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LinkedIn: Social Networking for Teachers

Teachers Guide to The Use of Linkedin

LinkedIn's Guide for Teachers 
Our Educational Networking series which we have started awhile ago have really proved to be a great success. Educators and teachers from all around the globe have been positively interacting with these posts and we really feel glad to receive emails of encouragement from teachers telling us how much they have learnt(ed) from these series. 
The purpose of these series is to help educators, teachers, and students take a clear look at how social networking sites can be used as powerful networking tools for the development of the overall education, sharing our best picks for tips, tools and many more. Part of this work is inspired by The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age .

Please make sure you have read the first two parts to proceed with this third . If you have not then here are the posts : 
First Part 
Second Part 

Today we are exploring Linkedin from an educational viewpoint. Linkedin is often ignored by teachers who shy away from it preferring Facebook and Twitter instead. Well it is time to correct this attitude for ones never never knows the real worth of something till he/she gives it a try. As an educator and a Linkedin user for a couple of years now, I can comfortably attest to the numerous benefits of this professional network in education. I am a member of several groups which I will share with you below and I have knotted a labyrinth of relationships with like-minded educators from all around the globe. LinkedIn has introduced me to new ideas and expanded my professional network to include educators I never thought I would meet before.

To help you better understand what Linkedin has in store for you let us first go through some of the important tips you need to keep in mind when using this website : 
General Tips 
1- Create a solid profile 
Be it with Linkedin or any other social networking website you are intending to use for educational purposes, you always need to identify yourself to others. Take the time to tell them who you are , where you have studied, what educational role you have now...ect This will help you find and connect with educators sharing the same interests as you. 
2- Accepting new connections 
Always make sure to go through profiles of your prospective new connections. Sometimes you get friendship invitations from people having nothing to do with education, or they are working with companies promoting products or making sale online, so you check their information before you accept anyone. 
3- Professional use 
I said before that Linkedin is a professional network and by categorising it as being professional we inherently shun away some of social features you might be used to when using for instance Facebook. Make sure what you share has relevance to your educational background and your profession as a whole. It is for professional networking so keep it this way. People would love to connect to somebody who has some expertise in his domain. Nonody cares what movie you watched last night or what you did on the weekend. 
4- Recommendations 
LinkedIn has a unique feature called recommendation. This is particularly helpful in improving your profile and giving it more authority.LinkedIn is not just about sharing educational resources with the liked-minded people but is also a job market. Many Employers use LinkedIn to search for their prospective employees. It is a fact that you need to know that the better your profile is and the professional it looks the higher chances you have of getting hired. So If you are looking for work in LinkedIn then why not increase your chances by getting people you know like your former professors, employers, colleagues to recommend you.Recruiters do consider this. 
5- Add your personal touch 
When requesting connections on LinkedIn, you need to change the default template that says" I'd like to add you to my professional " to something that really identifies you and why you want to be connected with that person. 
6- Be engaged 
As is the case with other social networking websites, you need to offer congratulations, likes, and other little ways to let people know you're listening and you care. 
7- Join Groups 
This is very important in your professional development. LinkedIn has several interesting groups where educators share educational resources, tips, and discuss issues and topics of educational relevance. Below is a list of such groups that you can start with. 

LinkedIn Groups for Teachers and Educators 
Here is a set of interesting groups teachers and educators need to join on LinkedIn. I have included the description of each as provided by the group admin. I am also a member of each of those groups so I am not talking about things I do not know and by the way you can befriend me on LinkedIn and join my list of connections HERE.
Click on any title to visit the group.

Together, great minds can achieve significantly more than a single perspective alone. The vision of this group is to network with others, share information, discuss the industry, support one another and envoke interesting conversation. 

This is a group for those people blogging about the K12 classroom including teachers, administrators, curriculum directors, professional developers, preservice teachers, and college level educators who focus on k12 education. 

This group is meant for people who want to revolutionize the education industry - the education system, administration of the education, teaching and instructional methodologies, learning evaluation methods and education content relevance. 

This group is for English language teachers and professionals, whatever their experience level or job status. A place to network about jobs and connect and grow as a teacher/professor/instructor. A place to find other like minded professionals and discuss recent news items or topics of interest in ELT. A place to learn about new developments, websites and job opportunities.

As it name suggests, this group is for teachers and educators interested in integrating technology in education.

This group is for TEFL, TESL, TESOL online teachers. Topics of discussion: business English, TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, ESL, EFL, language teaching platforms, online tutoring classes, online group classes, curriculum development, teaching tips, teaching ideas, teaching over Skype, online whiteboards, LMS (Learning Management Systems), finding new students, keeping students, using social networking to find students, setting teacher fees, teacher profiles, online teaching best practices, teaching jobs, teach online, teach English online, online English teachers, tutors, and much more.

Are you a K-12 teacher who needs to network with other teachers from all around the world? Are you an expert in general education or special education? Do you have a math, reading, science, or Admin. idea that really works at your school/campus and would like to share it with others? Share it today! 

TESOL Greece is an independent, volunteer, non-profit professional association for teachers of English as a foreign language and other ELT professionals working in Greece. TESOL Greece is a TESOL Inc affiliate and an IATEFL associate. TESOL. 

The group is a social networking group for educators and professionals to network together in order to discuss ways in which technology can be seamlessly integrated into the education of students in grades K-College. This group focuses on connections with other like minded professionals, where integration of technology in the educational atmosphere of K-College students is essential. This site develops a means for business professionals as well as educators to share ideas and resources through a common link in an effort to improve the education of students globally. 

TEFL Institute is the leader in professional TEFL certifications worldwide. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USA, our staff have lived, worked and travelled to more than 70 countries worldwide. 

Literacy Leaders originated in Springfield School District when Dr. Rina Vassallo called together invested stakeholders to explore, discuss and find ways to implement learning opportunities across the curriculum that strengthen student literacy skills while teaching the content of our respective disciplines. Teachers in the group represent classrooms ranging grades 5 to 12 and specialize in a variety of disciplines. All teachers in the group understand the necessity of teaching students to access content using strong subject specific literacy skills. 

Devoted to dissemination of information for Education Technology Professionals in K-12.

Learning Without Frontiers is a global platform for disruptive thinkers and practitioners from the education, digital media, technology and entertainment sectors who come together to explore how new disruptive technologies can drive radical efficiencies and improvements in learning whilst providing equality of access..

The DEN is a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking. Discovery Educators have exclusive access to professional development activities, networking opportunities, exclusive Discovery events & more!.

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