In a society that is becoming ever more dependent on technology for day to day life, knowing what kind of technology is used in a Montessori classroom and how it is integrated is a common question. Though Maria Montessori did not know the depths of educational technology that would exist when she created her philosophy over 100 years ago, her method of order can be used when approaching the topic of technology. Everything has its place and this includes technology. Unlike other classrooms, the emphasis of real life experiences is crucial to a Montessori method. While learning about technology is important to function in today's society, it is merely a small part of the classroom, not a main focus. By keeping technology as a supplemental learning tool, students are able to strengthen their problem solving skills, fine motor skills, and their independence to explore their environment without depending on technology to give them the answer or show them how to do something.
Focus on movement
Movement and hands-on activity are central ideas in Maria Montessori’s philosophy. Students could look at a screen or paper that shows them the inside of a seed. But by pulling the seed apart with their hands and seeing and touching the different parts allows a student to understand more intimately and gives them a chance to wonder how these parts work together to create a plant. Manipulating real life objects allows for creativity, out of the box thinking, and problem solving instead of following a particular instruction. Being able to hold something in their hands can also teach them about consequences. Dropping a glass jar will break, dumping a container full of beads makes a mess that must be cleaned, and bumping their head from being rambunctious hurts. These are concepts technology can not teach that is relatable to the students.
Technology as a supplement
Technology can be very useful in reinforcing a concept or supplementing an idea after the child has had ample time to explore with their hands, thought about how to solve the problem or complete the task, and has found self-confidence and satisfaction in their discoveries. As a child grows, technology will be present in their lives as they move along in school and eventually work. This is a crucial time in a child’s life to use their bodies and establish good, inquisitive thinking habits that will aid them in their lives when technology becomes a bigger focus.
While in a Montessori classroom technology is not strictly prohibited, it is limited so that the students are able to use their minds and bodies to explore and learn about the world around them. If you are wanting your child to learn in a technology limited environment while cultivating crucial physical and mental skills, give Fountainhead Montessori School located in the Bay Area a call today!