bite-size learning

5 Reasons Bite-Size Learning Is Effective for Teachers

Advances in mobile technology have put the internet in our pockets. We currently live in what has been dubbed the “age of hyperconnectivity.” The 24/7 access to global information and communication has changed our lives in many positive ways, but there is a downside. Research on how this revolution affects our brains suggests that attention spans are shrinking. Continuous notifications, hyperlinks that send us jumping from one website to another, and multitasking with several open tabs have apparently rewired our brains and affected our ability to sustain focus. Engaging with long texts and lectures has become more difficult in the age of push notifications, text messages, and limited-character social media posts.

Even before the digital age, research on how adults learn finds that mature learners are better able to encode and retrieve information in short, targeted lessons. Referred to as micro-learning, these bite-sized lessons are narrow in focus, enabling learners to process new information more easily.

So, what does all this mean for your district’s professional development (PD) programs?

Traditionally, the main component of a PD program is in-service days held two or three times a year. Educators and staff participate in full-day sessions of lecture-style presentations. However, this is not the most effective way for teachers to upgrade their skills or acquire the knowledge that they need for their professional growth. While in-service days may provide interesting and necessary information, learners can only absorb a fraction of what is presented. Once back in their classrooms, educators often end up filing away handouts and notes for when they have more time to figure out how to incorporate new learning into their practice.

A better approach is to offer bite-size learning opportunities throughout the year. With this format, learning is incremental and continuous. Teachers can engage in relevant learning activities without leaving the classroom and then immediately apply what they have learned to strengthen their new skills.

5 Reasons That Bite-Size Learning Is More Effective

1. Short, targeted lessons break down complex concepts and tasks into manageable units.

The human mind can only process and store so much information at one time. A learner’s ability to pay attention begins to fade after fifteen to twenty minutes. Short lessons that focus on a single skill or concept are easy to digest. They do not tax the learner’s working memory, enabling them to understand and process new ideas. Once the learner has mastered a skill or idea, they can advance into deeper learning. This step-by-step approach with quick feedback ensures that learners understand the materials before moving on.

2. Learners can better retain information presented in small “chunks” over time.

To commit new learning to long-term memory, the brain needs processing time. Skills and concepts taught in rapid succession, with small chunks of information stacked one upon the other, give the learner no time to replay individual processes to make them part of their overall body of knowledge.

A National Institute of Health study found that breaks in learning, referred to as “wakeful rests,” enable the learner to mentally practice new ideas, replay processes, and gain speed with each repetition to build a better foundation for new learning. The study’s authors stated, “Our results support the idea that wakeful rest plays just as important a role as practice in learning a new skill. It appears to be the period when our brains compress and consolidate memories of what we just practiced.”

3. Bite-size lessons fit into busy schedules.

While long-form content offers deep knowledge of a subject, it requires a significant time investment—hours, weeks, months, and even years. Learners are more likely to engage when they can complete a lesson during a few spare moments in their day rather than having to commit a large block of time to their learning. Additionally, the rapidly changing classroom environment requires that teachers have access to timely information to ensure that their skills are current with new technology and advances in the education field. Time dedicated to lengthy coursework may be wasted as information quickly becomes outdated.

4. Learners can select educational opportunities relevant to their needs.

Long forms of instruction often include materials that the learner already knows or information that is irrelevant to their needs. Short lessons that have specific learning objectives enable learners to personalize their professional growth by selecting opportunities that fill in gaps in their knowledge and are relevant to their positions, career stages, and professional goals.

5. Learners can immediately apply new knowledge.

After completing a bite-size learning module, a learner may quickly apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations. This makes learning practical rather than theoretical and is an effective way to solidify new skills and understand how new learning fits into the big picture.

MobileMind Makes It Easy for Districts to Offer Bite-Size Learning Opportunities

MobileMind is a modern, cloud-based learning hub that consolidates all in-person and virtual PD activities in one space. Program developers can create short lessons and learning paths that target discrete skills with interactive learning. Rather than sitting through hours-long presentations, teachers and school staff can master skills incrementally with short bursts of learning that are easier to retain.

MobileMind is accessible through browser extensions and a mobile app, so educators can access lessons when and where it is convenient for them. A few minutes of spare time becomes an opportunity to engage in professional learning, and this availability of PD means teachers do not have to leave their classrooms to pursue new skills and knowledge.

This type of learning can also be personalized. Districts can offer a broad range of learning opportunities to meet the unique needs of individuals and groups within the district’s faculty. The interactive nature of MobileMind’s lessons means educators will learn while creating usable materials for their classrooms, and they will be using the district’s technology tools to further strengthen their technology skills.


Bite-size learning opportunities are an essential component of modern PD and a practical way to address the challenges that teachers face trying to keep their skills updated. MobileMind streamlines the process by enabling districts to offer this type of learning as part of their overall PD strategy.

While whole-group sessions are still appropriate for specific learning needs and districts can continue to schedule in-service days, MobileMind makes it possible to coordinate all PD learning in the learning hub. School leaders can track the progress that individuals are making toward meeting their PD goals.

Most professional development programs only specialize in one thing. MobileMind offers personalized, activity-based learning with reporting and tracking. Fun digital badges upon courses completed give teachers immediate takeaways to use in the classroom. Schedule a call with MobileMind or request a demo to differentiate the PD that your teachers want and need.