Kerri Brown Parker recently started her role as an instructional technologist at DELTA in October 2021, but she has been at NC State for almost nine years and has been devoted to teaching and technology for even longer.
Brown Parker started her career as a middle school teacher, where she taught both English and theater. She later taught English, theater and speech at the high school level. During this time, she taught at schools in Indiana, Colorado and Nebraska.
While teaching, she decided to further her education, earning her master’s in instructional technology to enhance her classroom teaching. She also earned an advanced certification in library science.
In 2005, Brown Parker moved to Wake County and began working as a librarian at Millbrook High School in Raleigh.
“I became a librarian because that tends to be where technology and literacy come together in public schools,” she says.
After working in K-12 schools for 18 years, Brown Parker accepted a role as an instructional technology librarian in the College of Education at NC State. In 2017, she was named director of the College of Education’s Media and Education Technology Resource Center.
In her position at DELTA, Brown Parker combines her passions for teaching and technology to help instructors better reach their students.
How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?
Brown Parker is an instructional technologist, which means she consults with faculty and instructors on the best ways to integrate technology into their teaching to help students learn.
“I also lead workshops with the same goal in mind, that whoever is teaching a class will have support and assistance in thinking about the best ways to use technology with their students,” she says.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Planning and teaching workshops, consulting with faculty and instructors and creating support materials to go with NC State’s technology tools are just a few of Brown Parker’s daily responsibilities.
She also works on instructional tool grants for faculty and instructors. These grants allow instructors to improve their teaching using some of the instructional technology tools that NC State offers.
When a grant is awarded, the instructor will work alongside members of DELTA, including an instructional technologist, to get their needs met. Brown Parker is currently working on two instructional tool grants this spring.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
In addition to creating the technology support materials, Brown Parker also continuously updates the instructional videos and online content to reflect updates to the technology.
“The maintenance is time-consuming because you can’t just create support for tech once and hope it will always be true. It is ever-changing and ever-updating, never static.”
Brown Parker has to keep up with these constant changes in the tools that NC State offers. She must be ahead of future updates coming to help and be able to answer questions.
“Even if the functionality is similar, it will confuse users if it looks completely different in the instructional materials than when they go to the site,” she says.
What makes your job special?
“I like that it is extremely diverse in terms of content and style of all the different instructors and faculty we work with,” says Brown Parker.
For example, one faculty member she advises teaches a Shakespeare class, while another teaches golf. Another instructor works with geographic information systems and teaches a 300-person class.
When Brown Parker designs a workshop or training, it has to meet the needs of all of the different instructors at NC State and the wide range of courses they teach.
“Figuring out what will work for all of those different types of folks, I find that really appealing,” she says.
What do you like to do outside of work?
“I’m a foodie. I like to cook. I like to try totally new cooking things, weird stuff or things that are hard to do,” Brown Parker says.
Her favorite family recipe to make is manicotti, a pasta dish, but instead of pasta, she uses homemade crepes. She has recently been experimenting cooking with a new outdoor solo stove.
When she’s not cooking, Brown Parker can be found reading or spending time with her 10-year-old son and husband. As a family, they enjoy playing board games and video games together.