And Brophy's hard work has not gone unnoticed; he was recently awarded Outstanding Leader of the Year by Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV).
DLTV supports innovative primary and secondary teaching through community events, publications and awards, and last year Brophy was a keynote speaker at its 2016 technology in education conference, DigiCon.
Brophy also recently had the pleasure of presenting at the ISTE (International Society for Technology and Education) conference in San Antonio, Texas in late June.
“It’s probably the world’s largest tech conference, the showcase area is five football fields long, it’s just … it’s a beast … it’s often where a lot of companies and schools showcase the latest wares,” he tells Australian Teacher Magazine.
Brophy considers his inclusion in the ISTE conference as a positive sign that what is happening in Australian classrooms is being recognised by the rest of the world.
“While the media might can it, we are doing some great things, we’ve got some great practices going on. So it actually kind of reaffirms what we’re doing. You do want to question that, but yeah, we are doing OK.”
At the ISTE conference, Brophy conducted presentations on a 3D printing project in which students printed a scaled model of the school, and shared with his international audience the story behind the TeachTechPlay conference.
“TeachTechPlay was founded by Eleni Kyritsis and Corey Aylen and they started out as a webshow which I followed, which was just teachers sharing practice in their classroom … it just grew organically over a year-and-a-half and then I thought, let’s get together and organise an event.
“They needed a place to host it and we sort of connected … I knew the guys and [we] connected through Twitter,” Brophy explains.
Since its inception, the TeachTechPlay conference, held at Ivanhoe Grammar, has grown to attract more than 300 people, including both local and international delegates.
“There are people travelling from New Zealand, Hong Kong … all the states around Australia … it caps at around 350 people, so it’s sizeable but still small enough to have a conversation with your keynote, so you go to their session and chat and continue that,” Brophy says of the conference.
Reflecting on the start of his career, the educator says that while very different from where he is now, his humble beginnings as a PE teacher taught him some valuable skills that he’s been able to transfer.
“It’s really interesting, the skillset you learn from being a PE teacher, they actually really sort of travel across to what I do now, being able to manage lots of people, being able to provide lots of feedback, it just has a different lens,” he explains.
In the classroom, there is no bigger reward for Brophy than seeing his students adapt to technology and develop critical life skills while having fun in the process.
He says this is a big focus at Ivanhoe Grammar School and every student should have the same opportunity to engage in their learning.
“A lot of what I do, I do because I love it,” Brophy says.
“I do a lot because it’s something that I’m incredibly passionate about. To me it’s about harnessing technology to improve learning.
“The future of Australia counts on these kids being able to come up with new ideas, to find problems, think creatively and systematically and come up with prototypes.
“Technology is a really engaging medium to do that. My goal is to try to bring that opportunity to every kid.”
“Technology is the Trojan Horse, but what I’m trying to do is get kids to think creatively, work collaboratively and be resilient,” he asserts.