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Nano learning, a wave in the future of education

We live in a world of immediacy. Technology and interconnectedness have revolutionised the way we communicate, access and fulfil our needs. The advent of smartphones, social media and more has created a culture of instant gratification, where we expect quick responses, immediate results and instant access to products and services. Our approach towards the concept of time has transformed a lot. communication which usually took days or weeks can now happen in real-time through emails or instant messaging. This culture of immediacy has even affected our personal lives, by permeating in various industries, including entertainment, transportation and customer service. Now, if we want entertainment, we turn on the TV and start streaming a movie. If we want a cab, we can book it from our own spaces rather than going out on streets to hail one. Even when it comes to learning something quickly, we now have nano learning.

Micro sessions, micro lessons or nano learning, are short two to ten-minute, multi-media-rich tutorials. It is a term used to describe a method of delivering educational content in tiny, bite-sized chunks. These chunks are typically delivered in the form of short videos or other multimedia content to be consumed in a matter of minutes or seconds. When it comes to nano learning, one can access these lessons anywhere via Wi-Fi or data service, that too at any time, since they are primarily designed to be mobile-friendly. Nano learning is such revolutionised educational concept which does not require the active participation of an educator to teach students.

Nano lessons are usually delivered through text messages or online platforms like YouTube, twitter or even TikTok. Each lesson focuses on learning just one specific thing. These micro sessions may or may not be linked to more in-depth information, leading to longer learning sessions if the student desires. Even educators can use them as stand-alone lessons or as supplemental material to help students with location-based comprehensive learning at schools and even universities.

When it comes to catering to the needs of learners, one may often confuse between nano learning and micro learning. While both are similar concepts and are even used interchangeably, the main difference lies in the depth and scope of the learning content.

Nano Learning: Nano learning refers to extremely short learning units or nuggets of information that are concise and focused on a specific topic or skill. Nano learning modules typically consist of small, self-contained units that can be consumed in a matter of minutes. They aim to deliver precise, targeted knowledge or a quick learning experience. Nano learning is often used as a supplement to larger learning initiatives or as a means to quickly acquire specific information on-the-go. Examples of nano learning include short videos, infographics, or flashcards.

Micro Learning: Micro learning, on the other hand, involves the delivery of small, self-contained learning activities that are designed to meet specific learning objectives. These activities are more comprehensive than nano learning, encompassing a broader range of content or skills. Micro learning modules are typically brief, focused, and designed to engage learners through interactive elements such as quizzes, simulations, or scenario-based exercises. They are meant to be completed in a relatively short amount of time, typically ranging from a few minutes to 15-20 minutes.

To sum up, we can state that nano learning is extremely concise, providing quick bursts of information, while micro learning offers a more comprehensive learning experience with a condensed timeframe. Also, nano learning is ideal for providing just-in-time information or addressing specific knowledge gaps, while micro learning allows for deeper understanding and skill development in a shorter time span. While both strategies are effective, the choice depends on the learning goals, complexity of the subject matter and time available for the learning activity.

Believe it or not, nano learning is here to stay in 2023 and beyond. Implementing it in educational institutions is a clear indication that we will require to retrain teachers and educators to be tech-savvy. Since these lessons would be in chunks, it also means that each teacher would be required to cover more lessons a day as compared to what they did previously. However, it is important to note that in no way, nano learning will replace traditional learning methods. One can consider nano learning as a supplement. Finally, we can consider a few more reasons why nano learning will become a prominent learning methodology, for students in the coming future.

  1. nano learning allows learners to focus on one concept at a time, which can help them retain the information more clearly. The same can also increase user engagement.

  2. We can deliver nano learning through various formats, such as videos, podcasts, blogs etc. Such flexibility will make it accessible to learners of different learning styles.

  3. Nano learning provides to convenience of accessing it anytime, anywhere, allowing learners to approach it as per their convenience.

  4. Nano learning can be delivered at a lower cost than traditional forms of education.

  5. Creators of such content can even make it more interactive and engaging by incorporating elements of gaming.


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