Ft. Sam Houston ISD director reflects on virtual learning

Education facilities across the world and right here in San Antonio are facing unique challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear if or when it will come to an end.

The pandemic is unpredictable and some area educators believe there will be lasting, long-term effects on teaching.

Dr. Roland Rios, director of technology with Ft. Sam Houston ISD, joined Leading SA Sunday morning to discuss his district’s current situation.

“Because we’re at Fort Sam Houston, all of our students are military dependents. So not only are they dealing with this pandemic, but many of them are [from] New York City. They’ve moved here over the summer. They haven’t had the chance to experience San Antonio in all its glory with everything closed… Add to that the mix of online learning with in-person instruction. We’ve got quite a challenge facing us right now,” Dr. Rios said.

Ft. Sam Houston ISD is currently in a hybrid learning system. Dr. Rios said so far, the learning system seems to be working efficiently, but this virtual learning could change teaching forever.

“I think once all of this COVID is over, and we know it will be one day, and we have those children and their beautiful smiling faces back with us face-to-face, I think teachers, administrators, students, parents, they’re going to realize that education isn’t necessarily bound by the four walls of a building,” Dr. Rios said.

For now, Dr. Rios said his district has launched websites for teachers and students that helps them navigate their virtual learning.

“We’ve developed a website for our teachers called ‘Teach Anywhere.’ We’ve got a website for our students called ‘Learning Anywhere.’ We are constantly reaching out to our teachers within our district, how to use technology. We’re producing tutorial videos, handouts, anything that we can to give them that just in time training to get that knowledge when they need it,” Dr. Rios said.

You can view the full Leading SA interview with Dr. Rios in the video player above.

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