Montessori has been a household name in children's education for decades because of its cutting-edge approach to teaching and connecting with children. Now, with the help of Heritage Montessori in Fountain Valley and MEDL Mobile, a Fountain Valley-based mobile app developer, Montessori's tradition of being at the forefront of learning is taking a technological turn.
, released earlier this month, is an educational iPad app that puts an interactive spin on Montessori principles. While MEDL handled the tech for the app, it was the staff of Heritage, Orange County's first Montessori school, that was in charge of deciding what the app should do from an educational standpoint.
Heritage Montessori has a staunch focus on finding the inner genius in every child, and on individualized teaching methods for each student, so Montessori Revolution takes a similar approach. Heritage Creative Director Revia Roston said that working in the classroom setting, one gets to see how every child picks up concepts differently, and that teaching must be tailored individually, as students do not grasp information in the same fashion. She said that this ideal was taken into consideration when creating the app, and that each lesson progresses based on individual performance.
The program molds to each child’s engagement and moves them forward in accordance to their individual skills, which include spatial awareness, problem solving, arithmetic, hand-eye coordination and visual perception.
"It’s not one size fits all," Roston said. "You have to speak their language."
Speaking the language of kids is what the seven staff members attempted to do when creating the app. Roston said that deciding what material to include was based mostly on observing the behaviors and learning patterns of children in the classroom setting.
The process was a team effort, with Roston providing voice-overs for the program as well as material insight along with Mitchell Milstein and Lynne Milstein, while Ralph D’Amato, Jamie Sticker and Dave Swartz provided technical assistance. The amount of time that each staff member spent daily on the designing varied, but Roston spent at least two hours a day creating practical and efficient material to include in the program. Altogether, the app took a year and a half to create.
Montessori Revolution be purchased in the Apple iTunes app store for 99 cents. The Heritage staff is currently in the process of creating another Montessori app designed for elementary-age students.