I love on-the-go learning.
That’s the primary way I learn most things these days.
What is on-the-go learning?
It’s learning that happens when you use podcasts (and even audiobooks) to further your education.
You don’t receive college credit for it unless you have a forward-thinking professor. This kind of learning is what you do on your own.
Want to learn more?
Lifelong learning for busy people
On-the-go learning is something you can do while doing other things.
Got a commute? Redeem the time spent in slow traffic listening to a podcast about something you want to learn more about.
Doing dishes? Sweeping floors? Learn while you clean.
Got groceries to buy? Listen and learn while you shop.
Need to walk for your health? Improve mental health too while you get your 10,000 steps.
Of course, walking the dog is a great time to learn on the go.
Lifelong learning at its best
You’re not tied to a screen. You don’t have to tune in live to catch the documentary. You don’t have to drive to a building at a particular time. It doesn’t happen inside a classroom.
Different kinds of learning
On-the-go learning is not the same as classroom education, online courses, or even audiobooks.
Going to class is what most of us think about when we think about learning.
A teacher provides knowledge of facts, explains concepts, and leads people in the room toward learning through lecture, discussion, and projects. Classroom education is a traditional way to learn if it’s taught effectively.
Taking a class online is a convenient way for busy people to earn a degree or learn about a subject. Innovations in technology and technique continue to improve this kind of learning.
On-the-go learning is different. A forward-thinking professor could make on-the-go learning a component of an online course, but the two educational concepts are different.
I did say that audiobooks could be considered on-the-go learning. However, one limitation of “books on tape” is that what you hear with your ear was meant to be read by your eye.
Books are not typically written to be heard. There is a difference. Writing for the ear is a different skill than writing for the page.
When a book is read verbatim by a voiceover artist, you better hope you have a great voiceover artist who can bring those printed words to life in a way that clearly communicates to a listener.
Podcasts are the best at on-the-go learning.
No need to rush to a classroom at a particular time in a particular place.
No need to stare at a screen reading text or watching videos in an online course.
No worries about listening to someone read a book since podcasters talk directly to you—or write for the ear.
On-the-go learning for any subject
I believe every topic that can be taught in class or online can be converted to on-the-go learning.
I challenge you to find a subject that cannot be taught with on-the-go learning.
What you will discover as you explore this concept is that some parts of what is taught in the class by lecture, projects, and discussion are easily converted to on-the-go learning.
Think about the classes you’ve taken in high school or in higher education.
How many were lectures?
Right there, you have something that could be turned into on-the-go learning. And it could be made better by converting it. Here’s why.
Teachers can focus on just teaching one person—you.
They can talk to you as if you’re the only person in the classroom. They could speak in a style similar to a conversation you might have if you met in a library or coffee shop. That one-to-one speaking style is important for effective on-the-go learning.
As teachers speak in this one-to-one style, they can think about the problem areas you might be dealing with in understanding the topic.
They can go deeper in some areas, taking the time to fully explain it.
And by doing it this way, on-the-go learning can “flip the classroom.”
If teaching is done like this for people who learn on the go, the classroom can be used more effectively to focus on discussion and answer more questions about the subject.
Mobile learning for mobile people
Technology has changed culture—especially the smartphone.
And now there are smart watches.
What will we have in 5 years? In 10?
No matter the tech, it will be mobile. People will have it on them or in them everywhere they go.
It’s time to begin making the move toward on-the-go learning. Start with podcasting. Convert your current methods of teaching to mobile-friendly versions. Help them and let them learn on the go.