The use of computer and handheld applications in the Montessori Method seems to attract mixed responses from Montessorians.
One of the cornerstones of the Montessori Method is that it relies on concrete cognitive signals that are gained from learning through the senses, for example a sensorial exercise with the Red Rods which is one of the foundations of Maths.
These concrete activities are then built upon in the abstract at a later stage. Why are sensorial activities important in Montessori you may ask ?
To a large extent, the iPhone apps could be considered as being based in the abstract and thus would be removing the concrete foundation upon which the abstract is built. That being said, the apps open Montessori to a far greater resource of information and make the sharing of that information easier.
It would be interesting to know what Maria Montessori’s view would have been on these technologies. The conclusion is that we don’t know. ..
As a non-prescriptive suggestion, when considering the use of these apps, always consider the Montessori method as intended and how it moves from concrete to abstract and then use this technology accordingly.
MontessoriHelper has a range of Android apps available that incorporate all of the lessons and materials found on the montessorihelper.com website. They are the perfect companion to the PDF materials and present a logical abstraction from them.
We recommend using our apps as an abstraction of the pdf materials and not in isolation