At Evergreen Montessori House, we utilize technology to enhance the academic experience for our students. By integrating tablets and computer software, our students have a variety of opportunities to engage their minds. For example, for our kindergartners, we found that the tablet is a great resource for them to enhance the reading comprehension and also provide phonics exercises. For our preschoolers, computer programs provide a great avenue for our younger students to review shapes, letters and numbers.
According to Kneas and Perry (2013), children interact with computers, thus allowing them to engage their minds; they determine how and when they will complete the game. Conversely, television programs are typically passive and do not allow children to “control” the ending. Still, there are great educational programs available for children, but educators, parents and guardians must ensure that television does not allow for laziness. In our previous blog post about using the Montessori Method to communicate with children, we stressed the importance of engaging children while they are watching programs.
Of course, we recommend only exposing a child to technology for a limited amount of time. In addition, not every child will enjoy using technology; you should never push a child to use a device or toy if she or he does not have any interest. Finding a balance will be difficult, but when we allow children to explore new avenues for education, we create opportunities for them to engage their minds and the world around them in exciting ways.
Kneas, Kimberly M., and Bruce D. Perry. "Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom." Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom. Scholastic, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/using_technology.htm>.