There is no much literature on the true nature of the effects or importance of manipulatives but we cannot ignore their contribution to not only the performance in mathematics but also in improving test scores. It is however necessary to note that manipulatives are not limited to concrete, hands-on materials; in real sense or in a practical setting virtual manipulatives exist and that they are hands-on models that student’s use in a virtual environment. With their presence a distinction is made and the hands-on materials are then presented as interactive tools. (Moyer, Bolyard, and Spikell, 2002) described them in this way:
“A virtual manipulative is best defined as an interactive, Web-based visual representation of dynamic objects that is used to present opportunities necessary for the construction of mathematical knowledge. The three noted that currently virtual manipulatives are mainly designed on concrete manipulatives that are commonly found in schools. However, the three also noted their ability to be used interactively—that is, to allow the user to engage and control the physical actions of these objects—combined with the opportunities that they offer to discover and construct mathematical principles and relationships, distinguishes them as virtual manipulatives” (Moyer, Bolyard, and Spikell, 2002, p. 373).