Information overload is the reality of the day. I don’t need to throw out any fancy statistics like: “more information is being created in 2014 than has been created in all the years since the ancient Egyptians up until 2008 COMBINED” for anyone to understand the situation.
I contend that this is changing the world in more ways than we currently realize but I won’t digress into a monologue on societal change in this blog. What I will say is that learning on demand is fast becoming a critical skill for survival in the digital age. Not only is the rate of information creation and innovation moving exponentially off the charts, but also the skills needed to perform in this digital economy are changing by the month.
The Age of Just In Time Learning
We are learning everyday, whether we plan on it or not. It just happens. According to the NYT we are exposed to over 100,000 words per day. The question is… do we do learn deliberately, with a proven process or do we just haphazardly jump in and hope for the best? How we approach the learning process determines whether we remember or forget what we’ve learned. Just ask our old friend, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, whom in the late 1800’s pioneered memory research and established that if we don’t follow learning and memory practices, 80% of what we learn is forgotten within 24 hours. That’s pretty crazy! 80% of the time and energy we spend on learning a new subject is completely wasted if we don’t actively review and continually engage the material we’re learning. Well, that’s exactly what JIT learning is all about. Just In Time Learning is about turning learning into practice in the shortest time possible; forcing the brain to work overtime by deepening its associations and connection to the learning material.