Virtual Manipulatives: Tools for Teaching Mathematics to Students With Learning Disabilities


Many students with learning disabilities demonstrate difficulty in developing a conceptual understanding of mathematical topics. Researchers recommend using visual models to support student learning of the concepts and skills necessary to complete abstract and symbolic mathematical problems. Virtual manipulatives (i.e., interactive visual models) can be used. This article discusses (a) technology trends in teaching mathematics to students with learning disabilities, (b) virtual manipulatives as instructional mathematical tools for use in the classroom, (c) the benefits of using virtual manipulatives, and (d) potential challenges with using virtual manipulatives for instructional purposes.


Shin, M., Bryant, D. P., Bryant, B. R., McKenna, J. W., Hou, F., & Ok, M. W. (2017). Virtual manipulatives: Tools for teaching mathematics to students with learning disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 52(3), 148–153. doi:10.1177/1053451216644830