A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LinkedIn is a business-centered social network, mostly for adults who want to share resumes online. As of September 2013, kids 14 and up can join to learn more about colleges while building and sharing resumes. Teens can go to college and university pages for information on admissions, academics, financial aid, campus life, and extracurricular activities. They also can set up profiles and share information about their academic and work histories. However, teens and their parents should be cautious about what they post, as everything likely will be visible to admissions departments.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
LinkedIn is a social-networking website that allows users to organize employment and educational information on a resume-like page, then share with potential contacts in the job world. After signing up with an email and password, you can list relevant career information, including education history, job experience, hobbies, and organization membership. You then add \"connections,\" which could be classmates, colleagues, employers, companies, or schools. The site will prompt you to \"see who you already know on LinkedIn\" by allowing access to your email contacts, but it's not required. Your contacts' updates will appear in your feed and vice versa. You can add personal skills or join groups you may find interesting. LinkedIn's new school pages list statistics, allow users to talk to alumni, and even discover on-campus job opportunities.
Is it any good?
So far, for kids, LinkedIn is a mixed bag. For older, more motivated kids already knee-deep in the competitive college admissions game, it may feel natural: another opportunity to make themselves known. Younger, more enterprising teens might find after-school or summer jobs. However, for most 14-year-olds, joining LinkedIn probably isn't necessary. Nothing put on the Internet ever truly disappears, so kids should be as wary here as they are on Facebook, if not more.
In terms of how LinkedIn will work for college-bound graduates, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Will an overstuffed profile become a must? If so, how will underprivileged kids -- those without reliable computer access or who go to schools that don't offer many extracurriculars -- fare? It isn't clear how much personal information LinkedIn collects from kids' profiles or if it's used for advertising. Also, is it even healthy for kids to be so future-focused?
On the plus side, the site has a lot of quality college information. The statistics are really helpful in seeing where alumni excel post-graduation. Kids can get personalized advice and updates on their schools of choice and even learn about on-campus job opportunities. Modern kids are used to putting themselves out there online, and LinkedIn could prove to be a positive, empowering tool. Nevertheless, keep in mind that some of the most important parts of growing up simply aren't quantifiable on a resume. Sometimes being a kid means...just being a kid.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, presenting to others, writing
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, initiative, self-reflection
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, collecting data, strategy
Communication: conveying messages effectively
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, making wise decisions
Tech Skills: social media
- Genre: Social Networking
- Price: Free to $49.95 monthly for Premium account
- Pricing structure: Free, Paid
For kids who love social networking
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