Norwalk teacher creates Bluetooth mask to help educators and students during hybrid learning

Connecticut Families

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — When the pandemic hit, teacher Angela Rinaldi wondered how virtual learning would work.

“I thought to myself, ‘How are we going to reach all these students?'” she remembered.

So, this assistive technology specialist in Norwalk started creating.

“I always try to problem solve and try to figure out what can I do to make this better? What can I invent?”

She came up with the Bleu Mask, a high tech face covering with a hidden tool.

“It’s a simple mask then there’s a pocket. In that pocket is a Bluetooth but it has to be a very, very strong Bluetooth.”

Perfect for hybrid learning, serving students in the classroom and at home.

“The teacher walks around the room, and as the teacher is teaching the students in the room, the students at home hear it perfectly as if they’re right in front of the computer,” she explained. “I buy the masks in bulk. I do all the sewing myself and I had never sewed before.”

Now the masks are in use all over the country and even around the globe. Rinaldi said this is an exciting time for tech.

“We can do it. We have the ability, we have the tools, every student can learn, it’s just how we present it and how it’s put together and it can happen.”

A patent is pending. With fears of learning loss during the pandemic, Rinaldo is just happy to do what she can to make the situation better.

“These are really unprecedented times and to have the opportunity to help teachers and students during this time, it couldn’t be more gratifying.”

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