I have waxed on about how much I adore my husband's iPad - today I enjoyed it even more when I used the Montessori lesson apps to do some math and alphabet work with my 3.5 year old. She took to it like a natural! Two things amazed me...
1. Montessori techniques are over 100 years old, yet regardless of techologial advances kids just gravitate towards the hands-on learning and are naturally pleased with the reward of completing a task independently.
2. Technology has made it possible for my littlest daughter to trace alphabet letters (sandpaper letters) with the rewarding scritchy sound, she can sort the red wooden bars and do basic math using visual reinforcement... all via an iPad! Maria Montessori would be so thrown for a loop on this one.
Obviously it cannot replace the actual texture of sitting with sandpaper letters, but the fact that Gonzo was pleased with her tracing of the letters and learning the accompanying sounds is pricesless. A nice reinforcement tool. Plus, there is the fact that we can trust 3 year olds with technology that would have blown our great-grandmother's minds.
I saw that the same app group (Montessorium) is coming out with a moveable alphabet app. Can't wait.