We know that the new technologies have made the learning revolution in the world of the eleven plus possible. Sadly, however, the new technologies do not automatically guarantee eleven plus results. Most of the new websites and eleven plus offerings are serving to reinforce the old fashioned methods of preparation.
When we think of the eleven plus we often think about information. What does my child need to know to be able to do analogies? What is the best eleven plus course I can follow? Do I need to participate in all the social media websites? What eleven plus information is needed? Is an eleven plus teacher going to be the answer? What kind of lessons and tests off the internet are going to be useful?
It is natural for us to link computers to eleven plus education. Computers and the internet allow teachers, publishers and others to transmit their thoughts, ideas, teaching methods and information packs to the public.
Some children pass their eleven plus with a staple diet of papers. The papers pose question after question. The children work through the papers remorselessly and voraciously. The children and their parents are consumed with paper frenzy and scores. Yet this does work for many children. Good marketing has helped to make working through papers a desirable ambition.
The increasingly effective search engines such as Google, Internet Explorer, Bing, Yahoo and the rest make all of us digitally fluent. If ever a great day arrives, and the decision is made to look into the present structure of the eleven plus, the architects of the `New Eleven Plus Era’ will need to look at internet technology and understand its place in the preparation of children and the role of parents.
There are some eleven plus questions about compass points. Children are asked to turn 90 degrees, and then retreat with 180 degrees. They are then asked which direction they will be facing. The words: “North, South, East and West, where ever you go, home is best” spring to mind. Many children will be able to continue to pass the eleven plus without ever leaving their homes for extra study. The internet enables the classroom to be brought to the home.