Tips for picking an e-school

US News offers thing to consider before signing up: reputation, technical maturity, student ability to adapt to new teaching methods.

At first glance e-learning seems like a wonderful thing. The time flexibility and selection of classes can't be beat. But with all the choices of online learning these days, how does one select the best e-school? U.S. News and World Report gives some good advice on how to choose the digital classroom that's right for you.

First, check out the school's reputation. The school should be known to your future employers. Is the school accredited? Online colleges and graduate programs are expected to meet the same standards as traditional institutions.

Second, how long has the online school been around? New schools are often working out technical difficulties that could impede the learning.

Make sure that you have a speedy connection to tackle the class. If you haven't upgraded to broadband or DSL, sign up before registering for the class.

Do you have the self-discipline to stay the course? A student must log in regularly and often has to participate in chats regarding assignments. There's no sitting in the back of the class cramming in a last-minute assignment in e-school.

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