5: LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a business oriented social networking site.  Since it's the first time we have discussed social networking sites, let's watch a short video about them in plain English.

LinkedIn enables professionals to connect from a wide range of fields. It also allows users to maintain a list of contacts they know and trust. Users can invite anyone to become a connection. However, all relationships on LinkedIn are mutually confirmed and no one appears in the LinkedIn Network without knowledge and explicit consent.
Of all the Web 2.0 tools we will examine in our 23 Things project, LinkedIn could be the tool most underused by the educational professional.   This is unfortunate because educators and staff members need professional contacts just as much as any other profession.
Another aspect of LinkedIn is that people typically don't know the value of the connections they make.  This video should give you an idea of what you can do with your network on LinkedIn.

Discovery Exercises:
  1. Join LinkedIn!  A basic LinkedIn account is free. It is very easy to join LinkedIn.  When you join, you are asked to create a public profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by current and former colleagues, business associates, and former classmates.  Tips:
      • If you use "Academy of the Sacred Heart Bloomfield Hills" as your company name, you will be able to quickly connect with some colleagues.  
      • You can skip the step of importing your email contacts. You can do this later or not at all.   
      • Use the Settings link in LinkedIn in the upper right to access what personal information, such as your name, is public.  (It's always a good idea to review your privacy settings with any Web 2.0 tool.)

  2. Build Your Network!  Use the "Contacts" menu to "add connections."  Also, you can build and add to your connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to them.  If you are interested, you can join Groups in LinkedIn.  You can use the search box to find groups of interest.

  3. Add a post to your blog about your LinkedIn experience.  Address any of these questions:
  • Do you see LinkedIn as a valuable resource?  When/How might it be useful?
  • Why do you think the field of education is under-represented on LinikedIn? 
  • What other social networking sites do you belong to, if any?  How is LinkedIn different?

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