Parents, kids, teachers in sync with new technology

Heads bowed and fingers dancing, students practice consonant blends, explore the intricacies of mathematical equations, review spelling lists, analyze words, their meanings and origins and practice proper pronunciation.

Kelli Abar, general manager of Sylvan Learning Centers of Minnesota, demonstrates the SylvanSync teaching and learning technologies currently offered at the Coon Rapids Sylvan Center. Photo by Sue Austreng

Kelli Abar, general manager of Sylvan Learning Centers of Minnesota, demonstrates the SylvanSync teaching and learning technologies currently offered at the Coon Rapids Sylvan Center. Photo by Sue Austreng

It’s study and homework, learning and comprehension – not with paper and pencil but with the latest in technology, something that educators at Sylvan Learning Centers call SylvanSync.

Today’s students are one with technology – always swiping screens and tapping on keyboards.

With Sylvan tutors delivering instruction on SylvanSync iPads, students are instantly engaged in hands-on learning as they work on lessons using all the tools the device offers.

SylvanSync isn’t just about using iPads, it is a comprehensive system designed to support each student’s personal learning needs with the aid of specialized technology.

Not only that, with SylvanSync, the learning center builds a connection with students’ schools and teachers and assists in effective, teacher-led instruction.

“It’s really about maximizing a student’s motivation and ability to learn and excel. It’s a system of support with everyone trying to get the best achievement,” said Jennifer Greene, Coon Rapids Sylvan Learning Center director.

“Technology is so much a part of life and children today are digitally native. Using technology is second nature to them.”

According to Greene, Sylvan Learning Center’s desire is to harness the capabilities of technology, use those technologies to support the instruction teachers deliver and enable new learning.

“SylvanSync is an opportunity for (students) to be more active learners,” said Kelli Abar, general manager of Sylvan Learning Centers of Minnesota.

“But we’re not replacing teachers – no one can ever take the place of teachers. With SylvanSync, we’re able to mirror what they’re doing in school and working one-on-one with tutors (at Sylvan) allows the students to be really engaged in the learning process.”

According to Greene, parents can keep real-time tabs on what their child is studying and the progress made by accessing mySylvan.

“The connections are amazing,” Greene said. “This really keeps parents involved and allows interaction with tutors.”

Greene describes how a student connects with his or her teacher over an iPad and the skills being taught, and a parent connects with a student’s Sylvan learning plan and achievements via mySylvan.

Together these connections strengthen and deepen the learning experience for students, parents and teachers, she said.

“This revolutionizes what we’re able to do for kids,” said Abar.

To learn more about SylvanSync, contact Greene at 763-712-1118 or email her at coonrapids@sylvanminnesota.com.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com


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