Technology and Montessori

Where do you stand on technology? Some moms are against all of it. Some are all for it. And some, like me, and somewhere in the middle. But it is something that I think all of us are forced to address in this high tech world we live in. How much is too much? How much is helpful? How do we incorporate it into our school rooms in a responsible way? These are the questions we face, and I doubt that there are any really clear answers. I have found us using more technology bits as time goes on here and I know that that is not going to go away. So what do we use and where do I draw the line? We don’t have ipads or smartphones, but we do have computers! So here is what we do:

1) Research: I use the internet to help the girls look up things that they want to know right now. It is often my first resource go to and the girls are now asking me to look certain things up as they have a question. However, it is not our only source for research. After find the initial information, if there are more questions or more interest, we will head to the library to learn more. I want to make sure that my kids know how to find information for anything that they want to know. In my opinion, education is nothing if you don’t know how to find the information for things you want to know. I think that this hybrid of research materials will help them learn this skill.

2) Inspiration: Sometimes you just need a good dose of inspiration! We have used pintrest for a long time and I know that the girls love to scroll through the pictures and they also love the projects and recipes we find there to do together. I use it to find all kinds of learning ideas for when I am in a rut and generally want something fun! 🙂 However, anther interesting use I have found is to inspire the girls to do new work! Today for example, I showed Pup some different extensions for the knobless cylinders and she was excited to try them! Hmmm….funny how showing her these things a few weeks ago didn’t interest her. but looking at pictures of them online made her get to work! Bunny has been know to try some different work after seeing someone else on a blog working on it! One of the great motivators in a Montessori classroom is peer work. Watching someone else do something always makes it more fun! Since we don’t have that, the next best thing is to use the extended classroom of the internet!

3) Communication: My girls don’t type their own emails yet or have a facebook account or anything like that, but we still manage to stay in touch with friends and family that we don’t see much. They scroll through facebook and see pictures of their cousins, hear about “bloggy” friend’s work, and share pictures with family of what they are doing! I want my girls to slowly realize that the internet is a means of communication, not just a place for entertainment!

4) Entertainment: Well everyone knows that the internet is entirely entertaining! 😉 There are games, movies, and places to shop! However, in all honestly I don’t let the girls play much on it. With the exception of a few apps on my sisters Ipad, the girls really don’t get much play time on electronics. But I am sure that as they get older it will become a part of our school routine. We do however watch a lot of TV, especially using Netflix. However, they have pretty strict set of shows that they are allowed to watch. They are not allowed to watch shows that I think are crappy tv. Why? Well…honestly when the girls watch those shows their attitudes start to change and they get snippy and mean. Seriously! So they watch mostly PBS shows and a few other things! But that is about it.

So those are the main ways we are using technology here in our school room. What about you? How do you utilize or not allow technology in your home? Do you have rules?