HICKORY — A former Bladen County resident and teacher has created a unique way for students to learn their multiplication tables — an app for your Iphone or Ipad.
Sonya Whiteside, formerly of Clarkton, is a third-grade teacher at Clyde Campbell Elementary School and created an app that aids students with their learning of multiplication tables through the use of music.
The app can be purchased through the Itunes store, according to Whiteside. Currently, it is only available for Apple products, but Whiteside said she hopes in the future to make it available for all formats.
She said she got the idea from her love of music. Whiteside said learning your multiplication tables shouldn’t be traumatic.
Whiteside grew up in the town of Clarkton, where she learned to play the guitar. She said she would often play in church.
“I went to UNC-Charlotte and became a teacher and brought my music with me,” said Whiteside.
She said began to write sings using the multiplication tables for the 10 numbers. Whiteside said when the song is finished you basically have the answers to your 10 multiplication tables. She said she began to create songs with the other multiplication tables.
“I put tunes to 3-12 just basically recorded on a cassette player then on a CD. All the students I taught (using the music) pretty much had 100 percent mastery of their multiplication tables,” said Whiteside.
Whiteside said she started the idea about 1998. She said made cassette recordings to give to students to use and then she eventually progressed to making compact disc recordings.
“In 2006, I actually got a group together and they wanted to do it and we did a much better recording for people to have,” said Whiteside. “I started thinking about three years ago that this CD is great for kids who are auditory learners. I decided to take it to the next level.”
Whiteside said she thought if the idea could be turned into an app where the student can use ear plugs and just have it with them to listen to would be great.
“The CD provided the opportunity for singing in the car or on the CD player,” said Whiteside. “With the app, it could be more than auditory. It adds a visual component.”
She said she worked with a local group to add some graphics to the app and then learned of a small education app company located in Winston-Salem, called the West Third Street Media Group. Whiteside said she contacted Linda Evans, who is an investor with the group and explained her idea. At first, Whiteside said Evans told her the idea was complicated to understand. Whiteside said after some more talks the group invited her to come and present her idea for the app.
Whiteside said she and the group worked together and the multiplication app became a reality.
“My vision for it is it would go to other products and eventually go nationwide and worldwide,” said Whiteside.