Friday, December 16, 2011

Facebook Timeline: The 21st Century Resume - Available Now!

Educators who are up to the task of preparing our students with the essential tools for success today will want to know that starting now, Facebook Timeline is available to all, so if you haven't gotten it, now's the time to get it. Timeline provides an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect all your best moments in a single place. It is a tremendous resource for any school admission counselor or human resource executive interested in seeing if a candidate is a good match. It's the job of today's innovative educator to ensure their students know how to create an online image that will lead to the school or job of their dreams.  

It is the job of the 21st century educator to ensure students have created a digital footprint that will lead to academic and career success. While controlling your digital footprint is as easy as 1-2-3, unfortunately, rather than prepare students with the tools they'll need to create and develop their online image, boneheads like this teachers' union spokesperson are advising teachers to leave students stuck in the past.

Of course to do that, you'll need to be familiar with Timeline yourself.  To do that, this video provides a useful overview of Timeline.
Once you've watched the video, joined Timeline, and become familiar with it, here are five things you can do to support your students.

5 Ideas for Getting Your Students Started with Facebook Timeline

  1. Know your brand - Everything you post online says something about you.  Ensure that is a message you want to convey.  
  2. Fix mistakes - Sometimes something is shared that does not represent our best selves to the world.  It this happens, Timeline will let you hide the story, post, or picture shared by you or someone else.  
  3. Celebrate what you are proud of -Was there something that occurred that you are especially proud of and really represents the image you want to convey?  If so, Timeline let's you feature it and star your favorites to double their size.
  4. Imagine yourself as a historical figure -We know that social media is tool necessary for success in many fields. For instance, if our students choose to run for office, they'll need social media savvyness and a respectable digital footprint.  It is reasonable in fact that any student today could become a historical figure in the future. Ask your students to think about themselves as future historical figures and contemplate what their timeline says about the young version of who they are to become.
  5. Tell your story -Have your students think deliberately about their Timeline from the perspective of an autobiography that would be attractive to those considering them as candidates for college and career.  Have them actually write an autobiography selling themselves by pointing out important milestones on their timeline that would make them desirable to those considering them for employment or acceptance into their program.  You could extend this activity by having students write the biography of a classmate to students see how they are perceived by others.  
  6. Fill in the blanks -
    As students think critically about their image, they may realize that important parts of their story aren't included on their Timeline. No problem. They can go back to when they happened and add them.
To get timeline, simply go to the Introducing Timeline page and click "Get It Now." Or you can wait until you see an announcement at the top of your profile.


  1. I am looking at my Timeline and I'm not sure about it yet. I appreciate the tips you have to make it relevant as a part of an ePortfolio for our students. What jumps out is the way it paints my profile, somewhat superfluous to anything that actually relates to what (at least I imagine I use Facebook for, or it uses me for) I use Facebook for. But then I suppose its all in our intention; I use Facebook to connect to my students and as a supplemental LMS. In my experience I tend to network very little with people through Facebook, and move to other venues, like this blog. There is an element of transparency in Timeline that is interesting and at the same time intimate. In the end it is the monolithic nature of Facebook that gives me pause. Its clear to me seeing how my students use Facebook, that things become "real," or a "Facebook Relationship"-- sometimes sheer fantasy, or deep truth. That for these students things aren't real(ontologically) unless its on Facebook. No doubt Timeline is a powerful model for visualizing life per Facebook. I am looking forward to hearing about creative ways of using it. Thanks for challenging me to look at the Timeline in a different way.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    Timeline totally rocks in my opinion, although I know many people hate it because of the time it can take to load up it's pretty clear where facebook is heading and that it's trying to get its users to tell their entire life story online, great move IMO.