"Virtual manipulatives are basically digital “objects” that resemble physical objects and can be manipulated, usually with a mouse, in the same ways as their authentic counterparts. With virtual manipulatives, they may be better able to clarify their thinking and demonstrate it to others.Research suggests that students may also develop more complex understandings of concepts when using virtual manipulatives (Moyer, Niezgoda, & Stanley, 2005)."
While they are great tools, not every child has the luxury of having hands-on manipulatives to use at home. If only there was a way that students could have access to manipulatives anytime they want….oh wait…there is! Virtual hands on manipulatives are a great alternative to the real ones used in classrooms. While they don’t provide the same kinetic feel, they do provide students a visual way to represent, convey and understand information. For today’s tech snack, I want to share with you a variety of online hands on manipulatives. All the manipulatives listed are visually appealing, easy to use and can be used by students at home or school and can be shared on lcd projectors/interactive whiteboards.
Hands on manipulatives: