Today Education is a Mixer of Old and New Technologies." – Essay

Accepting the importance of modern technologies in self-instructional mode of learning. Following modern techniques are adopted by open school system:

(i) Teleconferencing:

The principals of the institutions who function as the coordinators of the study centers have a crucial role to play in the teaching/ learning activities taking place at the study centers. They are the ones who directly deal with the learners. They are responsible for the management of all the activities taking place at the study centers. The formal school teachers normally constitute the teaching faculty at the study centers.

As such the role of coordinators and teachers at the study centers is quite different from the role they play at the traditional school, as the learners coming in this stream are different from the formal school learners. In open schooling system, the students’ needs must be given highest priority and feedback from students as well as from the faculty at the study centers (Coordinators, Teachers, Academic facilitators, Officers on special duty) is essential.

Teleconferencing is an electronic means, which can bring together participants in two or more locations to discuss their problems with their teacher/tutor who are at a different place. Through this system the participants from different parts can interact with the sender TV stations. The communication from the TV presenter to the learners is facilitated via geo-stationary satellite. The two- way audio linkage either through telephone channels or through satellite satisfies the queries of the learners. Thus, teleconferencing is one-way video and two- way audio.

The NOS has been successful in reaching out to its learners and study centre staff through this mode. The NOS uses facilities available with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for one-way video and two-way audio conferencing using the Indian communication satellites INSAT-II and INSAT-

II C. The receiving facilities available in the Regional Centers, IGNOU are hired by NOS and they serve as the learning ends. Some of the study centers and regional centers of the NOS equipped with the receiving facilities also serve as the learning ends.

The technology of teleconferencing has also proved to be effective in terms of time and cost too. Through this technique the NOS could cater to the interaction/ training requirement of a large number of learners/study center staff. The teleconferencing does not involve much of traveling cost and the boarding/ lodging cost as the participants do not have to come all the way to the headquarters to attend the interactive sessions. The utility of this mode largely depends on the participants’ response and their initiative to interact and send in their queries during the teleconferencing. This helps in prompt removal of their doubts and clarification of their problems.

(ii) Internet:

The NOS is setting up a large communication network all over the country for facilitating its course delivery and further widening the access. The NOS is also in the process of developing a web-based environment in order to enable students to have access to high quality education. The NOS has its web site at nos.org helping to disseminate information about itself. The home page provides information about the various programmes and courses, complete addresses of study centers, examination system and a lot more to make the accession user-friendly.

NOS is in the process of developing an electronic forum of internet based schools in India called “‘Indira Open Schooling Network (IOSN)”. It will be beneficial to all the students who have an access to internet at school or at home. The NOS will play the role of a nodal agency in bringing the various schools all over India having internet facility under the network. The schools, which are not having internet facility and wish to be on the net, can also join this network. It will provide information to the schools and students in the following areas:

1. Access to electronic information, archives and databases;

2. Direct support to teachers and learners to enhance educational access, quality;

3. Career counseling;

4. Job requirements and opportunities available;

5. Courses available through Distance Education and Open Learning mode;

6. Provision of internet services;

7. Provision of directory services;

8. Offering courses through internet.