and easy to produce. It frees up time for admins and learners alike. It costs less to create and it offers better learner retention than traditional learning content.
Whether it’s a PDF, an explainer video or a Battle; microlearning has the power to appeal to different types of learners.
What is the most effective way to deliver your microunits? Mobiles are the ideal tool to distribute microlearning as your learners can then learn at a time convenient to them. They’re basically an extension of ourselves anyway!