Ahh! Friday is here. A good week has just completed and the Japanese exchange students that spent the last two weeks at our school have returned to their own school, Taisei High School, just outside Tokyo. The students managed to have some rather interesting experiences. During visits to our beaches they witnessed whales, dolphins and seals. As well, one group of students were given a lift to their home in a fire-engine. Not bad, eh? A good week and Friday could not be better.

This week our special guest on Friday Follow Twitter Interview is coming to us all the way from Venezuela! Our guest is Yohimar from Francisco de Miranda University. She teaches EFL and is a keen practitioner in the application of education technologies as part of her suite of teaching and learning strategies. Let’s learn more about Yohimar and her thoughts on social media and edtech…

1. Please share a little about yourself with the readers.

I am Yohimar Sivira, a 26 years old EFL teacher at Francisco de Miranda University, since 2008. I have taught ESP to students from Medicine and Engineering programs. But now, I am a teacher trainer, working with beginners (First level of English of their career). I love applying ICT tools to my courses. In fact, I have just finished an ESP course which was blended and my students really enjoyed it, as well as me.

Soy Yohimar Sivira, profesora de Inglés como Lengua Extranjera en la Universidad Nacional Experimental Francisco de Miranda desde 2008. He enseñado Inglés para Propósitos Específicos (IFE) a estudiantes de los programas de Medicina e Ingenieria. Pero ahora trabajo con principiantes en la carrera de educación inglés. Me encanta aplicar herramientas tecnológicas en mis cursos. De hecho, acabo de terminar un curso de IFE que fue mixto (semipresencial) y mis estudiantes realmente lo disfrutaron tanto como yo.

2. Describe the role played by social media in education.

I think nowadays, it´s all about sharing and interacting, so social media is the web vehicle we, as teachers, should use to be in contact with our students, come closer to them, see them as they really are…that is, socializing ´cause the are humans too =)

Pienso que actualmente, todo se trata de compartir e interactuar, por lo tanto, los medios sociales son un vehículo web que nosotros, como profesores deberíamos usar para estar en contacto con nuestros estudiantes, acercarnos a ellos, verlos como realmente son, es decir, socializar porque ellos son humanos también.

3. Tell me about your relationship with social media. How do you feel about social media?

Well, relationship? Think social media is my child, husband and friends heh!heh!…I spend most of the day time in front of the computer checking twitter, facebook, gtalk, windows live, mails and now google+… So, I think it´s my way of living.

Yo creo que los medios sociales son mis hijos, mi esposo, y mis amigos jejeje. Paso la mayor parte del día en frente de la computadora checando twitter, facebook, gtalk, Windows live, correos y ahora google+. Entonces, yo creo que es mi forma de vivir.

4. What do you feel are you strengths?

As a young woman, I am not a digital native but a digital immigrant. All the time, I am looking for new ways to improve my teaching practices and I think technology makes it easier. Of course, we have to be trained to do our best. In short, my strengths lay on my inner motivation to try…

Como mujer joven, no soy nativa digital pero sí una inmigrante. Siempre, estoy en busca de nuevas formas de mejorar mi praxis educativa y yo creo que la tecnología lo hace más fácil. Por su puesto, nosotros tenemos que ser entrenados para hacerlo lo mejor posible. En conclusión, mis fortalezas se basan en una motivación interna de intentar…

5. What advice do you like to share with people?

Just be yourself and never think its impossible to change and try new things…get out of your comfort zone…=)

Sólo sé tu mismo y nunca pienses que es imposible cambiar e intentar cosas nuevas. Sal de tu zona de confort.

Thank you Yohimar! Inner motivation is all you need! And, I agree, a key to success is simply being yourself and taking those steps outside one’s comfort zone. And thank you so much for providing your answers in Spanish as well.

Remember, readers to add Yohimar to your Twitter feed:

Yohimar on Twitter: @Yohimar
Yohimar on Wikispaces: http://yohimarsivira.wikispaces.com/