Sylvan Learning's SylvanSync Technology Surpasses 20 Million Sessions

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The leading supplemental and enrichment education brand was one of the only brands in the industry set to meet virtual needs that evolved during the pandemic because of its investment in technology, and subsequently celebrated a major accomplishment.

Sylvan Learning, the supplemental and enrichment education franchise with 750 points of presence across North America and more than 40 years experience in the business, just passed a major milestone: 20 million sessions on SylvanSync™, the company’s proprietary education delivery technology.

Those 20 million sessions underscore how Sylvan Learning invested first in a tech delivery platform for learning, which has always been a competitive advantage for the brand. Since the pandemic hit, SylvanSync™ has become more relevant than ever and a demonstration of how Sylvan’s forward-thinking leaders can succeed under almost any circumstance.

“We adopted SylvanSync after a year of development in 2012,” said John McAuliffe, Sylvan’s CEO. “It’s our proprietary delivery technology that doesn’t try to replace the teacher but improves the teaching experience. Generally, a child will come in and take an assessment and, based on the goals of the parent, we set targets for learning. The SylvanSync™ software adapts to the child. If they’re grasping the curriculum and mastering skills quickly, it will adapt and continue to adjust the level of complexity and vice versa, and it will slow down and repeat if needed.”

With almost a decade of usage, 20 million sessions and constant updates and improvement, the SylvanSync program is backed by extensive academic research that proves it gets results.

Monica Nicolau, Sylvan’s chief technology officer who was also the development lead, calls SylvanSync the most advanced system in the supplemental education space.

“Not only does SylvanSync streamline tutoring delivery by enabling teachers to focus on working with students rather than create and maintain lesson plans, but it’s also a competitive advantage because it gives us detailed data to demonstrate its effectiveness,” said Nicolau. “We can prove that students who attend Sylvan make progress faster based on scores in their pre- and post-assessments. Our competitors don’t have that proof that comes from 20 million sessions worth of data, so it’s a massive advantage.”

How SylvanSync Improves the Student, Teacher and Franchisee Experience

When the pandemic started closing down businesses, Sylvan began delivering its tutoring services online nearly overnight thanks to the SylvanSync technology program. Students already loved the system, but Sylvan empowered teachers to keep encouraging the children while franchisees could keep their business running thanks to the franchises’ big investment in technology.

“SylvanSync allows the teacher to really focus on what they do best, which is teach,” said McAuliffe. “In the old days, paper-based franchisees had to have pullers, part time workers that would have to take the materials and create the paper-based programs for the child to be delivered. All of that is done in an automated fashion now. Before a child comes in, you pull up the program, and it already has the curriculum and updates it after the completion of each session based on the things accomplished. Our system really takes all the admin tasks away from a franchisee and takes away the requirement of hiring pullers.”

When franchisees benefit, they can better serve teachers. When teachers benefit, the students will learn better. SylvanSync brings together the best of what tech can do with the unbeatable asset of old school personal instruction.

“It’s a very personalized program, but it still includes the teacher who really is the person who motivates and builds confidence in the child. The combination of tech and teacher makes it unique and special,” said McAuliffe.

Why SylvanSync Is in Demand

SylvanSync has seen 20 million sessions in less than a decade for two reasons: because it works and because technology and remote learning is here to stay. Now, amid the most difficult school year on record and with summer break looming around the corner, McAuliffe says demand for the service is sky-high.

“We’re seeing an increase in demand as the school year is coming to an end and people are preparing for the summer,” he said. “That’s a huge period for us.”

Also, SylvanSync has proven adaptable in the year 2020, not only in terms of facilitating Sylvan’s COVID-19 pivot, but also by growing to fit all types of subject matter and delivery modalities.

“When 2020 hit and COVID became our awful reality, we were able to immediately use SylvanSync online to keep tutoring and build a brand new learning environment that was web-based,” said Nicolau. “The reason we can do what we do is not happenstance, but because we were very thoughtful in how we built SylvanSync so it’s very extensible should we need it.”

But for Nicolau, the real meaning of SylvanSync’s 20 million milestone isn’t just the data they pull that they use to improve future sessions — it’s the lives changed.

“The reason why 20 million sessions are important is not the number in itself, but because we’ve helped so many students be successful. People always ask themselves, ‘What’s in a number?’ Well, in this number, it’s services we delivered to help children and families.”

ABOUT SYLVAN LEARNING, LLC
With more than 40 years of experience and more than 750 points of presence throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE—STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep —college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit http://www.SylvanLearning.com or SylvanLearning.com/blog.

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Lauren Turner
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