Introducing Technology at North Star Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten
Arcienega, Nathan E.
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Over the summer, the author worked with a Montessori preschool and Kindergarten in his hometown. The Montessori philosophy is all about the student naturally engaging in a prepared environment choosing work they want to do and learning by using hands on materials related to math, language, writing, science, geography, sensorial and everyday living. The primary role at North Star Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten was being the IT person including helping them incorporate tablets into their classrooms loaded with the programs that fit best with their curriculum goals. The author did various tasks during the week that included updating their website as well as student information in their database and records for their email distribution list. In addition, he helped maintain their social media image by updating their Facebook page and designing graphics for articles and advertisement. Tablets are a beneficial way to help bring in technology to preschoolers and kindergarteners in an easily accessible and manageable way with a little guidance. They also work well with the hands-on Montessori philosophy. For these reasons, the author helped convince the staff at North Star to go with tablets rather than desktop or laptop computers. He then presented which would be the best tablet to use in the classroom, purchased two for each classroom, and selected and downloaded over fifty apps for the children’s use. Working with the children in the classroom on a daily basis, the author saw them use the tablets to find a particular story to read, or work on a concept they wanted to learn such as numbers, letters, shapes, colors, or animals. He gained insight into what apps and books worked best with the kids, making it easier to maintain, test, and download apps and to update the tablets as necessary.