what is microlearning

What Is Microlearning for Educators in K-12? — A Complete Guide

The average American spends just over seven hours staring at a screen on any given day, which reflects how much our society has changed in the past few decades. Even with all these changes, though, some things have stayed more or less the same, including how many school districts approach professional development. As administrators look for ways to keep educators engaged in continuing education, one innovative solution is gaining steam: microlearning.

Teachers can complete microlearning courses from the screen of their choice, whether it be a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Microlearning puts educators in the driver's seat, giving them control of when, where, and how they learn, thus breaking down complex topics into digestible, bite-sized pieces and making learning more engaging and manageable. As the needs of educators continue to evolve, microlearning offers a flexible and effective solution to meet these changing demands.

Understanding Microlearning

Brief, focused, and engaging are the first words that come to mind when posing the question: what is microlearning? While traditional professional development courses can take an hour or more to complete, educators can complete a microlearning module in as little as two or three minutes, making it easy for them to fit learning into their busy schedules.

Given its brevity, microlearning may appear to be a less effective learning method than some other approaches to education, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Microlearning is based on brain science and is designed to deliver content to learners in short, concentrated bursts, making it easier for them to absorb and retain what they've studied.

For educators, microlearning gives them the flexibility of learning at their own pace and the autonomy to decide which topics to focus on, enabling them to tailor professional development to their individual needs and interests while quickly and effectively enhancing their skills and knowledge.

The Shift in Professional Development for Educators

Professional development was once characterized by lengthy, infrequent, in-person classes and workshops that covered a large amount of information in a generalized way. School districts spent a great deal of money on this training, as much as $18,000 per teacher per year! The only problem was that this investment often didn't deliver the results that schools were expecting. The one-size-fits-all model used in professional development has several limitations, including a lack of ongoing support and a failure to address the unique needs and learning styles of individual teachers.

The question, "What is microlearning?" wasn't posited because few knew that it existed. The good news is that there's been a paradigm shift in recent years, with school districts recognizing the need for a more personalized, engaging, and practical approach to professional development in the K-12 sector.

There's no disputing the fact that educators prefer asynchronous microlearning over traditional methods. Learning hubs like MobileMind have made it possible for school districts to bring this style to their professional development programs.

Learning hubs enable school districts to create micro-courses that educators can complete in short bursts on their mobile devices whenever they have time. Consolidating professional development in this way makes it easier for them to access and complete these activities, resulting in a more cohesive and comprehensive learning experience.

Integrating Microlearning into School Districts

Learning hubs are among the easiest ways for school districts to incorporate microlearning into their professional development programs. These digital hubs leverage technology to facilitate the delivery of concise, focused content that teachers can access 24/7, enabling them to balance continuing education with their busy schedules. When designing a microlearning program, school districts should pay special attention to the skills that educators should develop and offer a range of topics tailored to these needs.

Approaching the integration of microlearning in this way improves the accessibility of professional development and allows for the scaling of these initiatives across the district. By doing so, educators at all levels can benefit from personalized, efficient learning experiences that align with their individual goals and the broader objectives of the district.

Microlearning in Practice: Enhancing Teacher Development

One of the biggest arguments in favor of school districts incorporating microlearning into their professional development plans is that it can redefine teacher development by changing how teachers improve their pedagogical skills, integrate technology, and keep up to date with curriculum changes.

Its flexibility is a key reason behind its effectiveness, as it enables teachers to take part in learning on their own terms and solve many of the problems that may have led them to hate professional development and disengage in the past. The beauty of microlearning lies in its ability to meet educators' varied learning needs and experience levels, personalizing the learning experience and enabling educators to take the reins of the professional growth journey.

Measuring the Success of Microlearning

School districts can use various methods to evaluate the successes and effectiveness of their microlearning programs. Chief among them is tracking educators' progress and outcomes through a centralized hub. This approach gives school districts a comprehensive view of an educator's learning journey, allowing them to understand the impact of microlearning on teacher development and identify areas for improvement.

Data-driven insights are critical to this process when using a learning hub for microlearning. School districts can analyze engagement, completion rates, and the application of learned skills to gain insights into how effective their microlearning modules are and make adjustments as needed. The goal should always be to focus on measurable outcomes and leveraging data to refine professional development programs to best meet the needs of educators.

There is no other modern professional development solution consolidating all training efforts while providing a learning hub that streamlines and integrates remote and in-person professional learning for schools. Are you ready to level up your district's professional learning with MobileMind? Schedule a professional learning consultation here.