John Parris



John Parris is a researcher, designer, and producer with more than 25 years of experience in investigating and building high-quality, innovative educational media for students and teachers.

Parris’s work is rooted in a deep understanding of the realities of classrooms and guided by the desire to engage students and support teachers. He applies his expertise to a wide array of research and development prototypes and products for science, social studies, the arts, and interdisciplinary curricula. Parris has contributed to the development of forward-thinking, technology-based products, including Zoom In, which links history and literacy, and Possible Worlds, which explored digital games as a way to improve student understanding of phenomena that are often the subject of scientific misconceptions. He has served as a designer and producer for print, Web, mobile, and video games.

Parris has developed materials and digital strategy for the educational media initiatives at many iconic cultural institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress, and Carnegie Hall.

He holds a BFA from the University of Delaware.

"I try to consider multiple dimensions of software usability: user interface, how it functions in the classroom setting, and the demands it places on teachers and students outside class.”

Speaking Highlights

Using Interactive Metaphors and Popular Game Designs for Science Education

Workshop, Games, Learning and Society Conference
Madison, WI
June 2012

Designing for Mobile Classroom Games

Games for Health
Boston, MA
May 18, 2011

Building Better RFPs for Serious Games

Panel discussion, Game Developers Conference: GDC2009
San Francisco, CA
March 2009


Blog Posts

Selected Resources


This collection of essays shares insights and strategies from EDC’s work to support teachers’ professional learning, as well as links to an array of EDC’s resources for teachers.


Zoom In is a free, research-based online tool that helps students learn U.S. history while strengthening their literacy skills.


The Possible Worlds website offers free digital games and instructional resources to help middle school science teachers address students’ persistent misconceptions.

Digital games

EDC developed four online games for middle school science students that address common misconceptions about photosynthesis, heredity, electricity, and heat transfer.

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