Education and Career Accessibility – A Blend of Technology and Thoughtful Support
Technology is not about replacing the human experience. It is about making the human experience more accessible to all.
This is particularly true within the educational space and for learners who opt for a non-traditional path. When courses are designed with online learners top of mind, they become engaging, immersive opportunities for knowledge and growth, not just recorded lectures. The ability to learn and prepare for a meaningful career shouldn’t be restricted by location or time when technology can empower online learners to engage when their schedule and situation permits, creating a learning experience that is personalized and unique.
At Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), we are dedicated to equipping and empowering learners to excel in healthcare careers, and we realized nearly a decade ago that technology could make education — and through it, new career opportunities — more accessible to adult learners.
Each year, thousands of Floridians take advantage of the allied healthcare diploma and degree programs that UMA offers through online or blended learning models. Technology allows us to host flexible online classes, known academically as “asynchronous learning,” matching the lives and needs of the many adult learners who pursue coursework while still managing jobs and families.
The innovation and advancements of our era that increase flexibility and accessibility to learning, can also be applied beyond the classroom to provide learners with well-rounded support. For example, every UMA learner and graduate is paired with a personal advisor who can help with guidance and resources for studying as well as resources to help navigate roadblocks that everyday life can throw in the path of academic success. While some students may never meet their advisor face-toface, thanks to technology, the connections they form across distance are strong and impactful. These supports are another way to ensure all kinds of learners have the opportunity to pursue the education and training to advance their careers.
Emerging technologies are expected to play a significant role in the transformation of education in the next decade, and innovation is making the human experience accessible in even more ways.
In 2020, UMA’s annual Spark Summit — typically an in-person gathering of healthcare executives — was reinvented using Virtual Reality (VR) to “bring” event attendees to downtown Tampa, Fla. and to provide interactive training around empathy and emotional intelligence for healthcare workers. Through this immersive, technology-powered educational experience , healthcare leaders from around the country were able to go beyond concept and theory and engage in experiential learning applicable to their work.
When done right, an online learning experience can be personal, powerful and highly effective.
Geordie Hyland is Executive Vice President at Ultimate Medical Academy where he is responsible for the delivery of online academic and campus services. He also oversees Ultimate Medical Academy’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) division.