Technology

Maria+Montessori_Fotor

TECHNOLOGY
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A Useful Tool for Older Students, but not a Substitute for Books and Materials

“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” – Dr.Maria Montessori

Utilizing Technology

Our daily adult lives are reliant on the use of a variety of screens for communication, work, and entertainment.  It is very important to know how to use them, but the question remains how much is too much, and at what age should we begin?  The full, long-term impact of a screen directed childhood is still unknown.

Here at Alden Montessori School, we are very careful with how much we utilize computers in the education of our young students.  A Montessori education is focused on using a hands-on approach and making use of all the senses in order to foster the best learning.  The classrooms are already prepared with distinctive and purposeful materials designed to teach a single skill or concept.  The concrete, tangible materials serve as a natural passage to more abstract concepts, and bring the world to the child so that they develop an understanding versus just memorizing. 

Screen-time displaces all the activities in the real world that children should be doing; experiencing first hand through ‘real play’ how to be human and socialize with others.  Children need to interact with their environment, other children, and adults to develop social skills, empathy and group dynamics. “Real play is a biological necessity” and is essential for healthy overall development of the child.  When this is restricted, because the screen is more enticing, the neural pathways responsible for “social and imaginative responses” are not developed and therefore stunt the ability to create one’s own fun, games, and have meaningful friendships.

Maria Montessori believed that moving and learning were intertwined.

“Real play develops initiative, problem-solving skills and many other positive traits, such as a can-do attitude, perseverance and emotional resilience. It’s vital for social skills, too. By playing together, youngsters learn to get along with other people. They discover how others’ minds work, developing empathy. And, as real play is driven by an innate desire to understand how the world works, it provides the foundation for academic learning. Real play is evolution’s way of helping children develop minds of their own – curious, problem- solving, adaptable, human minds.”

 

“Play is the work of the child.” -Maria Montessori 

It’s easy for young children to get frustrated and overwhelmed by all the sensory effects of computer games. Children become too dependent on that type of stimulation, then in turn, have trouble focusing on quieter activities like reading and school work.

If they miss the sensorial aspects of their education during the sensitive period for it, they cannot get that back.

The older elementary children have a computer in their classroom for valuable keyboarding skills and research.