Images of the ancient Abacus, common Abacus & virtual Abacus

10Dec

Abacus-Journey From A Physical Calculator To Mental Math Tool

This write-up will give you all the information you have been looking for about Abacus. You will get a brief history of Abacus and its journey from a physical calculator to a mental math tool. Also used as a modern-day Brain development tool for the younger brains.


History of Abacus 


When we look into the history of Abacus, the word Abacus originates from the Greek word 'abax' or 'abakon,' meaning 'tabular form. Abacus is a calculating device invented about 3000 years ago, primarily in China, which later spread through countries like Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, etc. in ancient days. The Abacus Tool, in its journey, has gone through several changes to ease its use by the masses. The Abacus involves the Basic Arithmetic System for calculating numbers. The Suanpan, the Chinese Abacus with 2/5 decks, got replaced by Soroban, a Japanese Abacus to cut down on the complexities in calculations. This modification is credited to the Japanese mathematician Seki Kowa. It has an upper and lower deck to make with 1/4 decks. The modified Sorobon Abacus gained popularity worldwide as Globalization happened.


It is now being used majorly as a 'Whole Brain Development' tool over the last two decades, making Math learning easy and effective.


Scientific studies support the claim that the Abacus enhances the comprehension of Math and promotes accurate and faster calculation in addition to augmenting problem-solving abilities.


Research On Abacus 


It is a simplistic calculating device that lasted through generations and millennia. The Abacus instrument became a topic of study for both educationists and scientists. The topic of interest and research in the 20th century was the speed and accuracy that Abacus users showed while doing mathematical calculations.


The observation was that the students who had attended a reasonable number of Abacus Classes under well-trained experts showed excellent mental calculation skills. The scientific studies and neurological documents further proved that using the Abacus effectively develops the Right Brain.


The above was only a hypothesis that got validated once scholars did extensive research on Abacus with the help of hi-tech equipment. The preliminary study on the effects of Abacus training on the human Brain was done by 3 eminent scholars and scientists Dr. Toshio Hayashi, Prof. Shizuko Amaiwa and Ms. Kimiko Kawano. 


Development Of The Right Brain By The Abacus Method Of Mental Calculation.


The Human Brain has a left hemisphere or the Left Brain and a right hemisphere or the Right Brain. Although both the parts function in tandem, they have certain individual functions to be performed.


The Left Brain or the digital Brain controls reading, writing, calculation, and logical thinking. It is also responsible for our three-dimensional sense, creativity, and our artistic sense.


Dementia is a problem attributed to marginalized development of the Right Brain. The experts believe that our education system should adequately focus on training the Right Brain of the kids to reduce the possibility of dementia.


During the Abacus training, the students learn to visualize the Abacus instrument. Visualization is the beginning of learning to do Mental Math with an Abacus. The students move the Abacus beads in their heads on the imaginary Abacus instrument and carry out the calculations. Visualization is one of the primary reasons attributed by the scientists that they conclude could be responsible for effectively training the Right Brain.


The super-advanced medical equipment helps accurately measure cerebral physiology developments, indicating the Brain's blood flow. The studies on Abacus users who can do Mental Math indicate that it is highly effective in activating the Right Brain.


The students who complete all 8 levels of Abacus training become a master in Mental Calculation. They acquire several additional attributes. 


A) The Improvement of Numerical Memory 


Students trained with efficient use of the Abacus are seen to have far superior and accurate memory and recall compared to non-abacus learners of similar age. They can memorize and retain a large number of digits. It becomes possible because of their ability to visualize the Abacus, manipulate the beads, and decipher the bead position into numeric values.


B) Speed & Accuracy 


The most significant advantage of learning the Abacus is speed and accuracy in solving simple mathematical problems. The ability to visualize aids in doing mental math without actually using the physical Abacus Tool.

The abacus calculation method does not bind a student to a fixed process. They have the liberty to innovate while calculating, unlike the non-abacus students, where the process lacks flexibility.


C) Verbal Thinking and Image Processing (Visualization) 


When people do a mental calculation, they use the inner voice, like in 55 minus 5 is 50.

But a child who has learnt to use Abacus also learns visualization. The important thing is that they can also use them for other subjects. Not only also use this ability developed in an Abacus class in different ways.

While for beginners, Abacus helps to quickly grasp images in addition and subtraction problems as the beads move in front of their eyes. The child also can learn the decimal system.


Glimpses of Improvisations In Abacus and Its Developments 


To enable students to get the best from Abacus education and also the learning is eased out for the students, Mastermind Abacus has developed a hi-tech Abacus program. Still, it has ensured the sanctity of the ancient Abacus learning method is kept intact. The program is developed to give the children a joyful experience through the 2 years of Abacus training. It overcomes the flaws in the existing Abacus Training Systems.


1. The Calculating System Adapted Is School Curriculum Based 


Most Abacus programs follow the pattern of calculating from left to right, but the schools teach calculations from right to left. The new process interferes with the understanding and adaptation to varying patterns. Mastermind Abacus follows the school method of calculating from right to left.


2. Mastermind Abacus E-Learning Platform 


Before the lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, i.e., until the advent of 2020, Abacus learning was considered an exclusive offline program that could be conducted in an Abacus class where teachers take physical classes. They both have to move out of their homes. Starting an Abacus Class required infrastructure and monthly overhead rental. The students were always limited to surrounding areas.


In 2020, all schools and educational institutes were shut down. These restrictions forced the promoters to develop an online Abacus learning and teaching system. Creating a virtual classroom accessible from the comfort of the homes. Thus facilitating Abacus online.


Mastermind Abacus now has a conventional Abacus teaching and Learning program and a Hi-tech hybrid Abacus E-Learning Platform. It enables the teacher to teach from a remote, undoing the geographical limitations. It also offers a multilingual option.


The system meets all the parameters of an Abacus conventional teaching system, like teaching correct finger movement. Mental Math, assigning Homework, conducting online exams, real-time evaluation, certification etc. All this is done through a well-developed and easy-to-operate Teachers Panel.


The students learn on their system on their student's panel that comes with additional advantages like:


A) Abacus Math Game-Based Learning 


Abacus Math Game


The learning happens through pre-recorded learning videos under the guidance of a certified Abacus teacher. Classwork, Homework and practice are done by playing Abacus Math-based game videos.

The system has a video conferencing window that allows the teacher to keep a vigil on the students, and also, the students can converse with the teacher if need be.


B) Mastermind Abacus Virtual Abacus 


A Virtual Abacus


A Virtual Abacus, like a ready assistant, is available as and when required to help the students and teachers. This tool is beneficial for assisting both the students and teachers when no one is around to guide them physically.


Mastermind E-Learning Platform- A Boon For Students and Trainers 


Mastermind Abacus E-learning Platform has user-friendly features that make learning as effective as any conventional Abacus classroom. It is a convenient option for those who have had to either discontinue or want to learn Abacus in the present situation when educational institutes are yet to open. Location is also no more a hindrance.


Conclusion 


If you want to enroll your child at an Abacus Class, go ahead without hesitation. It will benefit your child in improving their concentration, ability to visualize, memory and recall ability and enhance their performance in general studies. It will add to the confidence of the child. It could be one of the best academic gifts you would give your child. Book a free demo.


Also Read: Abacus Learning Transformation from In-Person to Virtual Platform

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