How iOS 7 is impacting Montessori education

Montessori schools are an important, widespread alternative to early education for children. Rather than the traditional teacher-centric model, Montessori places the child at the center of their educational experience. Each child makes their way through a set of Montessori designed activities, each with a very specific interface, evolved over the years.

The linked article talks about the impact that Jony Ive’s decision to scrub skeuomorphism from iOS has had on the Montessori experience. Very thoughtful piece.



  • Moeskido

    I never knew the Montessori schools had such a preoccupation with the physical appearance of things.

    • dtj

      More likely it is a link to the tactile nature of things, rather than the physical appearance. Using the ipad is very divorced from a natural tactile interaction that the appearance/skeumorphism is all that is left. Now if someone could just invent a wood grain translucent screen protector…

      • Moeskido

        I get that they’re ostensibly trying to create a bridge between what their students have already experienced and what they need to do next. But the focus on simulating real-world concepts makes me wonder if we’ve gotten too far from the kind of public education that was available when I was a kid.

        That said, how many of their younger students truly care about whether a number block is made of wood?

  • lucascott

    What I find more interesting is that many are bad mouthing projects like various schools doing basically this exact thing with iPads etc as if it’s some radical new idea. And no one seems to have recognized or been bothered to mention that it is just Montessori with computers.

    • Moeskido

      That would make sense.

  • JohnDoey

    When I read the headline, “How iOS 7 is impacting Montessori education” I thought, “I hope the answer is ‘not at all.’” Then I thought, “no — I hope the answer is going to be some dramatic improvement they made to their app because of some powerful new framework in iOS 7.” But no, it is an examination of how they painted their app to look like Jony Ive’s first art project.

    Steve Jobs famously encouraged the original builders of the Mac to make it boot up a second faster because with 1 million users booting up everyday, you could save the equivalent time of whole human lives. There are over 500 million iOS users. Think about the amount of time being spent by users adapting to arbitrarily repainted apps like this.

    I know it makes developers feel like they’re working to repaint and re-layout their app in arbitrary new ways. But it doesn’t make users feel like their problems are being solved. When I get an update that has been repainted and nothing else, it really offends me that the developer thinks I have time and energy for that. I rate them 1-star and delete them. That is not a developer I can trust.