Earlier in May this year when the deepening COVID-19 pandemic had brought public life to its knees , the CMS College in Kottayam was busy developing an exclusive E-Learning Management System for the coming academic year.
Having analysed the pandemic’s impact on all aspects of life, they had an inkling about the tectonic shift it would bring in the sphere of learning.
A little more than a month later, the institution here is now helping several fellow institutions to integrate technology into learning and help deliver content to students at low cost. What began as a COVID 19–induced push to the boundaries of teaching innovation has transformed the college into a manufacturer of one of the most sought after digital learning equipment — the learning glasses.
At present, it has orders from as many as six educational institutions for delivering the equipment, which is usually imported from abroad. As against the open market price that hovers around ₹1.60 lakh, they seek to deliver the product made of a glass panel measuring 6 X 4 feet, at less than ₹40,000.
According to Varghese C Joshua, college Principal, the institution has been receiving inquiries on the learning glass from several schools and colleges across the region.
“Since the lone objective behind the project is to make online learning more flexible and effective, we have limited this service to the educational institutions alone. But prior to its installation, we demand assurances from our customers that the glass will be backed up with a studio unit including a good quality camera, lighting and video editing tools,” he said.
A peer team constituted by the college authority took into the making of learning glass after their attempt to import one from abroad got stuck in the lockdown and the financial constraints that ensued.
Midhun R.Mohan, the college’s website administrator who heads the manufacturing unit said the product was of great demand among the schools as it let the teachers to draw sketches and equations as they lecture.
“Since it is an open-source, we keep on updating the product from time to time to suit our way of teaching,” he said.
Besides learning glasses, the COVID cell in the college here has been into the manufacturing of hand sanitizer lotions and even installed a solar-powered sanitizer dispenser in its campus here.