Updated: Feb 18
We love to learn. We're curious, we enjoy learning new things. We also need to learn new things to stay relevant in today's and tomorrow's workforce.
Ironically, even though knowledge is more available today than ever before, we're still far from tapping the learning potential.
Coursera launched in 2012 with the promise of making knowledge accessible to everyone, yet still has less than 1% of the Earth's population as active learners. 8 years later.
The answer is friction. Watching videos is a high friction activity. Think about it. You have to dedicate time to sit in front of your computer. That's time you could be working, spending with your family, or just watching Netflix at the end of a long day. No one wants to dedicate that time to learning - i.e friction.
What is the time we do have? When we're "on the go": commuting, at the gym, washing dishes or at the grocery store. This is time our hands might be full, but our ears and minds are free. This is the power of audio. Audio fits into our daily routine when it's convenient for us.
But how can audio learning work?
Before diving into this, just remember a small piece of information. For centuries, humans relied on the power of the spoken word for learning. Most corpus' of knowledge were oral: the Iliad and the Odyssey, the oral Torah, The Quran etc. Humans are primed to remember stories.
But there's so much more that we can insert into an audio learning experience. by leveraging a mobile "on the go" format that's built around what cognitive science tells us about how we're supposed to be learning, we can even enhance learning vs regular format.
This starts with proper structuring of information and building in elements of spaced repetition, but doesn't stop there. Spacial and audio cues can help. Repetition in key lessons can improve our learning. AI and personalization can improve this even more: imagine a "make your own adventure" lesson: struggling with a concept? No worries- we can repeat again during your morning commute tomorrow. On a training run? Great, we'll have low focus material today.
It's an open horizon of learning, and it's time for audio, the format that fits our lifestyle, to lend a hand!