The Ernakulam cluster of colleges is getting ready to take learning beyond the conventional textbook experience by initiating the ‘smart classroom' project on the campuses.

The cluster, which consists of Maharaja's College; Government College, Thripunithura; Sanskrit College, Thripunithura; and Cochin College, will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) to launch the ambitious programme.

Explaining that the aim of the project is to explore the immense opportunities being offered by information and communication technology in higher education, U. A. Mohandas, Principal of Maharajas College and chairperson of the Ernakulam cluster, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the initial cost of the smart classroom project is estimated at Rs. 20 lakh.

Stating that colleges involved in the cluster will be networked to reap the maximum benefit of modern technological advancements, Prof. Mohandas said that the smart classrooms will have audio-visual presentations and digital equipment that could be used for enhancing the learning process on the campus.

Smart classrooms will be equipped with the state-of-art computers, interactive panel and interactive whiteboards.

It will provide the faculty members with necessary tools that will help in enriching the student learning experience, he said.

Certificate programme

C-DIT will offer its certificate programmes in areas related to information technology, as part of the agreement.

Students will also have the option of taking up short-term courses being offered by the organisation. C-DIT's expertise in the field of academic training will be utilised fully for the success of the project.

Prof. Mohandas said that a website of the cluster of colleges will also come up in connection with the smart classroom programme.

The interactive website will have details about the programmes being offered by partner colleges.

It will also provide information on the joint programmes being initiated by the Ernakulam cluster of colleges.

The smart classroom project is one among the various programmes being launched by the Ernakulam cluster of colleges.

An initiative of the State Higher Education Council, the Ernakulam cluster had received Rs. one crore assistance from the council for kick-starting several academic programmes during the last financial year.

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