The Internet has brought in volumes of changes. The education sector still remains at the top of the list, though. It almost seems like the entire functionality of the learning mechanism has undergone a renovation. The advent of the digital abacus is one of the many examples supporting this statement. The other is how gaming has amalgamated with teaching abacus so that kids can learn better.
Gaming has been a standard way of entertainment, whereas the same is the case with teaching through traditional methods. But, what if you mix gaming and teaching? Would educators, parents, and students be getting better results? Moreover, how would educators, students, and teachers benefit from abacus apps and games?
It is now possible to access this ancient mathematical tool called ‘Abacus’ at your fingertips through your mobile screens in the form of games and applications. From improving attentiveness to widening the perspectives, games and apps are accelerating the personal growth of students, teaching them to work in teams, learn from mistakes, handle failures and introduce a healthy competition in their lives.
In this post, we will dig deeper into the various apps that make learning abacus fun! We will also comprehend the various edges that these have over conventional methods of learning.
Abacus apps & games – Fruitful interactive study hours
Modern-day education has not only evolved but has become a perfect blend of traditional concepts, which have amalgamated with gamification. One such concept which can be taught through games is the abacus. By evaluating the various pros and cons of this concept, educators are now drifting their focus on how to teach the abacus in a way in which students learn it better and retain it for longer. It has also been proven that the abacus is not just for kids; it can be learned by adults too, as it has its own advantages for grown-ups. From training classes to activities to games, there are a number of ways to grasp the concept of the abacus and make other mathematical operations a cakewalk.
Here are a few such games that can be played to understand the concept in a much more practical manner:
With a highly interactive abacus, this game urges the students to easily put on their thinking caps and learn about math and abacus. It starts with teaching how to count from 1 to 100 and takes it further to larger numbers. It is a very simple abacus online tool targeted at students who are still new to the world of math. It actually uses the abacus as a medium to teach children basic arithmetic operations.
You can make use of the (+) and the (-) buttons to count forwards and backward, respectively. It could also be made into a group class activity. If you press (num), only the abacus beads would be visible, and the children could be asked to write down the value of the number. This would improve their focus.
2. Abacus – Basics
This game is an online version of the Chinese abacus called suan pan. Suan pan is one of the oldest abacus that exists. This game is highly focused on the basics of the abacus. Abacus Basics allows knowledge points to the players for every completed level. And if that incentive wasn’t enough, it gives a bronze medal for every 2 completed rounds, a silver medal for 5 completed rounds, and a gold medal for every 10 completed rounds.
One of the best things that this game offers is a great substitute for using a real abacus. When we use a real abacus, one of the most important things is to use the fingers the right way. This game is played on a tablet or an iPad, making the experience as close to the real abacus as possible. It would be a more enjoyable and learning experience for the users.
3. Abacus Shoot: Shark Attack
An enjoyable, interactive game, it uses sharks to attract kids towards the world of abacus and math. It has three modes – normal mode, turbo mode, and abacus mode. In the normal mode, a shark will come with a math problem attached. To get past the shark, the right answer has to be selected. With every question answered and the shark that the students pass, the questions start getting progressively harder. The problems encountered are addition, subtraction, multiplication, subtraction.
In turbo mode, the pace of sharks will become fast and the questions hard. The abacus mode offers a built-in abacus to solve the questions and teach the students the relevant skills.
4. Choco Abacus
With a great rating and stellar reviews, this app offers a very approachable concept to learn abacus. One of the biggest selling points of the game lies in its simplicity. It is very easy to understand, and it also offers a tutorial specially built for the children!
Once you pass through some stages, you can unlock the remaining ones to play. This would keep the students hooked and motivated throughout. Learning abacus and math has become so easy, enjoyable, and accessible now.
5. Abacus Solitaire
With the perfect blend of mathematical operations and numbers, this game is one of the math games that allow children to have fun and learn simultaneously. Abacus Solitaire is suitable for all students who love maths and calculations, as it revolves around solving problems in the form of a solitaire game.
The catch in the game is that the player needs to be as quick as possible and as close as possible in order to move to the next levels. Moreover, this platform also gives the players a chance to compete against other players who are playing the same game in real-time. This not only helps with the abacus but with other interpersonal skills too.
6. Abacus – Child Learning Application
With a rating of 4.1, this app provides a great platform for children to learn math in an engaging way using the abacus as a tool. The application is curated for children who are 5 and above, and it starts from the very basics of the abacus. The app then goes on to train the students in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
It sharpens the concentration and improves memorization with consistent practice tests and assessments. Other ways it remains helpful is by enhancing the listening skills and increasing the endurance for handling stress and pressure.
7. Know Abacus
Know Abacus offers a wide array of features, including the ability to add a new colorful abacus, a number of review lessons, different learning modes, two-touch or multi-touch abacus, and many more.
