What is Microlearning?
Microlearning is one of the latest buzzwords in education. When implemented correctly it can be used to help students become more engaged in their learning. By understanding the basics microlearning is and how to incorporate it into a classroom, you can better help those clients who are still on the fence regarding this topic.
What it is
Microlearning helps to divide up concepts into smaller chunks or skills. It became increasingly popular during covid because educational concepts could be taught using short tutorials. It also supports students because they can go back and review a section if mastery isn’t achieved. This helps improve students’ confidence in content areas. Basic and advanced skills can be taught in smaller amounts and students can progress at their own pace. Microlearning spans all content areas. The sky’s the limit on what students can learn!
Why should you use it
Microlearning is differentiated instruction at its finest. It allows students to learn at their own pace. By achieving milestones along the way, students learn to be independent and develop valuable skills. Depending on the program, students can earn badges towards their larger learning goals. This not only builds their confidence, but educators can identify gaps in their understanding and target those as well.
How to implement
There are many programs available online. Prior to online learning, teachers have always used small group instruction or had students rotate through stations to differentiate lessons for students. At an elementary level, utilizing this time is one way many educators meet the needs of all their learners.
Students can log on to their account to continue learning throughout the school day. Students that are absent won’t miss learning opportunities and this can be a timesaver for teachers. Many programs allow access outside of the digital “fence”. Microlearning takes learning to the next level.
Types of programs
Products such as online coding programs have helped my students advance their technology skills. Essentially all of my students will have a basic understanding of coding. Throughout the “course” coding skills developed over time to help them create an end product. For some students that are ready, they keep going. The coding programs I use gamify my students’ learning. It not only helps me meet the content standards, it increases student engagement. There are other programs available across content areas to help increase knowledge base and then the program adapts to meet the diverse needs of the students.
Other things to consider
It is possible for teachers to make their own microlearning through slides, videos, and online games. Typically this is done by importing them into a learning management system. By providing products that can be easily and ready to import is a time saver! Trial and free portions of programs also help users to become familiar with a program and to determine that it meets the needs of the school. If you provide a microlearning program, teachers need to have training that includes ways to monitor progress including your reporting system. Additionally, by helping educators understand basic and complex functions within your program will save time. Reports can help identify learning deficits and educators can address those rather than spending time troubleshooting.
Student engagement will always be a vital part of the learning process and not just another buzzword. By utilizing microlearning in a classroom, students have access to on demand targeted instruction. With more opportunities than ever online, students can continue to learn beyond the walls of their classroom.
Written by: Teresa Marchant
School Librarian at LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT 26
Teresa has been an educator for over 25 years. She holds a Master’s in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Online Instruction from Montana State University as well as a certificate in School Library Media from the University of Washington. Over the years she has served in many capacities at the state and local level. Highlights include being the Vice Chair of the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council to the Montana Board of Public Education, a member of the School Leadership Team and Chair of the Professional Development Committee for her school district, and a member of the Montana Library Association board. She loves learning and enjoys helping others!
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