What’s with the screen? Is technology really an educational companion?

After months of remote learning, the screen is often at the heart of arguments between parents and children. It is a balancing act, technology can be such a great way for children to interact with the world and embed skills learned in school. The world becomes our oyster. Technology opens the door allowing us to talk to people in new ways and far-flung places. We find out more about the world and can explore interesting ideas and topics. 

As an online educational company, we utilise technology that empowers our teachers, parents and pupils from all over the UK and the world, successfully preparing pupils for their 11+ exams and beyond. For us, technology allows us to teach children about metacognition which increases their learning and confidence, whilst monitoring progress in 11+ subjects. 

There is a host of online content to practice the basic skills needed in primary school and to successfully transition to secondary school. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, there are so many different resources out there. Where to start when trying to find suitable options for your child? Let us take you on a journey of our favourites!

Some great platforms that we love: 

  1. Our Digital Intelligence Platform
    Our digital platform hosts a large bank of questions that familiarise students with the exams and provide low stakes testing opportunities. For pupils in Year 5 and 6, we regularly set topic and recap tests to allow teachers and pupils to see their progress as they move through our targeted 11+ curriculum and encourage deliberate practice.
  2. Digital Thinking Frames
    Metacognition, or thinking skills, is at the heart of everything we do at Meta Prep. All of our lessons start with identifying thinking processes. We love developing children’s skills to help them become adept at using visual tools, such as thinking frames. These are useful when attacking a problem or planning a creative writing piece. Our digital thinking frames allow children to create these visual frames in an alternate way that might better suit their learning needs.
  3. Quizlet
    Our quizlet classrooms contain flashcards targeted at the 11+ topics, designed by our experienced coaches, covering the key topics and skills needed in English, Maths and Reasoning. You can find quizzes on times tables, 2D shapes, key vocabulary, etymology of words and synonyms. Practising the basic skills allows children to feel more confident when tackling harder problems.
  4. Arcademics
    Arcademics has some wonderful games to play targeting practice in maths topics such as times tables and identifying shapes. A drawback is that there are a lot of games so finding one that suits your needs can be time-consuming. Be warned, it is American so some of the terminology is different!
  5. Spelling Shed
    Spelling Shed is a really good way to practice tricky spellings, especially for children where phonics has made spellings more challenging. All children can learn to spell if they put in the effort. It might take months or years but learning to spell can be fun, and is important for the 11+ exams. 

At Meta Prep, we believe that every child is different and has different needs when it comes to preparing for the 11+ exams. That is why we host small-group or 1:1 sessions that give children the chance to interact with their peers as well as a qualified and experienced 11+ cognitive coach. 

Through the use of Zoom, our teachers and pupils gather together from all over the UK for fun and engaging sessions that progress your child’s learning based on the Science of Learning. Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development details how we all learn, from early years continuing into adulthood. The principle of this theory is that we have a set of skills and topics that we know about and a huge array of skills and topics we don’t know yet. The Zone of Proximal Development is about finding the balance between what we know and what we don’t. It is about stretching ourselves, with the help of an expert, without creating too much of a challenge that we just cave.

For the 11+, stretching a child to understand that a number can be replaced by a letter in a math equation is perfectly reasonable. Trying to teach a 10 year old about algebraic equations where the letter stays as a letter is much more confusing and they won’t be ready for that until well into high school. Having the chance to interact with an experienced teacher face-to-face means children are stretched to where they need to be, without overwhelming them with complex concepts not needed for the 11+. Our cognitive coaches can identify individual strengths and topics needing attention and tailor their teaching to those individual needs. And all of this can be done from home, through the use of technology. 

We also believe that a balance between technology and having time away from it is key to successful learning and wellbeing. With our combination of online lessons through Zoom, our digital platform, our specifically tailored Quizlet classrooms and direct access to experienced teachers, your family can feel confident in preparing for the 11+ exams without getting bogged down in the vast array of resources available, because everything is in one place, covering all the key areas for the 11+ exams. This frees up your time to spend with family and friends, run around outdoors and create art. It allows children to use technology to learn and then have the time to take that learning out into the world and apply it. 

Try out one of our favourite platforms that we love and let us know how it helped!