Making it work: Linking-in Without Logging On

February 28, 2013

I could have easily reserved a computer lab so I could introduce LinkedIn to students in my career development class. But I knew the lesson would be in competition with our addiction to natural lean toward multitasking.

Hold on, let me check my email, Facebook and Twitter profiles, Blackboard. Wait, what are we supposed to be doing again? Oooh shiny! 

In addition, students who are less skilled with navigating new technology might feel flustered and put a hold on participating.

Sometimes the best tech tools to help students learn about tech tools is pen and paper.

Here is one way to teach LinkedIn to students without computers:

You will need:

Have an idea what to write. We did some prep work leading up to this activity: six word memoirs, elevator pitchesspeed networking, and locating recent articles about LinkedIn. This got students thinking about what makes them marketable, what opportunities they are looking for, and how to communicate goals to people of influence. Before the activity, I gave them five minutes to to come up with a “cheat sheet,” including a headline, summary, list of professional-ish experiences, and a handful of skills.


Sketch out your profile. Each student was given a giant post-it, a marker, and wall space in the hallway. After showing the class my professional sketch, I gave them 10-15 minutes to create their own. They were responsible for translating their “cheat sheet” onto a larger, more visible profile.


View colleagues profiles. After the profiles were completed, I allotted some time for students to view each profile. As they read, I asked them to endorse skills their classmates have demonstrated by placing a “check” on their individual profiles.



Make updates as needed. We still have some work to do on the self-assessment piece, but students are catching on more with each lesson. The next time we work on LinkedIn profiles, it will be in a computer lab– but the cheat sheets will be more comprehensive.

I really like this activity for a few reasons:

How are you teaching students how to use LinkedIn? I would love to hear your tips! Click here to read about how to teach Twitter without Twitter.

March 1, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

This is an excellent post, and is making me completely re-think a workshop I’m planning for Girl Scout volunteers on using Pinterest. Your tips will help me make it into a hybrid class with a lot more interaction for the women!

    March 1, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    Thanks for reading, Jessi. Would love to hear about your Pinterest workshop!

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