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Short-form Media Is Changing How we Learn from "Just-in-Case" to "Just-In-Time"

How we Create, Learn, Research & Revise has changed. Which Medium Suits Your Learning Styles? AI, Blogs, Notes, Podcasts, Videos, Books, Summaries, Card-Decks, Index-Cards
Short-form Media Is Changing How we Learn from "Just-in-Case" to "Just-In-Time"

AI, Blogs, Notes, Podcasts, Videos, Books, Book Summaries, Card-Decks, Index-Cards

Our toolkit of options has grown rapidly in recent times! And is still evolving.

How do we Create, Learn, Research & Revise?

We used to learn "just in case". This was the classic university model. Learn for to learn and learn all you need in preparation for the workplace.

Today's it's much more of "just in time" learning model.

Learn what you need, just when you need it. Learn in the medium to suit your learning style.

Everyone has unique opinions on how to gather knowledge. And let's face it, we've both sides have changed.

  • How we research & create.
  • How we learn & revise.

There's many factors at play:

  • Smartphones and Mobile usage changed things.
  • AI is actively changing things week by week right now.
  • Social Media changed things.
  • Short-form media changed things.

We all create, learn, search and remind ourselves in different ways, to different levels, based on the topic and the need of the day.

So much has changed. We are all still experimenting. Some consciously. Some randomly. This is a lot to absorb. You can use the old ways and be blind to advance, but the savvy modern use is not doing that.

They are learning and experimenting daily.

Changes in Search Behavior & Search Tools

Some of us have moved from Google to Instagram to Tiktok as alternative forms of search emerge. Generationally things vary a lot.

Googling is not what it was. It's no longer the defacto standard it used to be.

AI is changing search. You can get a intelligent answer to a question without scrolling and researching. We will likely lose the skill to research when it's so easy to get a result. The question is do your trust the results. Is one answer enough? We have come to trust google maps rather than read a map. Nobody owns maps any more.

Research will likely follow this trend. We will become more reliant on AI as a search technology.

From "Just in Case" to "Just In Time" Learning

We are moving to more of a just in time learning model. We find what we need when we need it because we can. Knowledge is changing so fast, hence it's as valuable as it was to learn just in case.

Learning what you need when you need it saves your from learning stuff that is outdated.

We each learn differently and each have different biases. Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learning are valid personal needs.

Learning Preferences

I'm evolving my preferences. How about you?

I used to prefer books over podcasts or blog posts. I used to prefer books are the distillation of a series of good blog posts.

  • Podcasts are often conversational, so offer another method of consuming and distilling information.
  • Blogposts are often ideas in progress. They are taking shape. this post is a good example. There's some interesting ideas emerging here, but it's not fully thought through. the act of writing leads to more clarity over time.

I viewed listening a book as more time efficient. The content is more consciously edited. It's more mature and polished than a blog post.

Recently book summaries have emerged as a category. Personally I'm not a fan. I love to hear the words directly from the author, not paraphrased, summarized and abstracted. That's just me. I have many friends that love these services.

I find it easier to connect ideas when I read more of the thinking from the author. The context brings me value to help me form my own ideas, but that's just me.

That said I view most books are too long. Too many words. This logic applies to business books or personal growth books. Anything educational.

Decks A books, decks as courses (aka learning decks ) are emerging as a trend.

Books distilled into the non-linear , action orientated format of a deck.

Books as decks and Book summaries offer new tools in our learning toolkit. They add to the proven value of flashcards.

Creator vs Consumer

I'm. wondering how he process varies if you create vs consume. I'm not sure it does. Creators just add to the story based on what they have consumed. Ideas build on ideas.

  • to create
  • to recall what we know
  • to research
  • to learn

AI, Smartphones & Short-form Media have changed everything

Here's some quick thoughts on the possible benefits & drawback of each of the different learning mediums:


  • Benefits:
    • Timely: Often address current trends and news.
    • Concise: Bite-sized information, good for busy schedules.
    • Interactive: Can include comments and discussions for deeper engagement.
    • Free or low-cost: Many blogs are free or have a low subscription fee.
  • Drawbacks:
    • Variable quality: Information accuracy can vary depending on the author.
    • Limited depth: May not offer in-depth explanations on complex topics.


  • Benefits:
    • Convenient: Listen while commuting, exercising, or doing chores.
    • Engaging: Hosts and interviews can make learning interesting.
    • Variety of styles: Informative discussions, interviews with experts, storytelling.
  • Drawbacks:
    • Passive learning: Information retention may be lower compared to active reading.
    • Limited searchability: Can be difficult to find specific information.
    • Time commitment: Can be time-consuming for longer topics.

Books & Ebooks/Workbooks:

  • Benefits:
    • Comprehensive: Offer in-depth explanations, structured learning paths.
    • Credibility: Typically written by established authors or go through rigorous editing.
    • Offline access: Read anywhere without an internet connection (except for ebooks).
    • Workbooks offer practice: Can include exercises and activities for skill development.
  • Drawbacks:
    • Cost: Can be expensive, especially for textbooks.
    • Time commitment: Reading a book takes dedicated time.
    • Ebooks may require a device: Need a dedicated device or app for reading.

Card Decks:

  • Benefits:
    • Portable: Easy to carry and use anywhere, especially digitally
    • Active learning: Flashcards and quizzes encourage recall and engagement. They can package up and repurpose other prior media (eg Audio, Videos & Visuals)
    • Focus on key information: Condense complex topics into bite-sized pieces. They are a form a short-form media
  • Drawbacks:
    • Limited scope: Not suitable for in-depth learning.
    • Passive memorization: May not promote deeper understanding.

The best medium depends on your learning style and goals.

  • For quick updates and diverse perspectives, try blogs.
  • For on-the-go learning and engaging content, choose podcasts.
  • For in-depth knowledge and trusted information, opt for books or ebooks.
  • For focused practice and active recall, use card decks.

Consider combining these formats for a well-rounded learning experience.

My overall thinking on this is digital card deck are transformative because the flex and blur the boundaries of traditional card decks.

In reality they create a super form of media. One that encapsulates other media. they are a wrapper. A container for other richer experiences.

For me that is the opportunity.