John Parris

senior researcher and designer

John Parris is highly experienced in educational media, research and evaluation, instructional design, multimedia production, and project management. He contributes his expertise to a wide array of research projects and development of prototypes and products for early learning, science, social studies, and mental health.


John is currently a Project Director for VetChange Clinician, an online tool that connects veterans with their VA clinicians to track their substance use and PTSD symptoms, identify situations that trigger these issues, and set personal goals to change their behavioral patterns.


Recently,John served as Project Director for digital strategy and research on Cha-Ching Money Adventures, a financial literacy game funded by the Prudence Foundation, and was the producer for Zoom In! Learning Science with Data, an NSF- funded project to create lessons to build high-school students’ skills in using data to investigate and explain significant problems in biology and earth science.


Previously, John spent over six years on educational game research, design, and production. As the production coordinator for Possible Worlds, the IES-funded National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology, he helped develop innovative science games for the Nintendo DSi and other handheld computing platforms. During this time, John managed development of two mobile video games, Cipher Force and Code Invaders, designed to help improve the literacy and reading comprehension skills of struggling middle-grade students. He also contributed to game-related research with an NSF-funded study, Digital Games as Analogical Sources for Science Learning, that tested various design features of digital games in support of science learning to discern which instructional strategies can help build middle-grade students’ conceptual understanding.


Earlier in his career at CCT, John developed the IBM Kidsmart Early Learning Multimedia Guide. Translated into 10 languages, and released around the world, the Guide provided teachers and parents with information and ideas for supporting early childhood development and learning by using technology at school and at home. Over the years, John also has worked on a wide variety of initiatives that have advanced the goals of leading cultural institutions, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Philharmonic.


Prior to joining EDC, John worked at the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and at Bank Street College of Education, designing educational software and serving as a technical adviser to projects integrating new technologies into formal and informal educational settings.