It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Mark Richardson’s passing.
Mark has had a long standing relationship with ICTEV, VITTA and DLTV and the digital education community. He was originally a Primary Teacher and ICT Coordinator with a passion for digital technologies and tools to enhance learning. He moved into consulting as ICTEd Services and shared his expertise as a professional learning planner, presenter and consultant, spending 2009 as VITTA’s Professional Learning Coordinator.
Mark was always present at conferences, sharing the new gadget he had found or discussing learning space design in his calm and gentle manner. He was easily approachable and delegates lined up to get into his sessions where they knew they were guaranteed to walk away with a toolkit of new ideas.
He was always willing to share his knowledge and experiences of how he used digital technologies to support student learning. He is fondly remembered by DLTV members for his presentation on how he designed an immersive space where students could engage in creativity with digital technologies in a historic building, proving the breadth of his research and expertise.
It was this fondness of professional learning and sharing that drew Mark to DLTV in 2014 as the Professional Learning Manager at the newly merged organisation. In this role he was straight to work with ideas of improving professional learning opportunities for rural and regional teachers and to designing professional learning around the needs of the members he was connecting with. He jumped into the role with vigor, presenting workshops, working with schools and designing professional learning and was instrumental in starting conferences for regional centres when anyone else would still be finding their feet in the position.
Mark also had a passion for learning and tinkering, which is where his commitment to Maker Faire and his instrumental partnership with the DET during their Mini Maker Faire evolved. If anyone ran into Mark at the faire they were sure to see him grinning ear to ear as he was excited to see new tools and so proud of what people were sharing.
In the lead up to the Maker Faire Event, Mark committed his time to a series of webinars, a passion of his that will continue on for DLTV. Mark could see the potential for the use of webinars as professional learning, especially for those in rural and remote regions, before it was second nature like it is today. He researched how to present effectively online, talked to members about their needs and started DLTV’s first webinar series, which is still relevant to teachers years later.
The Committee of Management were privileged to work closely with such a dedicated colleague and Mark’s kind heart and clear vision will certainly be remembered. He was always quick to lend a hand and even after he had left DLTV he would check in to see if there was anything he could help out with.
But it isn’t just DLTV members who had the privilege to work with Mark, he was always seen at TeachMeets and IT events across Melbourne, supporting presenters and giving up his time to share his expertise. On Twitter and across a variety of platforms, Mark was always sharing an article or provoking us with questions.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Mark stepped away from DLTV to pursue his other love, street photography. And with the same passion Mark had for ICT he put into his remarkable photos, sharing stories behind the glasses and allowing us a glimpse of what it was like to look through the eyes of Mark, the jazz loving, kind hearted man we all respected. Mark, unbelievably committed and always gentlemanly, will be missed in the Digital Learning community and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Mark’s funeral will be held on Friday 7th September 2018 at 1pm, at St Faith’s Anglican Church, Charles Street, Glen Iris. All who can attend are welcome, and the family appreciate the thoughts of those who cannot. Mark’s family tell us that they think Mark would have appreciated it if you were to come in your most stylish eye wear.
Vale Mark Richardson.