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Today, lifelong learning is becoming a major topic and many are trying to increase their learning time. The way you are learning is becoming therefore always more relevant. This explains the new popularity of microlearning.
Microlearning, also sometimes called bite-sized learning, deals with short learning sessions and small learning activities. Instead of spending two hours on a subject, you are going to divide the work on small work sessions of a few minutes each. This can be watching a short video, reading an infographic, doing a small exercise online, or receiving a daily small lesson per email.
What are the advantages of microlearning?
Microlearning is perfect for people who do not have much time. If you have small children at home, you will have difficulties to find two hours to learn something new. In comparison, finding chunks of five minutes through the day is much easier.
Another advantage of microlearning is that it is adapted to the constraints of the human brain regarding its attention span. Your brain can better retain information when engaged in short, interactive lessons that in a hour-long learning session.
Moreover, when you want to solve a problem, micro-learning can be a good solution. Indeed, microlearning enables you to consult rapidly a lesson and find out the piece of knowledge you needed.
The diversity of the microlearning resources is also an advantage for the learner. You can indeed find easily a support that you feel confident with. Some people learn better watching a video, others learn better reading a text or doing an online exercise.
What are the limits of micro-learning?
The risk is that you do not use any other learning method because microlearning is so convenient. For some complex topics is microlearning not sufficient. If you want to learn about nuclear physic for instance, microlearning is not the best choice. Indeed, this is a subject that requires time and concentration.
Whereas you gain a lot of knowledge about different subjects, you may also fail to see the general pictures behind. This is indeed something I find difficult to reach. As I began learning to code, for instance, I could rapidly learn the basis of Python. However, I cannot say that I have a great understanding of the language yet. This is something that comes with experience.
Free online microlearning resources
BBC languages offers diverse resources for around 40 languages. For the most widespread languages such as Spanish or French, you can access videos, tests, learning games, exercises or vocabulary lists.
If you have an account to Canva, they propose you small design courses to learn to use the Canva tool and learn about design. The courses are short and composed of small exercises.
Codecademy proposes basis free courses for several programming languages. A course is divided in several units that are divided themselves in several short small exercises. Each exercise takes you only a few minutes and enables you to discover a new aspect of the language. You can have access to more resources if you choose to pay for the courses.
Duolingo enables you to learn a language of your choice through many small translation exercises. Exercises are grouped in categories. This is great to improve your vocabulary. For some languages, Duolingo introduced „Duolingo stories“ which enables you to work on a real story and not only on random sentences.
This is a very good website to learn about art history and explore the collections of all the most famous museums of the world.
Google digital garage offers short videos followed by small exercises for subjects such as „Take a business online“ or „Track and measure web traffic“. Each course id divided into a few units, themselves divided into short lessons. You can even receive a certification at the end of a course.
The website is specialized in mathematics but other subjects are also available. There are short videos (3 to 12 minutes) and some exercise to enable you to practice
LizardPint offers free geography quizzes, which is a fast, funny way to learn geography.
Pinterest is not exactly a microlearning resource but it is great to find infographics about all kinds of subjects.