Linkedin started life as a resume site on steroids, something that recruitment agencies and training teams could use to find potential employees. It’s very much orientated towards professional life, in a similar way to how Facebook is orientated towards personal life (well, before it started on its mission of world domination).
As such, it might not be great for using as an e-learning tool, but it can be of great benefit for your students.
If you’re in the business of offering professional training courses, for example, you’re mostly catering to people who want to further their skills in order to improve their prospects, and find a better job.
These are exactly the people that will benefit the most from a well crafted LinkedIn profile.
Teaching your students how to craft the professional profile and how to use LinkedIn can make a big difference in their professional life after they complete your courses ― which perhaps improves the chances of them recommending your courses/organisation to others.
I think we are moving into a phase where people do not want to refer to their Facebook profile in their CV (with all the inappropriate content that may contain!), and having a LinkedIn profile for more professional needs is a great idea. Even for school leavers this can list interests, certificates and diploma’s, any charity or volunteer work they have completed, sports achievements, and anything else that gives a potential employer an idea of ‘who this person is’.
If your courses are specifically targeted at job-seekers and others seeking employment, it might be a good idea to offer a session to show them all about creating a good curriculum vitae, preparing for an interview, with LinkedIn and online reputation of other types could be a central part.
So, although LinkedIn isn’t an e-learning platform, it does offer potential benefits in wider online (professional) life for learners.