Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- It appears that veterans' benefits are beginning to reflect changes to the higher-education landscape. "Student veterans studying online to get GI Bill housing stipend next month," reports a September 28, 2011 Stars and Stripes blog post. "Student veterans attending online classes under the post-9/11 GI Bill will start receiving housing stipend checks next month for the first time, part of another slate of changes to the education benefit."
- "Aggressive approach will pay off with student loans," promises a September 25, 2011 Boston.com article. "The concept sounds simple, but the numbers are powerful. By directing those additional payments toward loan principal, the couple would not only pay the loan off faster but also reduce their overall interest payments – cutting a whopping $31,000 from the $87,830 of interest they’d be paying under their current payment schedule."
- Can distance learning bring us closer to utopia? "Future Perfect: Online Education Will Save the Day." "If it falls to online education to save the Ivory Tower’s bacon so be it. After all, you can think of much worse transformations — say, a regression to an earlier state when universities were the preserve of the well-heeled and well-connected. There exist forces that would take postsecondary institutions in precisely this direction, and this would be much more difficult to do if the bulk of universities’ products and resources were made virtual."
- A September 27, 2011 SmartMoney article reveals "10 Things Student Loan Companies Won't Say." "After retrenching post-credit crunch, private lenders have begun to once again recognize the opportunity in this lucrative market. Around 24 private lenders are offering student loans now, up from 12 in 2008, according to FinAid.org. Financial aid experts say that as long as college tuition costs keep rising and families face tight budgets and high unemployment, that number is expected to keep growing."
- Private sector colleges and universities are trying to put their best face forward. "Best Behavior: More on For-Profit Colleges’ Code of Conduct." "The true test of any industry is whether it lives up to the initial impression it has made on the public, or lives it down. This applies especially to the private for-profit higher education industry, which came on like gangbusters with the tech boom but has since come to resemble more crooks to be busted."
- A September 28, 2011 Urbanite Baltimore article offers tips on Getting an e-Ducation." "Online courses are appealing because they're convenient. When you factor in commute time — to say nothing of the expense of child care, gas, and parking — a one-hour class in a traditional college setting quickly becomes a four-hour commitment. Online, some classes are taught in real time — in edu-jargon, they're called 'synchronous.' But most are 'asynchronous'— students access materials at their convenience, complete coursework and participate in online dialog within a flexible timeframe, and generally progress on their own schedule. Nor are online students bound by geography. You can study most anything you like, where you like, as long as you have a computer. Degrees that appeal to career-minded students and that don't require a lot of hands-on practical work have really blossomed online in such areas as business, education, IT, criminal justice, and, to some extent, health care."
- And the UK Guardian offers tips on "How to prepare for the e-learning journey." "I manage a team of four IT trainers, supporting 8,000-plus users across the UK. My team and I are continuously exploring the range of learning technologies and trying to identify how these can be used in Barnardo's to support learning and internal communications."