October 2020: Learning Virtual Abacus Online
This article talks about how virtual abacus online may lack some elements that characterize the use of its physical elements such as factors like being able to slide the beads up and down to develop motor skills of the dots that allow the user to write numbers in a decimal form, it is still a good starstarting point that is literally within everyone's reach.
I'm the author of this article and I'm a qualified abacus teacher, answering questions from around the world online abacus and various questions from online-soroban.com students.
Table of contents
The advantage of technology these days is that anyone can access any educational content to learn from it, and the abacus is no exception.
With different sources to learn how an abacus work, people can learn without necessarily have to take traditional soroban classes, something that helps people that can’t either afford them, find any school in their city or physically go to one of them, allowing them to learn how to use the mental mathematic tool to solve math operations at their own pace.
1-1.Traditional Abacus Classes vs Virtual Abacus Online Now
Either with videos, exercise guides, or explanations; it is important that the student first begins to understand how is the mechanical system of the abacus and the numeric value of each bead, how the units of place are expressed, and how to exemplify numerical sets without going to the more advanced operations yet.
The best thing would be to try to find an internet tutor specialized in teaching the abacus to be able to learn properly or, in the case of not being able to afford one, be critical with the diverse contents that exist on the internet.
The advantage of most traditional classes is that the student will have an expert who knows the possible errors that he or she may make when solving operations or counting with the tabulating device, something that obviously those who study online will not be able to verify if they learn on their own.
On the other hand, as with any online study, it is important that the person make their study schedule and dedicate hours of practice to the abacus so that they can progress with their learning.
since the abacus is both a mental and a physical tool, the person needs to be constantly practicing it to achieve their goals.
Online abacus classes are good to have a calmer approach to learn the tool without the pressure of being in an actual classroom, helping the student to get used to how an abacus works.
Eventually, at its own pace, the student may decide to take more traditional soroban classes to improve further their knowledge, since the first contact with the tool was already made by themselves and they already learned how to do basic operations with it.
1-2.Can I Use Virtual Abacus Online Like an Abacus Simulator?
While some of the students that decide to take online classes may possess a physical abacus of their own, one may ask how can someone learn to perform operations on an abacus without having the actual tool?
Thankfully, there are different online simulators for abacuses that help people who want to learn but aren't able to buy a real calculating tool.
Such simulators not only have the exact number of rods and beads as a real abacus but also, in most cases, give a little explanation and history of the soroban tool to understand how the tool came to exist.
In addition, people can also easily find the different types of calculating tools to learn how they work (the Japanese, Chinese, or even Russian types).
1-3. Benefits of Virtual Abacus Online
Either if used online or physically, is a fact that the use of an abacus allows facing considerable calculation challenges, providing many more benefits as well, depending on how the student approaches its management.
The most complex exercise is when mathematical operations are performed without the use of an abacus but by means of a mental or imaginary one.
Students remember better if they learn with the help of an image or object, especially kids.
In order to help kids to enjoy math, it should be taught with the help of a teaching tool, this case an abacus, since its shape and colors will attract the kid's attention.
The abacus helps to train mental resistance and concentration as it is a very demanding activity in different cognitive resources.
For this to happen, the student requires mindfulness during the time the soroban tool is being studied.
It also develops visual or photographic visualization and memory by having to remember the position of the beads and the calculation to be performed, this exercise is very useful to stimulate visual learning.
As the operations are solved mentally, the kid will remember each step to do it correctly, only possible with high levels of concentration.
If a physical abacus is used, the use of it is suitable for blind or people with visual problems, since they can feel the beads, manipulate them, and “create” and solve the mathematical operation.
Additionally, the math tool allows to develop a better interhemispheric integration, since both cerebral hemispheres work at the same time coordinated; both the left (logical, analytical, and methodical) and the right (creative and imaginative) in order to use the tool properly.
With a soroban tool, kids can overcome the fear of math, making them answer math operations with accuracy and understanding of what it takes to solve them, instead of just doing it because so.
With constant practice, math will seem to be like a game rather than a boring task, making them feel confident by doing it.
In solving math problems mentally, kids become proud of their capacity, grow their confidence, dare to challenge others, try to make themselves all-rounder, and be successful in all areas.
Learning abacus through online or traditional classes is a good way to understand math better, since it turns the moment of learning into a fun and relaxing experience that develops different skills as well, helping the kid to see numbers and mathematical operations in a more positive way, helping them to develop with success in the future.