The process of Montessori education has been compared to the process of playing computer games. In order for either one to hold any interest for a child, they have to contain elements that combine involvement, excitement, and discovery. If the game is too difficult or the classroom materials too advanced, then children will lose interest and stop participating.
But how about the use of technology in a Montessori classroom? Is that a conflict of interest, with technology competing for real-world, hands-on activity? Not as much as you might think, and technology is improving by leaps and bounds.
Technology is the Real World
There is no longer a dividing line between communications technology and daily life. Because our smart technology has become so pervasive in our lives, including it in a well-rounded education is more important than ever. Yes, there is a tremendous amount of adult guidance involved, but hi-tech devices are here to stay, and preparing our children to use them responsibly will help them later. Obviously, your preschooler isn’t using social media, but they could be using any of a variety of apps designed expressly for teaching young children. On a computer at home, Gcompris is a well-rounded educational tool, with puzzles and games designed for a range of age groups, and a huge variety of learning tools and more.
Expanding on the Original Concept
Technology can be useful in the Montessori classroom as well. It allows greater customization of computerized materials to individual students, including adjusting the difficulty levels, and allowing easier manipulation of information from outside sources. For example, the former scenario might including learning to use math in incremental stages, while the latter could be something like keeping a database of images of leaves or bugs. Both would progress along with the child and interact with physical activities in a number of ways. The idea is not to separate technology from Montessori, but weld the two together.
Montessori Education is Immersive Education
When the Montessori method was being developed, technology like we have today didn’t exist. If it had, Maria Montessori would have had to include it into her materials and learning stations. Technology is too much a part of our lives for it to continue to be ignored. Instead, young children need to learn about the possibilities and dangers involved with technology. They need to be prepared for a world where calling a taxi and learning how to make a simple volcano are only a few clicks away. This does not mean that physical, real-world activities have to be shunned – only that the activities and the technologies need to be used together for the best results.
Technology has a place in a Montessori classroom. We live in a world which relies on technology, so including it in a well-rounded education makes practical sense. If we teach children to use safe technology practices from early childhood, they will be more responsible technology users as they get older. To learn how the teachers and staff at the Montessori Children’s Center incorporate technology into the classroom and students’ overall learning experience, contact us today to schedule a tour.