There are two main types of learning that take place in our lives today. There’s the just in time learning, in which a need arises and, knowing you don’t understand the problem or how to fix it, you go and research it. You learn the right thing right when you need it. Oftentimes this learning involves a library, a class, or the internet. Sometimes, it’s simply a conversation with another person. What do you know? Can you teach me how to do this? Just in time learning uses many forms, but it always involves solving a problem that has come to one’s attention.
The second type of learning pre-dates the problem. Just in case learning happens when we obtain certain collections of specific knowledge and abilities that we assume will be useful at some point to our community, society, or organization. Prime examples of just in case learning are elementary and high-school educations. Children are trained in basic knowledge that we assume they’ll need later on in life. We give them this learning just in case. Likely, they’ll need it at some point in their lives. Organizations also do this through pre-field training or onboarding. We’re pretty sure you’ll need it, so just in case we’ll provide it.
While both of these learning styles are valuable, our world is shifting quickly. Just in time learning has become easier to access with the rise of the internet and online libraries, not to mention online courses made available to the public. We can easily-and quickly-communicate with our personal network using phones or social media. It’s a simple matter to find people who are interested in the exact same things as us. We can text a colleague with a question in 10 seconds, get a response in a minute or two, and have not even interrupted their lives! We are connected to each other in ways we never could be before. Many organizations are realizing the usefulness of this connectivity. They’re learning to make just in time learning opportunities more available to their employees. Mission organizations aren’t far behind. At Grow2Serve, one of the ways we do this is by assembling a knowledge bank of information that is both relevant and easy to find. We want to make this knowledge easily accessible for missionaries all over the world, fueling just in time learning so that we can be there when you need us.