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Educator spotlight: Dr. Roland Rios, Fort Sam Houston ISD

/ Nitesh Dutt

Our latest Educator Spotlight is Dr. Roland Rios of Fort Sam Houston Independent School District. Dr. Rios is the Director of Technology and has spent a total of 15 years in the district. See why he chose WeVideo for his district and what changes he's seen in students and teachers when using WeVideo on Chromebook.

What is your role at Fort Sam Houston Independent School District?

My name is Dr. Roland Rios, I'm the Director of Technology for the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District. I've been in this district for 18 years. I've been in education for 27.

What characteristics or features made you choose WeVideo?

As a 1:1 district, I really saw the power of Chromebooks in the classroom. The only thing lacking on a Chromebook was the ability to edit and record videos, so I was really looking for a viable and strong solution. Once I found WeVideo and previewed it, I just couldn't pass it up. There are so many wonderful features. One was its ease of use for teachers, students, and administrators. For the technology department, it was easy to manage all of our users by authenticating their Google credentials so I don't have to add users. They just simply log in.

What's the most valuable skill kids learn by editing videos on Chromebooks?

With video, there's so much more than just writing. You've got visual, you've got the audio, you've got the music, you've got the sound effects. They have to create a certain mood, analyze their writing, and ask themselves many questions.  Is this a happy story? Is it a sad story? Is it a patriotic story? Is it comical? What music goes with that? What are the right visuals for that? What kind of transition should I use? Through this process, it makes them think more about the meaning of their words. How am I going to say it, and not just write it? It's all about how to convey emotion and video is so powerful in doing that. Kids today are so used to the visual aspect of things so video is a natural extension of that communication and the creative process.

“When a tool like WeVideo comes along that is so easy to use, easy to implement, easy to roll out, it makes my job wonderfully easy and it makes the end product really well, really great.”

-Dr. Roland Rios, Director of Technology

What kind of changes have you seen in your teachers and students when using WeVideo on Chromebooks?

One of the things that I always strive for with our teachers is for our students to not just consume using their technology, but to create. I really want our students to be creators of content. With WeVideo, I’ve seen a lot more creation using analytical skills, using creativity, the music, the narration, and greater collaboration as well.

The other thing that I always push with teachers is to give our kids an authentic audience. I always say, if a student thinks that the world is going to see their work, they're going to make it really good. If they think only their teacher is going to see it, they're going to make it good enough. So by sharing their work with a larger audience such as on the district Facebook page or YouTube they really strive hard to make it really good. And that's what I've seen.

What's personally most rewarding about WeVideo being successfully implemented in your schools?

I see these kids light up with excitement when they rush up saying, “Dr. Rios, look at my video! Dr. Rios, look at my video!” And they're eager to share. Imagine if the students are eager to share what they're doing at school with others. That's when you know you've done something right! That's when you know you've got the right tool in the right hands of the kids.