What is Nano Learning
Arpana

Arpana

Nano Learning- What is it and will it work?

The EdTech industry is constantly evolving with new technologies and new concepts being introduced regularly to make the learning medium more effective. However, many are unable to keep pace with the latest development due to paucity of time, putting them in a catch-22 situation – where their careers may dwindle if they do not update and upskill themselves. On the other hand, their jobs will be jeopardized if they spend much time doing so.  

How to take care of the problem?

For those stuck in this situation, Nano Learning could be the answer to their problems. A brief message on the mobile phone can update you about the latest in your field and help you in keeping abreast of developments.

Technology churn has thrown up several new concepts, and nano learning is one of them. Nano learning makes learning faster, easier and quicker for professionals/students in various fields who are looking for constant updates but are unable to catch up with the latest development due to lack of time. 

Nano learning, in other words, is a tailor-made solution for 21st-century learners who cannot accommodate long hours of learning in their fast-paced lives.

What is the Meaning of Nano?

Look it up in a dictionary, you will find the meaning of nano interesting. Link it to the word learning and it would become easier to understand the concept of nano learning. 

In Cambridge Dictionary, Nano is defined as one-billionth of the stated unit and extremely small. The nano learning capsules are the billionth of the books/hours that you have to spend on your studies, training, etc. 

What is the Meaning of Nano Learning?

Nano Learning is also known as bite-sized learning. This is a continuous learning process where the learner acquires knowledge without investing long hours; nano learning offers shorter condensed learning capsules. For instance, a two-minute interaction with an expert will clear the web of doubts and enhance your knowledge quotient. Or short reading materials can help in understanding the logic behind a concept or a formula. 

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) has defined nano learning as a tutorial program designed to permit a participant to learn a given subject in a ten-minute time frame through the use of electronic media and without interaction with a real-time instructor. 

NASBA elucidates:

  • A nano learning program differs from a QAS Self Study program in that it is typically focused on a single learning objective and cannot be paper-based. 
  • Nano learning is not a group program. 
  • Nano learning is not a substitute for comprehensive programs addressing complex issues.

Usually, nano learning courses are anywhere between 2 to 10 minutes long.

Future of Nano Learning

There is no denying that technology has simplified life and made things easier for us, however, skeptics have always doubted technological developments. Testify it with the older generation; they will regale you with an interesting account of the skepticism of naysayers and how they doubted the longevity of the digital medium. 

They described it as a bubble that would soon burst, but on the contrary, digitization has become a reality.

The same goes for nano learning. A relatively new concept, it is spreading its wings. Text message courses are accessible, effective, and easy-to-build, and learners have already realized the benefits. Given the futuristic trends and the overwhelming response that it is receiving, experts say nano learning is here to stay. 

Ryan Laverty, co-founder of Arist, a text message learning platform pioneering employee training through SMS and WhatsApp, predicts a brighter future for nano learning and says that in the future learners will learn more from Snapchat than school, more from YouTube than libraries, and more from TikTok than the NY Times. 

Ryan says that learners will get their information from short sound bites, just long enough to hold the minute-long attention spans of a generation that never knew life without smartphones.

Nano learning is done in a few seconds or sound bites via platforms like Twitter, TikTok, or text messages.

Arist works with leading organizations to transform learning strategies using text message-based courses.

Elliott Masie, the chairman and CLO of The Masie Center’s Learning Consortium and CEO of The Masie Center, says nano learning can be implemented in various fields such as

  • Medical Nano-learning 
  • Leadership Nano-learning
  • Customer Nano-learning
  • Tourism Nano-learning 
  • Coaching Nano-learning

Structure of a Nano Learning Course 

The duration of Nano Learning courses are 5-30 days long and a 5-minute capsule would include:

  • Image/GIF
  • Concept/Case Study
  • Exercise/question
  • Response
  • Feedback

Looking at the popularity of nano learning, the future will see a fundamental restructuring of how we teach everything. Academic institutions will remain a place to build networks and subject expertise, but general knowledge will be handed over to systems by nano learning. This will make education more accessible than we ever thought possible.

This being said, nano learning may or may not work in all cases and could be more relevant and adaptive for adults rather than children. This is one of the most important reasons why most EdTech companies are yet to implement nano learning. 

Companies like Moonshot Junior, that prepare children for the future workforce, focus on giving its students foundational skills and product-based knowledge to make them specialists in future technologies which requires providing in-depth knowledge of the subject. Hence, nano learning probably could be used in some areas of learning and would be more suitable for adults.

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