Suitable for children of five years and above, it starts its lessons from the very basics of counting and goes up to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division using the abacus. The lesson plan centered around mental math is what makes the whole application a lot more interactive and engaging.
Moreover, it also supports multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Portuguese, and Russian.
8. Abacus by Abacus Child
A first-of-a-game-kind Abacus app for your child’s mathematical development, this app is a one-stop solution for the little ones just starting to explore the world of numbers. It advances them into the world of abacus, numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction. Another distinctive feature that Abacus by Abacus Child offers is an interactive game-like user interface.
While the traditional apps offer 800 sums per level, this app has a reserve of 2400 sums to keep the child engaged for a long time and give enough resources to practice and develop their skills.
9. Abacus Champs Academy Brain Gym
From youngsters to elders, this app can help everyone out. It offers a platform for users to enhance their visualization skills and get access to these advantageous abacus classes. There is a plethora of mathematical riddles and questions waiting to be explored by Abacus addicts.
This free app has different sections for each level. One may select his level and begin solving problems. The app can help in improving the concentration skills of the kids.
10. Mental Abacus Expert
This application has customizable exercises from beginner to intermediate levels with a comprehensive set of tools. It has audio functions and bead count recognition which are useful. This app can possibly polish the basic understanding well enough. It is easy to use for kids and has practical tutorials.
This application helps students develop mental math skills by developing an ability to keep the abacus image clear in your mind. This skill is essential if kids wish to develop the mental-math abacus technique. The app also promotes quick perception of numbers through its various exercises.
Apps & Games- The new age learning tools
While the impact and results of the traditional teaching tools and methods can be incomparable, yet, apps and games have evolved to be the new-age learning tools. This is for the simple reason that they provide the following 3 advantages, which have made them become a boon.
1. Amplified Interaction:
With a number of compelling features, abacus apps and games allow kids to interact with audio and video visuals efficiently. This in turn helps them to sense and visualize the calculations better in comparison to the primitive method. Working on an actual abacus might feel monotonous to children once introduced to these exciting apps and games.
You certainly cannot move around with a physical abacus. The beads won’t stay in place, plus it would be complicated to carry. But, guess what? This is no more a problem with the invention of mobile-friendly abacus applications. One can access the benefits of the Abacus from anywhere and at any time. Learning abacus is no longer confined to a wooden framework of rods with movable beads.
3. Tracking Progress:
Some apps and games offer a convenient feature by means of which a person can track his overall progress and ascertain where he stands in terms of his skills. An overview of one’s advancements makes room for analyzing his performance and working accordingly. A user can know exact ratios as to how the app has helped him through his learning experience.
Abacus games & apps – Ways to make the best use
- Learning the Basics of Abacus
Abacus games and apps help the students clear the fundamentals of the concept which not only assist them in overcoming the fear of the subject but also encourages them to practice it further. Playing abacus games and using the apps are great tools to combat this early disinclination toward math. It provides practical exposure to the theoretical knowledge learned in classrooms, helping them to relate better and establish a stronger understanding of numbers and arithmetic functions.
- For Homeworks
Abacus can be used to develop mental math. Abacus games and applications provide a platform for young children to learn visualization approaches that instill a good command over the subject. It can make the brain more focused and also improve the ability to calculate larger numbers. This can play a key role in making the homework more approachable and also enable children to manage their time better.
- To Evaluate a Child’s Abacus Skills
Abacus, on its own, might end up making children a bit overwhelmed if not practiced properly. If not dealt with, this apprehension might grow out to be a bigger problem in later years – making them fear the subject as a whole. Teaching kids the digital way through apps and games can be more interactive way to keep the children engaged. They also teach the children how losing a game is just a stepping stone to winning the next one.
- For Homeschooling a Child
Homeschooling a kid might come with its own set of difficulties. To utilize their excess energy, parents enroll them in various classes. To break the monotony of their schedules and to nurture their positive growth, game-based learning could be a great contributor. Abacus-based games would help the children to spend their free time playing – and learning. They would be spending their energies in a more growth-oriented way. Moreover, through the apps, they can practice the abacus anytime and anywhere at ease.
With each passing generation, a bigger gap appears in the old teaching methods and the current learning potential of children. Learning abacus using games will help them understand maths through abacus, which can also aid them in focusing on their individual skillset. This game-based environment, where students can learn through apps and games can complement regular traditional classroom teaching as students would be able to apply their theoretical knowledge to something more practical, which will help them learn the concept better and retain it longer. Moreover, once they master the abacus, they would not need an abacus with them physically always. Students would then be able to just imagine an abacus in their minds and do the calculations mentally. Hence, this would also help them with mental maths.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,