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Micro Learning: How Social Media Has Changed the Education Game

I’ve been part of the social media movement since October 2007 starting with Twitter then moving to Facebook November 2008, next upping my game with Instagram where over a third of my posts are of my dogs, then onto small flashes with Four Square, Periscope, Pinterest and lastly SnapChat where I’m still trying to figure it out.

While some may think these social media sites are the best place to post cat memes (and they do), there is a host of great info out on these sites that serve up content in a way our brain best processes information.  It filters the stuff we like to see, stuff that other people are talking about, stuff we should know based on the interests we post or like, and for levity, a cat meme or two.  Sources vary among friends, news sources, political outlets, charity groups and more.

Like social media posts, training is best consumed in smaller amounts with a targeted outcome. There’s actually a name for it called “Micro Learning”. Micro learning delivers training in directive bursts or concepts to help shape the message to create a longer-term memory of the lesson. Often times Micro Learning segments are conducted using info graphs, Vine videos, YouTube and Tweets.

Early memories of Micro Learning started with Saturday morning cartoons with the “The More you Know” commercials.  The idea has evolved over time. We gave it a name and because of social media, it can live anywhere.

Why is Micro Learning effective? It focuses on exactly what you need to know at the time you need it. Heating up a microwave meal? The direction on the box tells you the cooking time, when to stir, and how long it needs to rest before you eat it.  The directions take seconds to read and comprehend and can easily be executed.  While you may not fully commit the details to memory, a quick skim of the information will freshen up your thoughts.Graphics_Independent2-06.png

How can I use Micro Learning in my business?  First of all, kudos for thinking this is a great addition to your learning portfolio. Micro Learning is not a replacement for initial training programs or the heavier lifting needed to learn new a skill, rather is leverages your primary training as a foundation.  Remember that microwave meal? The instructions don’t cover how to use the microwave, as there is a level of assumed knowledge. Micro Learning for companies is best established with an assumed baseline.

At ServiceMax we use Micro Learning for our new release training.  We start with the assumption you already know how to use ServiceMax so our focus on the new features skips over the basics and goes right into the heart of the new materials.

Providing a space for Micro Learning is a great way to get your teams to get involved in directing their own education because the topics are clear and the time commits are minimal.

Check out the Customer Education Community at ServiceMax to see our new release content and get some ideas for your business today.

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