My Life as a Teacher and Beyond
In primary school, I was that kid that seemed to always be paying attention in class and putting my hand up to answer questions. I loved helping out the teachers. At the same time, I was in my own world of school textbooks, puzzles, craft projects and watching The Curiosity Show on TV. I’ve been interested in learning, teaching and technology since my first day of school. I held my first teacher professional development session at age 6, guiding a teacher discussion and critique on the benefits of staples, sticky tape and/or glue in a class craft activity. At high school I excelled in Science, Art and English. Things have evolved, yet remained the same.
When I started Teacher’s College I was very keen on becoming a Science and Biology teacher. I loved the education technology classes the most! We learned how to use an overhead projector and Gestetner duplicating machine. After graduation, the job of teaching worked out OK – for a while. I also did some work as model, film/TV extra: Commonwealth Bank, Home and Away, Denton, GP, E-Street, Muriel’s Wedding. Around this time I was a game show contestant on Supermarket Sweep.
I started to look further, which led to me teaching via distance. This was around 1994. I used phone calls, cassette tapes and dial-up internet (a new and emerging technology). Printed booklets were the standard resource for every course, which led to me writing and producing print (as well as audio and video) distance education learning materials for NSW schools. In the late 90s I did some study in multimedia – the old word for new media and an even older word for digital content – which helped me, as a Digital Producer, create more sophisticated educational resources: CD-ROMs, training videos and websites for adult vocational learners. New technology to show and share my passions. Typically, I would work closely with a TAFE teacher and/or SME, do the instructional design whilst directing and managing small teams of media specialists: screen designers, video producers, audio engineers, text/copy editors, coders, programmers etc. Some of my finest projects were sent to every school in Australia! I continued as an Instructional Designer for TAFE, enjoying collaborations with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from vocational-related industries. I also loved a new approach to education and yet another emerging technology: eLearning and Learning Management Systems (LMS). Of course, around this time – the early 2000s – there was a great rush to “convert old courses to online” but that’s another story!
Around 2003, I started my own business – Parryville Media – continuing to produce educational videos and a range of online resources for schools, universities and other organisations. I’m very pleased with how it’s worked out! I did some more study, this time a Master of Arts in media arts and production. From 2008 I worked as a learning designer at Macquarie University, enjoying collaborations with Higher Education lecturers, researchers and other Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Around 2011, I did some instructional design for Optus, developing learning materials and training staff (Australian and offshore) on the rollout of a new video streaming platform. Then back to a bit more freelance work at MQ uni. I’ve worked at MQ – on and off – for over ten years, across various faculties, departments, Learning Management Systems and job roles (eg Educational Designer, Video Producer). I’ve provided pedagogical advice and produced media (mostly video) for several research consortiums and projects run by Australian and international universities and research councils. I’m a good fit within a team of researchers, I’ve discovered.
Around 2011/2012 I went back to teaching, with classes of pre-service K-12 teachers learning about pedagogy and educational technology. In the first class of each semester I would take great delight in showing my perplexed students a photo of an overhead projector and Gestetner duplicating machine and comparing these with contemporary educational technology such as interactive whiteboards and ipads. Here is a Teaching Performance Letter from around that time. My teaching role extended into classes in video and creative media – here’s a BTS video of my class in action – as well as staff professional development and corporate training. I’ve run lots of online classes and seminars for companies such as Adobe and I’ve been an ATOM Awards judge for a few years.
I am currently an Instructional Designer at Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where I collaborate with media industry professionals to design, develop and deliver online, blended and face-to-face courses.
Some organisation I’ve worked with
Adobe, NSW Department of Education, NSW TAFE, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Rotary, Australian Olympic Committee, ANZ bank, Australian Rugby Union, Casula Powerhouse, Australian Office for Learning and Teaching, Metro Screen, Australian Council of the Deans of Science, Macquarie University, The Benevolent Society, University of Queensland, Flinders University, University of Notre Dame, New Horizons, Housing Industry Association (HIA), Gosford City Council, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA), National Broadband Network (NBN), Optus and Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA).
Study and Qualifications
- Bachelor of Education (Science)
- Certificate IV Information Technology (Multimedia)
- Master of Arts (Media Arts and Production)
Supporting Teachers with Technology
Essentially, I believe that technology – when used well – can produce better learning and teaching experiences. Learners who are offered more flexibility via technology are potentially more engaged, better equipped for learning and are, in turn, better able to meet their learning outcomes. Technology can make the learning experience more purposeful, collaborative, broad and meaningful for learners. Additionally, teachers who use technology are able to offer so much more to their learners. It’s also about those more creative and compelling aspects of using video and related technologies in the classroom and beyond. I enjoy the process of using technology to design, develop and implement compelling and meaningful learning and teaching experiences. I regularly point a video camera at teachers and press the record button, however, this is a quite oversimplified description of how technology might potentially be used. I believe that using technology has more immediate potential across a wide range of learning and teaching situations.
- Follow @parryville on Twitter
- Connect with Mark Parry on LinkedIn
- Listen to podcast Perspectives in Parryville. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify and iHeartRADIO
- Explore work samples in School, University, Community
- Insights into Instructional Design